MIAMI: via Rumpole today “COVID ZOOM UPDATE“ –
From Andrea Wolfson, Administrative Judge, Circuit Criminal Division, 11th Circuit:
This afternoon we had our weekly meeting of the Criminal Jury Trial Task Force. Based on the dire information that was provided by representatives from the State Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office, I have decided to execute the attached amendment to the Administrative Memorandum regarding Hybrid Court Operations. It states as follows:
Effective immediately, ALL ATTORNEYS may choose to appear either in person or on Zoom. Each operating courtroom will continue to be staffed with an in person Assistant Public Defender, in addition to the judge, court clerk, bailiff, probation officer (optional) and correctional officer(s). Inmates will be brought to court only for hearings, trials, and very few pleas only with the judge’s express approval. As stated previously, if an inmate was not transported but wishes to accept a plea that will result in them getting out of custody, Corrections will bring them on Zoom on a staggered basis. If there is a surplus of inmate Zoom hearings on any one particular day, Judges Wolfson, de la O, and Tinkler Mendez will make themselves available to handle them. Interpreters will be appearing via Zoom unless needed for an in-person hearing, trial, or the types of pleas referenced above. As of this date, all other normal court operations will remain unchanged. (emphasis added)
In addition, for the judges – in the previous Administrative Memo where it advises people to mute their devices during Zoom proceedings, this does NOT apply to judges. You should have yourself on video and unmuted during your daily calendars, unless you go off the record for some reason.
Lastly, thank you all so much for your flexibility during this extremely difficult and challenging time. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
Andrea Ricker Wolfson
COMING SOON – 17th Circuit County Court Criminal Division: Is it beyond repair?