Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, moving to Phase Three court operations in response to COVID-19 pandemic
ST. LOUIS, MO (STL.News) In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the Supreme Court of Missouri’s operational directives for easing COVID-19 restrictions on in-person proceedings, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, announces a change in its operational phase effective April 28, 2021, when the court will move to Phase Three. The Supreme Court’s revised operational directives identify five phases of operations (Phases 0-4) that courts may work through based on the gateway criteria, and each progressive phase is designed to allow greater flexibility in court operations.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the court remains open for business, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Supreme Court’s revised operational directives and this Court’s administrative order do not affect required deadlines through Missouri’s electronic filing system. The clerk’s office remains available to answer questions and otherwise assist patrons, although all matters should be resolved by telephone or e-mail if possible. The court will continue to hold oral arguments by Webex video conferencing until further notice. However, in-person proceedings, including oral arguments, may resume on a limited basis, but occupancy in the courtroom shall not exceed the number that can be present while observing social distancing standards and maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet, conforming to the revised Supreme Court operational directives.
Attorneys should not file paper copies of transcripts or briefs in accordance with the newly amended Eastern District Rule 333(a), which eliminates the requirement to submit courtesy paper copies. Litigants who are not represented by counsel may still submit one paper copy of their filings but are encouraged to use alternate means of filing documents under Eastern District Rule 330, such as by mailing, electronic mail attachment, or by facsimile, as allowed under that rule, rather than in-person delivery of pleadings to the courthouse.
To prevent potential exposure, visitors who meet any of the following criteria will not be permitted to enter the premises:
- Any person who has traveled to any foreign country within the last 14 days;
- Any person who resides or has had close contact with someone who has traveled to any foreign country within the last 14 days;
- Any person who, within the last 14 days, has been diagnosed with, or has had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- Any person who has been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency;
- Any person with unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
All visitors to the court are required to wear face masks. These restrictions will remain in place temporarily until it is determined to be safe to remove them.
For further information concerning the status of an appeal or the court’s operations, telephone the clerk’s office at (314) 539-4300 or visit their website.