Lake County Indiana - COVID-19 Notice
SUPERIOR COURT OF LAKE COUNTY
COUNTY DIVISION, ROOM TWO
JUDGE SHEILA M. MOSS
PHONE (219) 755-3580 
 
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON COURT PROCEDURES DUE TO COVID19
 
As a result of the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency, the Governor’s office and the Supreme Court of Indiana, our court will be implementing new procedures to protect the health and well-being of both the public and staff members.  The procedures are being put into effect as an effort to employ social distancing by limiting the number of people in the Lake County Government Building.
 
Based upon the pandemic metrics issued by the Indiana State Department of Health, as of November 18, 2020, Lake County is now in the “Red Zone”. Therefore, effective immediately, the Court accepts and implements the recommendations suggested by Governor Eric Holcomb, Indiana State Department of Health, and the Resuming Court Operations Task Force, and will initiate the following protocols:
  1. There will be no criminal or civil jury trials, due to the continuing state of emergency for Covid 19.
  2. All hearings will be held remotely. The regular court calls will continue to be held at the usual times, and will continue to be held via zoom. Properly executed written waivers must be filed prior to the proceedings. See FORMS on the courts web site. As an exception to this remote rule, emergency hearings may be held in court if they cannot be held remotely, but only if specifically authorized by the Court. The only people allowed in the Courtroom other than the court staff, will be the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, the defense Attorney, the defendant, and any essential witnesses.
  3. All employees of the court will work remotely.
  4. Zoom meeting and passwords for both civil and criminal cases are found below.
  5. The best contact for the court is by email.
  6. The wearing of facial coverings shall be strictly enforced while in the Government Center.
  7. These protocols shall remain in effect until January 4, 2021, or until further order of the court.    
We are ordering all attorneys and litigants to appear remotely.  In most civil cases, the remote hearing will be required.  It is important that you carefully read any notice or order you receive from the Court as well as the information contained in this document.  The Court will be using the Zoom meeting platform. To participate in the remote hearing, you may use a computer, tablet, or mobile device that allows you to access Zoom through the internet or by downloading the application on any device that supports Zoom. In civil matters, unrepresented participants may alternatively participate in the proceeding by telephone if they do not have the technology to participate through the web or other application. 
 
To effectuate these new methods of appearing before the Court the following procedures will be used:
  • Each court order or notice will include information including your court date, time, and the information on how to appear remotely on that day.
     
  • To appear remotely for Criminal Court and Town and City Court (ordinance violations) you may open Zoom on the web or through a web based application or click on the following link:

    https://zoom.us/j/2180959113?pwd=dEo2cngxcUpFUkQ5U0d4ZE1FNW1Qdz09

    You will then be asked to enter the meeting ID and password, which are as follows:

    Meeting ID: 218 095 9113
    Password: 2222

    If you need to participate by telephone you may call (312) 626-6799 and you will be prompted to enter the meeting ID and password listed above. Long distance rates may apply.
     
  • To appear remotely for Small Claims Court you may open Zoom on the web or through a web based  application or click on the following link:

    https://zoom.us/j/6758882973?pwd=TkNoNTgxMFJUaUs0MkhDT2pUbllxUT09

    You will then be asked to enter the meeting ID and password, which are as follows:

    Meeting ID: 675 888 2973
    Password: 2222

    For Small Claims, if you do not have the technology to connect through Zoom, and need to participate by telephone you may call (312) 626-6799 and you will be prompted to enter the meeting ID and password listed above. Long distance rates may apply.
     
·         If you cannot appear remotely or have any further questions, please contact the Court by email the Court and state the reason you cannot appear.  You must include your name, email address, current address, and cause number. 
 
  • If your case is scheduled in Criminal Court on the morning court call, you must be available to appear remotely between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.  If you are scheduled for the afternoon, you must be available between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.  Check in will begin at 8:30 a.m. for the morning call and at 1:00 p.m. for the afternoon call.  You will be placed in a waiting room once you connect and you will wait until your case is called for hearing.  This is essentially the way court is conducted in person so please be patient. If your case is scheduled on the Town and City Court (ordinance violations) court call, you must be available to appear remotely between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. with check in beginning at 4:00 p.m.
     
  • If your case is scheduled in Civil Court on the morning court call, you must be available to appear remotely between the hours of 8:45 am and 12:00 p.m.  If you are scheduled for the afternoon, you must be available between the hours of 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.  Check in will begin at 8:45 a.m. for the morning call and at 1:00 p.m. for the afternoon call.  You will be placed in a waiting room once you connect and you will wait until your case is called for hearing.  This is essentially the way court is conducted in person so please be patient.  We are encouraging all civil participants to call and check in first thing in the morning or afternoon no matter what time you were scheduled. However, if you are scheduled in the morning you still need to check in that morning. If you were scheduled in the afternoon you would still be required to check in that afternoon.
     
  • If you are unavailable on your scheduled court date the proceeding may go forward without your participation. Your failure to appear for any criminal matters may result in a finding of guilt or the issuance of a bench warrant.
     
  • If you fail to appear for a civil case the matter may go forward without your participation. This could result in a default judgment, eviction, garnishment, dismissal or other adverse action being taken against you.
     
  • If you previously received a notice from the Civil Division of a telephonic hearing you may appear through Zoom for the hearing instead by following the procedures listed in this notice.
     
  • If you are requesting a continuance for any type of case the request must be in writing and submitted to the court at least ten days prior to the hearing, to facilitate the Court’s review. There will be no walk in defendants, plaintiffs, or counsel not appearing on the Court’s docket.  The same holds true for warrant recalls.  They must be e-filed by the attorney, if applicable, or filed in the Clerk’s office if you are unrepresented. 
     
  • All Plea agreements in Criminal cases must be e-filed seventy-two (72) hours prior to the court hearing.  The plea must be accompanied by the Waiver of Rights form, The Waiver of In-Person Plea and/or Sentencing Hearing, the Miscellaneous Order (specifying costs) form, and the Habitual Traffic Offender Violator Advisement form, Acknowledgment of Driver's License Suspension, if applicable.  All forms must be signed by everyone involved and submitted prior to the hearing.  There will be no exceptions.
     
  • If you are appearing remotely for a civil bench trial, all evidence, exhibits, and matte photographs must be e-mailed to the Court and must be submitted to the Court at least seventy-two (72) hours before trial.  Please limit your exhibits to only what is essential to your case.
     
  • If you have questions about your case or the hearing you can look up your case by going on the web at mycase.in.gov or you may contact the court by email.
     
  • Please remember that this is a formal court proceeding and you must conduct yourself accordingly.  The Indiana Office of Judicial Administration also has useful tips and further information about remote hearings at www.in.gov/judiciary/files/remote-hearings-tips.pdf.
Finally, please note that Rule 2.17 of the Indiana Code of Judicial of Conduct prohibits the recording of Court proceedings. Accordingly, everyone who in any way participates in, sees, or hears the Court’s proceedings is now ORDERED that that they will not participate in, or record the proceedings in any manner.  Violations of this Rule shall be punishable by Contempt of Court.