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Marquette County Courts go virtual

Marquette County Courts announced it will be conducting all court proceedings virtually effective immediately.
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette County Courts announced it will be conducting all court proceedings virtually effective immediately.

After growing COVID-19 numbers in Marquette County and advice from the health department, all Marquette County Courts will be moving all proceedings virtually through ZOOM.

“People that have internet access can appear via ZOOM, and if they don’t have internet access, they will be allowed to call in and testify via telephone,” said Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney, Matt Wiese.

However, Wiese says people charged with crimes have the right to confront witnesses, and the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that ZOOM was not sufficient to do so.

“There may be some cases that will be adjourned because of that if the defendant wants to have in-person testimony.”

And with an increase in virtual testifying, Wiese says the courts are taking precautions.

“Verify that they are there, and under oath, that they’re telling the truth and that there are no outside influences and that it is actually them testifying.”

Charity Mason, Director of Court Operations, says cases taking place virtually are helping to slow the spread of COVID.

“People are still benefiting in that they don’t have to travel to the court. They don’t have to come out into the community and there’s certainly no exposure risk if you’re waiting in a virtual waiting room.”

Mason says if you’re having trouble accessing your proceeding, to notify the court immediately.

“Generally, there’s someone on the other side that can help you with getting logged into the program and give you some pointers and what the next step is.”

Wiese says the court system is still working on cases and is willing to help anyone through the process.

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