TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Topeka’s city buildings and courts will reopen Monday in Phase 1.5 for reopening the state during the pandemic, a city spokeswoman confirmed.
After installing Plexiglas dividers at the City Express Payment Center and the clerk’s offices, the City of Topeka will allow the public back inside. The courthouse and probation offices will also reopen with restrictive measures for social distancing.
The city encourages anyone who comes to its buildings to wear a mask at all times. Anyone having in-person meetings with staff can go to the first floor conference room of city hall or the Holliday building.
The move comes as Gov. Laura Kelly said she would move the state on to Phase 1.5 of her plan to reopen Kansas. It allows salons and gyms to open with restrictions, while keeping some other businesses like bars and organized sports closed.
The courthouse and probation office will follow the following guidelines with defendants as it allows the public back inside:
- Defendants should check the status of their case online to see if they need to come to the courthouse, or call the court at 785-368-3776.
- The number of individuals in the courthouse at one time will be limited and is dependent upon which phase Shawnee County is in each week. This may result in one-in, one-out lines outside the courthouse.
- Only people with court business or probation appointments will be allowed inside. No family, friends or observers are permitted.
- Defendants may be asked to wait in the lobby or outside the building during larger court sessions.
- Any defendant displaying symptoms of illness, is high-risk or in contact with someone ill should ask their attorney to request a continuance, or file a motion for continuance by email or fax.
- Anyone showing symptoms of, has been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed, suspected of having coronavirus or has traveled in the last 14 days will be denied access to the building.
The city said any defendant who has been denied access to the courthouse can contact the clerk’s office at 785-368-3776 for instructions on rescheduling or otherwise completing their court business.