Palmer Courthouse

The Palmer Courthouse

WASILLA— The Palmer Courthouse recently decided to hold all hearings over the phone, unless otherwise ordered by the assigned judge in an attempt to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

The Palmer Court’s COVID-19 mitigation order went into effect Friday March 20 and includes additional policies implemented March 11.

Parties in civil cases are able to appear through their attorney for any hearing. When it comes to criminal cases, defendants may appear through their attorney for any hearing except for an evidentiary hearing, change of plea, or trial; unless the assigned judge states otherwise.

Parties and counsel who appear by telephone are expected to call in by the scheduled start time. The court advises parties to plan for long holds during larger “block hearings” with multiple cases scheduled at the same time.

The Palmer Court also encourages people with non-emergency evidentiary hearings, stating that continuances will be “liberally granted,” and may be ordered on their own initiative, depending on the case.

The Alaska Supreme Court’s Chief Justice issued a special order that suspended all jury trials the week of March 16.

According to the court system, All pre-trial conferences scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. and Friday, April 3, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. in front of Judge Kristiansen are continued to Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. and Friday, May 1, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

respectively with corresponding trial week of May 18, 2020. All pre-trial conferences scheduled for Thursday, April 9, 2020 in front of Judge Stohler are continued to Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. with corresponding trial week of May 18, 2020.

These circumstances provide good cause under Alaska Criminal Rule 45( d)(7) to postpone these pretrial conference and associated trial dates.

The period between the effective date of this order and the date that each criminal trial is rescheduled is tolled for purposes of calculating Rule 45.

Any litigant who wishes to bring a matter concerning their case to the attention of the court may file a motion addressing the issues that need to be addressed in that individual case.

As coronavirus measures continue to evolve, the court indicated they will issue further orders as necessary.

To learn more about the Alaska Court System’s response to the coronavirus, visit courts.alaska.gov.

Visit the court’s website or follow them on social media for the most recent updates.

To contact the Palmer Courthouse, call 907-746-8181.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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