To the Membership and the Reservation Community:
1. HOURS Starting Monday, June 8, 2020, the Tribal Court will resume normal hours and operations with the precautions described below. The Courthouse is open 7:30 to 4 and the Clerk’s Office is open 8 to 3:30. Wednesday morning we have a staff meeting that lasts until 9 or 9:30 at which time the Clerk’s Office will be open.
The Courthouse is located at 38 Schoolhouse Loop Road. Our main number is 509-634-2500 or 1-800-440-1457. Our fax number is 509-634-2479. Further contact information is available on the Tribes’ web site at http://pbscolvilletribes.colvilletribes.com/.
2. HEALTH AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS Until the virus danger has passed and the Tribes are fully back to normal, we will be applying some procedures to keep you, the staff, and others safe. The following will be implemented:
A. All persons who enter the Courthouse will have your temperature taken. This is done with a thermometer that does not touch you. It takes the temperature off the heat coming from your forehead. The devise is placed within a few inches of your forehead, the Bailiff will pull the trigger, and your temperature shows up on a screen. You will not be allowed into the Courthouse if your temperature is 100.4 degrees or above. No negative action will be taken against you if this causes you to miss your hearing.
B. All non-court personnel will have to don a mask as they come into the Courthouse. We ask that you keep it on even in the Courtroom. Only if you are sitting at one of the tables will you be able to take your mask off. That makes it easier for everyone to hear and makes sure what you say gets recorded. Anyone who wants to keep their mask on can do so. The judge may ask you to speak up or slow down to make sure you are being heard and recorded.
C. After your temperature is taken, the Bailiff will ask you if you have one or more of several symptoms. If you have any of those symptoms, you will not be allowed into the Courthouse. No negative action will be taken against you if this causes you to miss your hearing.
D. We will attempt to keep the number of persons in the Courtroom to a minimum. We would like no more than 10 people in the Courtroom at one time. 2
This includes the Judge and Clerk. Until things are back to normal, we ask that you only bring no more than one support person with you.
Depending upon the number of witnesses, we may ask them to wait in their car until called. It may be possible in some instances to have them wait in the interior hallway.
Those in the Court room who are not at the party tables will be asked to keep social distancing, 6 feet. This is mainly why we do need to keep the number of people in the Courtroom to a minimum.
3. FILING AND HEARINGS We will be taking all filings. We will gradually begin to hold hearings. Some health restrictions will still apply. Jury trials are the only exception. We are not sure exactly when we start having those. We will broadcast that information before we send out a Summons to potential jurors.
4. TELEPHONIC HEARINGS You may appear in person but for everyone’s safety and health, we ask you to appear telephonically. You will need to provide us a telephone number ahead of time. The Court will call you at the time of the hearing. You do not call into the Court at the time of the hearing. While we attempt to start hearings on time, sometimes that is not possible. If the time for your hearing has passed by 15 minutes or more, please call the Clerk’s office to determine what time you can expect the Court to call.
In some instances, we will ask you to come to the Court house for in-person hearings. You will be told if that applies to your case.
If you have any questions, please give us a call. We are here to serve the Reservation community. Stay safe!