Courts operating under a streamlined system
Apr 27, 2020 6:15 am
Nora Mishanec is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media in both Greene and Columbia counties, arraignments and other essential court functions continue to proceed via Skype while nonessential court matters have been further delayed into the summer months, officials said last week. All town and village court matters have been designated as nonessential, except for arraignments. In Greene County, a county court judge sits as acting local court judge to handle arraignments by Skype, District Attorney Joseph Stanzione said. The parties do not make a formal appearance in court, he said. In Columbia County, Greenport Town Judge Barry Sack is one of seven county judges chosen to cover arraignments during the COVID-19 shutdown. He covers Greenport, Stockport, Claverack and Philmont. “We are all trying to do our best to keep the court system going, until everything is back in order,” Sack said. In early April, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office set up a computer station in the lobby of the Public Safety Facility, for law enforcement officers who need to participate in live video arraignments. A computer has also been set up behind Plexiglas in the lobby of the jail for defendants to use during video arraignments, as well. No civil trials or criminal jury trials will be held until the shutdown ends. At that time, court clerks will be tasked with rescheduling the various courts' calendars. Town and village justices in Kinderhook, Chatham, Taghkanic, Livingston, Greenport, Hudson, Catskill, Prattsville, Coxsackie, Hunter and Durham have been designated to hear arraignments on nights and weekends. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.