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Watts explains closing

The Letcher County courts will be closed beginning Wednesday afternoon and will have limited availability until February, after an order issued by Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr.

Minton’s order takes effect Nov. 30, but because of the Thanksgiving holiday, it will effectively begin this week.

The Circuit Clerk’s office will be open, but not for all purposes, and by appointment only.

Minton’s order limits entrance into judicial facilities, requires remote hearings for nearly all proceedings, postpones jury trials until February 1, requires grand juries to either meet remotely or not at all, postpones show cause dockets until February 1, and requires judicial sales to either be held remotely or outside under the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. The Circuit Clerk falls under the supervision of the Supreme Court.

Clerk Mike Watts said his office will be open for some purposes, but not to in-person services in the office.

“Anyone who wants to renew or replace their driver’s license will have to do it by application, and kids needing to test need to call for appointments,” Watts said.

Persons needing to get commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) will also have to call the clerk’s office for appointments. Watts said emergency protective orders, domestic violence orders and emergency guardianships will also be done. Anyone who needs those services should call the clerk’s office at 633-7559 and someone will arrange to meet them outside.

Anyone filing documents will be able to use the outdoor drop box, or call for outside pickup.

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