Effective March 17, the Delaware Justice of the Peace Court will be taking measures to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In the event a litigant scheduled to appear in the Justice of the Peace Court has been infected, or potentially exposed to, the COVID-19 virus, the litigant should not report for the proceeding, but should promptly notify the court.

Additionally, the standing order also implements the measures related to criminal and truancy proceedings.

All criminal proceedings scheduled for in-court appearance from March 17 through April 16 shall be rescheduled for a date not earlier than May 1, with the following exceptions:

— All scheduled criminal trials shall proceed as scheduled;

— All forthwith criminal proceedings shall continue and be conducted by videophone unless the police agency can articulate a specific reason to bring the defendant in person;

— Walk-in practice at criminal court locations shall continue to be permitted as usual;

— All proceedings involving individuals in custody for the scheduled proceedings, and emergency reviews of bail shall proceed as scheduled.

— Truancy court proceedings shall be scheduled at the discretion of the judge, where the treatment need is determined as clinically necessary;

— Case-by-case exceptions may be ordered at the discretion of the court and with proper notice to all parties. The court will continue to issue rulings on criminal motions that do not require in-person appearance by the parties.

In civil proceedings:

— All landlord/tenant, debt, replevin and trespass proceedings scheduled for in-court appearance and all evictions currently ordered and scheduled from March 17 through April 16 shall be rescheduled for a date not earlier than May 1, with exceptions for forthwith summons applications in landlord-tenant matters involving essential services and/or harm to person or property will be accepted and ruled upon;

— Case-by-case exceptions to these guidelines may be ordered at the discretion of the court and with proper notice to all parties.

For more, visit bit.ly/39UGq10 or call 323-4530.