Chief Justice's Wisconsin Court COVID-19 Task Force issues report

Madison, Wisconsin - May 15, 2020

Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Patience Drake Roggensack today announced that the Wisconsin Courts COVID-19 Task Force has issued its final report, including a framework to guide counties and circuit courts as they work together to reopen facilities, return to in-person proceedings, and begin to normalize operations.

"This task force has done a tremendous job of assessing a complex situation and providing valuable information and guidance to assist courts and counties of all sizes and locations. My thanks to all of the task force members for sharing their valuable time and expertise," Chief Justice Roggensack said.

The 24-member task Force included medical consultants from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, judges, court staff, attorneys and others from throughout the state representing the concerns of clerks of circuit court, district attorneys, public defenders, county sheriffs, and county attorneys.

The Task Force's recommendations acknowledge the continued threat of COVID-19 and provide a mechanism for local county officials to make determinations specific to the current conditions in their community.

The circuit courts of each county are expected to establish local stakeholder committees and to develop written plans to promote safe court-related interactions. It is anticipated the plans will be submitted to the chief judge of each judicial administrative district before in-person proceedings and jury trials may move forward.

In March, the Supreme Court issued orders postponing jury trials and temporarily suspending in-person proceedings statewide, with certain limited exceptions. Courts were encouraged to continue proceedings using Zoom videoconferencing or telephone conferences whenever possible.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

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