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Covid 19 and the Courts: Uncharted Territory (by the Hart Law Office)

As we all know, the health crisis is causing extraordinary changes in our lives. Changes in legal proceedings are not exempt. Many actions affecting families are being put on hold or delayed. This applies even to matters that otherwise would have statutory deadlines to be decided by the courts. For right now, all matters what would normally have to be heard in court prior to May 22, 2020 will be adjourned. Some examples are:

  • TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) and Adoption matters
  • Mental Health Commitments
  • Guardianship and Protective Placement Matters
  • Small Claims and Evictions

When and how these matters will be rescheduled and heard is still being worked out.

Family Court matters have been shut down with the exception of Domestic Violence and Harassment Injunction hearings. The Family Court Judges have a new procedure to finalize a divorce without a hearing if both sides have attorneys, there is a written agreement and the parties’ consent to the procedure. Most of the Family Commissioners and the court staff have been sent home. Some of the judges’ clerks are only now being set up to work from home, but they are mostly processing electronic filings and adjourning case. It is anticipated that once the courts are back up, matters will be overbooked or scheduled out far longer than normal.

Obviously, we will all get through this but it will take some time. If you have an attorney, keep in touch. If you do not have one, monitor CCAP on your case status. Be sure to check the address the court has for you since notices of change of dates are going out via mail to the last address the court has on file.
Be Safe.

Hart Law Office
Attorney Eric Hart ([email protected])
Attorney Richard Hart ([email protected])
207 E. Buffalo St.
Suite 201
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone 414-271-1775

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