We’ve been contacted with cries for help emanating from the Clerk’s Office. Employees are scared. Although not confirmed, one tipster wrote a worker was even told to remove a face mask while on duty.
Clerk’s employees, unlike judges and JA’s, may not all be able to work remotely due to secure computer networks, but can’t they be put on rotating schedules, or as candidate for Clerk Paul Backmanwrote on his election Facebook page, utilized in skeleton crews until the crisis has passed?
Take a look below at what Backman wrote, and offer your own suggestions. The health and safety of all public employees is paramount, so let’s see what can be done.
*We respectfully disagree with VFO’s not qualifying … they can admit and ask for bond whenever they want, are entitled to the bond hearing, and the Court should take the admission and then set the Danger Hearing if there’s no finding during the admission hearing … however, it’s understood that the Danger Hearing itself is set at the mercy of the Court’s schedule, so it is what it is …
Pictured above is Hillsborough County’s proactive order giving Leo’s discretion to release new arrestees on charges up to 3rd degree felonies.
It’s an important step, and hopefully will be considered here.
Full jails mean potential outbreaks, and outbreaks mean transports to local hospitals for treatment. BSO is preparing a response to our request concerning medical capabilities in the jail, but it’s safe to say there are no ventilators in the jail. A full response is in the works, which we will post when available.
Full jails also mean dangerous overcrowding if there are extended closures and social unrest, and jails need to be able to accomodate violent offenders. New arrests, of course, are also a major concern for the introduction of the virus into the existing population, which is why it’s hoped Jack Tuter will consider an order similar to the one executed in Hillsborough.
15th Circuit chief judge Krista Marx is in the process of fashioning an AO to reflect the closure changes ordered by the Supreme Court yesterday, according to her office and PIO. We will post when it arrives. In the meantime, there is reportedly a bit of scrambling this morning, with last-minute cancellations going on necessary to comply with the Supreme Court directive. In the meantime, the 15th Circuit website still displays the message below, as of 9:30 AM.
Check out the Supreme’s order, linked here, and below on the prior post from yesterday. It seems to indicate requests for bond hearings can’t be denied at the Court’s discretion, emergency or not. That would go for VFO cases as well, so expect a lot more confusion if the SAO won’t stipulate “not a danger,” and the client wants to enter an admission for bond.
**Lastly, we’re told DOC is not accepting admissions at this time, which could impact the jail population as well …**