EFFECTIVE MAY 4, 2020 THROUGH MAY 31, 2020

In light of the continuing public health risk posed by COVID-19 and the advisories and orders from the Centers for Disease Control, the Colorado Governor’s Office, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the El Paso County Department of Health recommending the continuation of active steps to slow the spread of COVID-19, the El Paso County Courthouse and the Teller County Courthouse, including the Probation Department in both counties, will continue operations at a reduced level.

Pursuant to the authority granted in Chief Justice Directive 95-01 and the directives found in the Order Regarding COVID-19 and Operation of Colorado State Courts, issued by Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats on March 16, 2020 and as amended on March 20, 2020, and April 16, 2020, it is hereby ORDERED:

  1. Courthouse Operations: The El Paso County Courthouse, located at 270 S. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903, and the Teller County Courthouse, located at 101 Bennett Dr., Cripple Creek, CO 80813, will be open to the public on a limited basis from May 4, 2020 through May 31, 2020, as set forth in this Order.

 

For only those filings related to public safety matters listed in Section 6 of this Order, the El Paso County Courthouse and Teller County Courthouse Clerk’s Offices will be open from 8 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday, with the exception of legal holidays.  During operating hours, the Clerk’s Office at each courthouse will only accept paper filings related to the public safety matters listed in Section 6 of this Order.  All other paper filings shall be mailed directly to the courthouse or e-filed through CCE.

Members of the public are strongly encouraged to wear masks in the courthouse, and employees are required to wear masks when they are within six feet of anyone else in the courthouse.

In the common areas of the courthouse, including hallways outside courtrooms, there shall not be more than 10 people gathered, ensuring that people can be at least six feet away from each other.

  1. For any in-person proceeding that is authorized under this Order, the continued use of a phone or audio-visual device to conduct the entire proceeding is still highly recommended.

For those proceedings that are authorized to occur in-person under this Order, each judicial officer shall have the discretion either to conduct the proceeding by phone or audio-visual device, or to require in-person attendance of the parties, counsel, and witnesses.  All other proceedings (i.e., not authorized to be in-person) must be conducted by phone or audio-visual device, or rescheduled by the court.

 

No judicial officer shall require the in-person attendance of any “Vulnerable individuals” without prior permission from the Chief Judge. 

 

“Vulnerable individuals” are:

    1. Individuals who are 65 years and older;
    2. Individuals with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma;
    3. Individuals who have serious heart conditions;
    4. Individuals who are immunocompromised;
    5. Pregnant women; and
    6. Individuals determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider.

“Vulnerable individuals” does not include any in-custody criminal defendant. 

 

The Sheriffs of El Paso and Teller County shall not transport to court any defendant who is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms, nor shall courthouse security admit anyone into any courthouse who is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms.

 

No judicial officer is required by this order to hold any in-person proceedings. 

Judicial Officers shall not allow more than ten people in their courtroom at any time. 

Judicial officers shall require all people in court to be at least 6 feet apart from each other.

 

After every courtroom proceeding, court staff shall ensure the courtroom is sanitized.

 

Court staff shall comply with Dr. Kelly’s recommendations for sanitizing, as set forth on pages 3-4 in CJO 2020-17 and CJO 2020-18.

 

 

  1. DISTRICT COURT CASES. Subject to the public safety exceptions noted in Section 6 of this Order, the following applies to district court dockets (Divisions 1-24):
  1. Criminal Cases.

 

  1. Subject to the exceptions set forth in Section 3.A.II., defendants who are out- of-custody and have court appearances between May 4, 2020 and May 31, 2020, will be prohibited from entering the courthouse.

Out-of-custody defendants with attorneys shall immediately contact their attorney to receive further direction.  Attorneys shall be in contact with the division clerk to determine whether the scheduled matter will be heard by telephone or video under the newly revised Crim. Rule 43.

Whenever a represented defendant is given a new court date, the attorney shall arrange for the defendant to sign a notice for the next court date and shall then file that signed notice with the court.  Alternatively the attorney shall arrange for the defendant to speak with the division clerk by phone so that the division clerk can order defendant over the phone to appear on the new court date.

In either case, once defendants acknowledge their bond has been continued for a new court date, they are ordered to immediately notify their bondsman that their bond has been continued until the new court date.

Out-of-Custody Defendants without attorneys shall immediately contact (by phone or email) the court clerk for the division in which the case is pending to receive further directions.  In leaving any voicemail message, defendants without attorneys shall include their first and last name, their phone number, their email address (if they have one), and a case number, if available.

A list of division phone numbers and emails can be found at:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/District/Contact.cfm?District_ID=4

This list is also attached at the end of this order.

Failure by an unrepresented defendant to contact the division clerk by phone or email within 24 hours after any scheduled court date may result in the issuance of an arrest warrant. 

If the division clerk gives an unrepresented defendant a new court date by telephone, the division clerk shall order the defendant to appear either in person, by telephone, or by audio-visual device on that next court date.  Any such defendants shall immediately notify their bondsman that their bond has been continued until the next court date.

Any bondsman who objects to any procedure of continuing bonds set forth in this Order shall immediately communicate in writing to Chief Judge Bain the nature of the objection.

  1. EXCEPTIONS in District Court Criminal Cases (where out-of-custody defendants’ in-person appearance is generally required but may be excused by the judicial officer presiding in the case):

Unless otherwise instructed by the judge in the division, that division’s staff, or their attorney, defendants who are out-of-custody with court dates between May 4, 2020, and May 31, 2020, shall appear in person for the following proceedings:

  • The initial appearance-on-bond court date given by the Sheriff upon posting bond at the jail (Criminal Rule 5/bonded advisements);
  • Any felony summons return date (bonded advisements);
  • First Appearance/Filing of Formal Charges for defendants who do not have an attorney;
  • Motions hearings and pre-trial readiness conferences for any trial scheduled in June 2020 where speedy trial is set to expire on or before July 15, 2020;
  • Sentencing hearings; and
  • Probation complaint and report hearings.

For these exceptions, the court still retains the discretion to conduct the proceeding by phone or audio-visual device (consistent with Rule 43’s constraints) or to require the in-person attendance of the defendant.

  • This order shall not affect defendants who remain in custody, except that no jury trial shall be held between May 4, 2020 and May 31, 2020, and no jury trial shall be held thereafter unless the speedy trial period expires on or before July 15, 2020.
  1. Civil Cases. Absent exceptional circumstances as determined by a judicial officer, there shall be no in-person civil hearings, trials, or other proceedings held through May 31, 2020.  Counsel and unrepresented parties are directed to contact the division clerks for the individual divisions to determine how their cases will be heard.

A list of division phone numbers and emails can be found at:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/District/Contact.cfm?District_ID=4

This list is also attached at the end of this order.

 

To the extent possible, judges with civil dockets are encouraged to proceed with any matter that can be reasonably addressed over the telephone or through audio-visual technology, such as Webex.

All Rule 120 foreclosure cases are stayed until May 17, 2020.  Once this stay is lifted, plaintiffs in Rule 120 cases will be required to file an affidavit signed by the plaintiff or plaintiff’s counsel swearing that the underlying mortgage is not subject to the CARES Act.

  1. Domestic Relations Cases. The continued use of technology to conduct hearings by telephone or audio-visual device is strongly recommended.  Nevertheless, beginning May 4, 2020, judicial officers shall have the discretion to conduct in-person proceedings, subject to the 10-person limit and social distancing requirements described in Section 2 of this Order.

 

Counsel and unrepresented parties shall contact the clerks for the individual divisions to determine whether their hearing will occur by telephone, video conference, or in person.

A list of division phone numbers and emails can be found at:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/District/Contact.cfm?District_ID=4

This list is also attached at the end of this order.

All Parties are advised that all existing court orders, including parenting time and parenting exchange orders, are not suspended by the Stay-at-Home or Safer-at-Home Orders issued by Governor Jared Polis, and shall continue to be followed unless otherwise modified by the court or agreement of the parties.

 

If you have a domestic relations mediation scheduled with the Office of Dispute Resolution during the time period set forth in this Order, your mediator will contact you to make arrangements for the mediation to occur by telephone, by audio-visual device, or to reschedule.  You may call the Office of Dispute Resolution at 719-452-5005 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

  1. Juvenile Docket. Any emergency orders regarding the Juvenile Docket issued by Judge Billings-Vela remain in place and are not affected by this order.
  1. Probate Docket. Any emergency orders regarding the Probate Docket issued by Magistrate Rahaman remain in place and are not affected by this order.
  1. All Problem-Solving Courts are subject to this order.
  1. COUNTY COURT CASES: With the exception of the criminal case classes and specific proceedings listed in Section 4.B. of this Order and any public safety exception listed in Section 6 of this Order, all court dates between May 4, 2020 and May 31, 2020 in County Court (Divisions A-H,J-K,T) shall be conducted with any parties, attorneys, and witnesses appearing by telephone or by audio-visual device as authorized by Rule 43.
  1. Criminal Cases.

 

  1. Subject to the exceptions set forth in Section 4.A.II, defendants who are out-of-custody and have court appearances between May 4, 2020 and May 31, 2020, will be prohibited from entering the courthouse.

Out-of-Custody Defendants with attorneys shall immediately contact their attorney to receive further direction.  Attorneys shall be in contact with the division clerk to determine whether the scheduled matter will be heard by telephone under the newly revised Crim. Rule 43.

Whenever a represented defendant is given a new court date, the attorney shall arrange for the defendant to sign a notice for the next court date and shall then file that signed notice with the court.  Alternatively the attorney shall arrange for the defendant to speak with the division clerk by phone so that the division clerk can order defendant over the phone to appear on the new court date.

In either case, once defendants acknowledge their bond has been continued for a new court date, they are ordered to immediately notify their bondsmen that their bond has been continued until the new court date.

Out-of-Custody Defendants without attorneys shall immediately contact the court clerk for the division in which the case is pending to receive further directions.  In leaving any voicemail message, defendants without attorneys should include their first and last name, their phone number, their email address (if they have one), and a case number, if available.

A list of division phone numbers and emails can be found at:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/District/Contact.cfm?District_ID=4

This list is also attached at the end of this order.

 

Failure to contact the division clerk by phone or email within 24 hours after any scheduled court date may result in the issuance of an arrest warrant. 

If the division clerk gives an unrepresented defendant a new court date by telephone, the division clerk shall order the defendant to appear either in person, by telephone, or by audio-visual technology on that next court date.  Any such defendants shall immediately notify their bondsman that their bonds have been continued until the next court date.

Any bondsman who objects to any procedure of continuing bonds set forth in this Order shall immediately communicate in writing to Chief Judge Bain the nature of the objection.

This order shall not affect defendants who remain in custody, except that no jury trial shall be held between May 4, 2020 and May 31, 2020, and no trial shall be held thereafter unless the speedy trial period expires on or before June 30, 2020.

Defendants with an appearance in the First Appearance Center (W119) will receive a notice of the next court date sent to the address on the citation or summons.  If that address is no longer valid, counsel and unrepresented parties shall immediately contact the First Appearance Center at (719) 452-5500 or email 04FAC@judicial.state.co.us to reschedule their matters. They shall also file a notice of change of address form:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/PDF/JDF%2088%20Change%20of%20Address%20Form.pdf

All defendants without attorneys should include their first and last name, their phone number, and a case number, if available, in all correspondence with the Court.

All Problem-Solving Courts are subject to this order.

  1. Although it is still highly recommended to conduct proceedings by telephone or audio-visual device, motions hearings for cases where speedy trial expires on or before June 30, 2020 and any sentencing and probation complaint and report hearings that are scheduled to occur between May 4, 2020 and May 31, 2020 for the following case classes may be conducted with the parties, attorneys, and witnesses appearing in-person, at the discretion of the court:

C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3                            Domestic Violence

C.R.S. § 18-3-404                               Unlawful sexual contact

C.R.S. § 18-7-707                               Posting a private image

C.R.S. § 18-9-204.5                            Cruelty to Animals

C.R.S. § 42-4-1301                             Driving Under the Influence

C.R.S. § 42-4-1402(2)(b-c)                Careless Driving Causing Inj./Death

 

 

  1. Civil Cases.  Subject to the exceptions set forth in this section, all in-person civil hearings, trials and other matters scheduled through May 31, 2020 shall, at the discretion of the judicial officer, either be conducted by telephone or audio-visual device, or shall be cancelled, subject to rescheduling.  Counsel and unrepresented parties are directed to contact the clerks for the individual divisions to reschedule their matters.

 

A list of division phone numbers and emails can be found at:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/District/Contact.cfm?District_ID=4

This list is also attached at the end of this order.

This order does not affect any order entered by Magistrate Andrea Paprzycki regarding Forcible Entry and Detainer Actions and Civil Returns (CVL).  Please refer to the Division CVL Memo on the Court’s website for instructions on how to proceed with FED and CVL matters.

 

If you are scheduled to appear in Small Claims (S), S290 in May 2020, please note that your hearing will be rescheduled.  Parties in the case will receive notice of next court date from the attorney in the case or directly from the court.  Please make sure your current address is on file with the court.  If you need to update your address, please do so immediately with this form:

https://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/PDF/JDF%2088%20Change%20of%20Address%20Form.pdf

  1. Jury Duty: Any juror with a jury summons return date on or before May 31, 2020, shall not report for jury duty. All jury trials scheduled through May 31, 2020 are cancelled.  For those jurors who have a jury summons with a date to appear on or after June 1, 2020, please continue to monitor the Court’s website for updates.
  1. Public Safety Matters: The El Paso and Teller County Courthouses will continue to accept filings and conduct limited hearings on public safety matters. Public safety matters are limited to the following:
  1. Petitions for temporary civil protection orders and permanent protection order hearings;
  2. Petitions for temporary emergency risk protection orders and hearings on emergency risk protection orders;
  3. P. Rule 5 advisements;
  4. Juvenile detention and advisement hearings for juvenile delinquency cases;
  5. Shelter hearings in dependency and neglect cases;
  6. Petitions for appointment of an emergency guardian and/or special conservator and hearings related to same;
  7. Hearings on motions to restrict parenting time and parental abduction prevention;
  8. Emergency mental health filings and proceedings;
  9. Probable cause hearings for dog impoundment/dangerous dog cases;
  10. Judicial bypass hearings under C.R.S. § 12-37.5-107; and
  11. Other proceedings deemed necessary by the Chief Judge to prevent a substantial risk of imminent financial hardship or imminent risk to the health, safety or welfare of any individual or members of the community;
  1. Self-Help Centers: The self-help center at the El Paso County Courthouse is closed until June 1, 2020. All court forms and instructions can be found at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/Index.cfm
  1. Extrajudicial Activities: The use of any of the courthouses for extrajudicial activities (e.g., the solemnization of marriages, CASA swearing in ceremonies) is prohibited until further notice.

 

 

  1. Probation: The probation staff is conducting all business by phone.  If you have a regular appointment with your probation officer, please call your Probation Officer directly, email your Probation Officer at lastname@judicial.state.co.usor call or email the Probation Department at 719-452-5900 or 04probation@judicial.state.co.us.  If the court or a probation supervisor has informed you to report in person, our office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00am-3:00pm.  Voicemails and Emails are checked daily; when leaving a message, please indicate the level of urgency of your situation.  Due to a high volume of calls and emails, please allow 24 hours for a response prior to contacting again.

I will continue to monitor available information and recommendations from health organizations, and this CJO 20-19 may be revised or extended as deemed necessary.

  Phone Email
El Paso County Clerk’s Office 719-452-5000 4thClerkofCourt@judicial.state.co.us
Teller County Clerk’s Office 719-689-7360 tellerclerkgeneral@judicial.state.co.us
Div 1 – Judge Billings Vela 719-452-5229 D04_Courts_Div8@judicial.state.co.us
Div 2 – Judge David Prince 719-452-5235 D04_Courts_Div2@judicial.state.co.us
Div 3 – Judge Thomas K. Kane 719-452-5274 D04_Courts_Div3@judicial.state.co.us
Div 4 – Judge David Shakes (Vet Court) 719-452-5279 D04_Courts_Div4@judicial.state.co.us
Div 5 – Judge Jessica Curtis 719-452-5365 D04_Courts_Div5@judicial.state.co.us
Div 6 – Judge Chad Miller 719-452-5544 D04_Courts_Div6@judicial.state.co.us
Div 7 – Judge David Gilbert 719-452-5287 D04_Courts_Div7@judicial.state.co.us
Div 8 – Judge Eric Bentley 719-452-5449 D04_Courts_Div8@judicial.state.co.us
Div 9 – Judge Timothy Schutz 719-452-5358 D04_Courts_Div9@judicial.state.co.us
Div 10 – Judge Erin Sokol 719-452-5446 D04_Courts_Div10@judicial.state.co.us
Div 11 – Judge Scott Sells (Teller District) 719-689-6926 D04_Courts_Div11@judicial.state.co.us
Div 12 – Judge Robert Lowrey 719-452-5244 D04_Courts_Div12@judicial.state.co.us
Div 13 – Judge Marcus Henson 719-452-5281 D04_Courts_Div13@judicial.state.co.us
Div 14 – Judge Marla Prudek 719-452-5233 D04_Courts_Div14@judicial.state.co.us
Div 15 – Judge Gregory R. Werner 719-452-5285 D04_Courts_Div15@judicial.state.co.us
Div 16 – Judge G. David Miller 719-452-5255 D04_Courts_Div16@judicial.state.co.us
Div 17 – Judge Jann DuBois 719-452-5259 D04_Courts_Div17@judicial.state.co.us
Div 18 – Judge Deborah Grohs 719-452-5443 D04_Courts_Div18@judicial.state.co.us
Div 19 – Judge Robin Chittum 719-452-5352 D04_Courts_Div19@judicial.state.co.us
Div 20 – Judge Jill Brady 719-452-5291 D04_Courts_Div20@judicial.state.co.us
Div 21 – Judge Michael McHenry 719-452-5547 D04_Courts_Div21@judicial.state.co.us
Div 22 – Judge William Bain 719-452-5522 D04_Courts_Div22@judicial.state.co.us
Div 23 – Judge Catherine Mitchell Helton 719-452-5177 D04_Courts_Div23@judicial.state.co.us
Div 24 – Judge Frances Johnson 719-452-5122 D04_Courts_Div24@judicial.state.co.us
Div A – Judge Denise Peacock 719-452-5349 D04_Courts_DivA@judicial.state.co.us
Div B – Judge Samuel Evig 719-452-5207 D04_Courts_DivB@judicial.state.co.us
Div C – Judge Monica Gomez 719-452-5203 D04_Courts_DivC@judicial.state.co.us
Div D – Judge Karla Hansen 719-452-5191 D04_Courts_DivD@judicial.state.co.us
Div E – Judge Larry Martin 719-452-5355 D04_Courts_DivE@judicial.state.co.us
Div F – Judge Laura Findorff 719-452-5360 D04_Courts_DivF@judicial.state.co.us
Div G – Judge Ann Rotolo 719-452-5242 D04_Courts_DivG@judicial.state.co.us
Div H – Judge Shannon Gerhart 719-452-5193 D04_Courts_DivH@judicial.state.co.us
Div J – Judge Meredith Patrick Cord 719-452-5420 D04_Courts_DivJ@judicial.state.co.us
Div K – Judge Douglas Miles (DV Court) 719-452-5197 D04_Courts_DivK@judicial.state.co.us