Legal meets drama with the relocation of McMinnville Muni-cipal Court to Park Theater beginning June 1.
“In keeping with the directive of the Tennessee State Supreme Court and the ongoing COVID-19 situation, McMinnville Muni-cipal Court will be held at the Park Theater from June 1 through July 27,” said McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton.
City court, which is normally held on Red Road and in the same building as McMinnville Police Department, has been closed since March when in-person court proceedings were suspended due to the pandemic.
The Tennessee Supreme Court is allowing in-person court proceedings to be held as long as the guidelines for social distancing are met. Wearing masks and/ or gloves is encouraged. Hand sanitizer should be available and high-touch items should be periodically sanitized.
Where applicable, screening measures should be undertaken on litigants/ defendants, attorneys, probation officers and other court officials.
Court hearings are not open to the public. Only litigants/ defendants appearing on the docket will be allowed into the courthouse, or in this case Park Theater. No spectators or support groups will be permitted entry. Notification must be placed on the exterior door as a reminder that only the litigants or defendants will be allowed in.
Judges will be allowed to stagger their dockets in increments of time or alphabetically, depending on the case load. Each judge must limit the number of litigants/ defendants present in the courtroom at one time.
Per the Supreme Court ruling, courts must continue to limit in-person proceedings whenever possible using available technology for hearings, arraignments and other appropriate matters by telephone, email, or video conferences.
The 800-seat capacity Park Theater facility will more than accommodate social distancing requirements.
“This location will meet the current requirements set out by the Supreme Court,” said Denton.
Park Theater is located at 115 West Main Street. Additional parking is available behind the facility.