Masks and facial coverings recommended; building access unrestricted
Fort Wayne, Ind. – In response to the surge in COVID-19 cases and Allen County’s return to orange status, the Allen County Circuit and Superior courts have updated their policy on the wearing of masks and facial coverings in court buildings.
Beginning immediately, at the direction of a Judge or Magistrate, masks might be required in courtrooms and other congregate settings. Such settings could include crowded gathering areas including hallways and lobby areas. This policy updated applies to the Allen County Courthouse, Meeks Justice Center, the Courthouse Annex and the Allen County Juvenile Center.
Mask wearing in court facilities is strongly recommended at all times. In the event that masking is required, masks will be provided at no charge. Masks are available to the public in court offices, at security checkpoints and in courtrooms at all times, regardless of whether masking is required.
Social distancing provisions also remain in effect in courtrooms, limiting crowd sizes. Jurors are also being protected by spreading out assemblies to limit crowd sizes and calling prospective jurors to the Courthouse in small groups.
The Allen County Judges considered other options for protecting the safety of court users and employees, including restrictions on access to court buildings. For now, the only change will be the option to require masks in courtrooms and other crowded settings. Court policy on masking and building access will be re-evaluated on a frequent basis until COVID-19 conditions improve.
All Allen County court facilities are currently open to the public without restriction.