The Alaska Supreme Court has suspended Superior Court and District Court proceedings from today through April 2.

Special Order No. 8131 relaxes court rules in an effort to ensure that trial court operation in the Alaska Court System “can be conducted in a manner that both protects the rights and liberties of the parties and ensures the safety of court personnel, litigants, and the public during this public health emergency.”

The following high priority hearings will still be conducted, in this order of priority:

• Arraignments

• Felony first appearances

• Bail hearings

• Change of plea and sentencing hearings

• Adjudication and disposition hearings on petitions to revoke probation

• Habeas corpus applications

• Child In Need of Aid, temporary custody and permanency hearings

• CINA hearings for review of secure residential psychiatric placement

• Mental health evaluation, involuntary commitment, and psychotropic medication proceedings

• Domestic violence proceedings

• Alcohol and drug commitment proceedings

• Quarantine and isolation proceedings

• Juvenile delinquency arraignment and detention hearings

• Search warrant and arrest warrant proceedings

• Temporary guardianship and conservatorship proceedings

The Rabinowitz Courthouse Court house will be open but all visitors must answer a set of screening questions to determine if they are a health risk. Any person unable to pass the screening criteria will not be allowed to enter the building. It is asked that people do not come to the courthouse unless it is absolutely necessary.

Those who do enter the courthouse must keep a distance of 6 feet between themselves and others, avoid physical contact with others and follow standard hygiene practices to include washing and sanitizing hands and covering sneezes and coughs. They may not approach a court clerk or judicial officer unless invited to do so. Courtroom occupancy will be limited to no more than 10 people, and some may be asked to wait outside the courtroom

Judicial services officers will be policing the building to ensure compliance with these rules of conduct. Those failing to comply will be required to leave the courthouse.