Pitt County courthouse leaders form COVID-19 advisory committee

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County court officials are forming a special panel to determine how the justice system will reopen and run as the pandemic continues.

Many court proceedings have been on hold since march.

The courthouse advisory committee will give recommendations to decision makers.

Those suggestions will focus on the safe restart of court hearings and other operations as the pandemic continues.

Marvin Blount is the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge at the Pitt County Courthouse.

He says they want the courthouse to be as safe as it can under these times. 

Judge Marvin Blount wants a plan ready for cases when courts reopen on June 1st.

“Our courthouses need to be opened and functioning and we’re going to do that with the help of the committee but do so in a safe and healthy manner and environment,” he says. 

Some proceedings that normally draw larger crowds will remain on hold.

Judge Blount explains, We are going to have to be flexible and creative to find ways to have court calendars and court proceedings in a way that we don’t have people creating a risk or a dangerous environment here at the courthouse.”

Court workers will continue using technology and exercising social distancing when possible.

Pitt County health officials are also working with the committee. 

“Dr. Silvernail and his deputy Ms. Haddem were here in the courthouse, touring the courthouse and looking at the individual courtrooms and facilities and are making some important recommendations that we will follow by our committee,” Judge Blount states. 

Court officials want the county to move forward as safely as possible during the phased re-opening. 

The committee plans to hold regular meetings.

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