The Minnesota Judicial Branch on July 30 announced a modification to its guidance on face coverings in court facilities. District court judges may require face coverings in courtrooms and public spaces of court facilities.

Throughout the pandemic, the Judicial Branch has based its decisions for courthouse operations on the guidance of public health experts, the status of virus transmission in the state and local conditions, according to a press release from MJB.

Under the new administrative order from ” Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea , the chief judge of a judicial district may require face coverings to be worn in public spaces in courthouse facilities. In addition, a presiding judge, in consultation with the chief judge, may require individuals who participate in or attend an in-person proceeding to wear a face covering during the proceeding.

These decisions will be made at the local level and can vary by county. For information about local requirements for face coverings in court facilities, Minnesotans may contact their county courthouse. If a county in which a courthouse is located mandates the use of face coverings in county-owned buildings, the district court in that county will require the use of face coverings consistent with the county’s decision.

Individuals may choose to wear face coverings in any court facility.

Judges may direct people to remove face coverings as necessary to conduct court hearings.

The administrative order does not make any changes to the types of in-person court proceedings currently taking place. For more information, visit https://www.mncourts.gov/Emergency.aspx.

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