After recently allowing local courts to return to in-person hearings, trials and normal deadlines, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has ordered that state courts can now seek to suspend those plans and return to tighter restrictions set out by the Supreme Court during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic in April and May.

In the past couple months, courts have been getting approval for in-person proceedings, but in light of surging COVID-19 cases in the state, the Supreme Court is allowing local courts to amend those currently approved plans and seek reapproval by their chief judges and return to some modified proceedings in accordance with current conditions in their local area.

The Court stated in its order that “if a circuit court determines that changes in local conditions require modifications to the circuit court’s approved operational plan, the circuit court shall submit information to the chief judge of the applicable judicial administrative district showing the local changed conditions and how those changes affect the approved operational plan. The chief judge shall review the submission of the circuit court and may withdraw approval of the operational plan as required to account for changed conditions.”

The plans are designed to “promote the health and safety of all those present in the courtrooms, jury rooms, and other court-related confined spaces, in light of current local conditions.”