Note: The following information is provided by Northampton County District Judge Alan Mege. It is shared with Saucon Source readers at his request and as a public service. Mege presides over District Court 03-2-04 at 1404 Walter St., Bethlehem (Lower Saucon Township).
There are various court orders with dates that are not consistent, and we have been receiving inquiries regarding same. Hopefully the following will clear this up:
The district court is open to the public effective as of June 1, 2020.
Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home red phase order is in effect until June 5, 2020.
In order to avoid any confusion and avoid any unnecessary worry about having to appear at a hearing despite the stay-at-home order in effect, hearings will not commence until June 5, 2020.
Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure closed the county government center until June 8, 2020, but this has no effect on the district court operation.
President Judge Michael Koury has issued an administrative order extending the judicial emergency from May 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020. This does not mean the district court is not open to the public until Oct. 1, 2020.
When you do come to the district court, there are some changes in effect.
First, by order of the court, all those entering the district court must wear a mask covering the mouth and nose. If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you should not enter the court and instead call or e-mail us.
Second, some seats have been marked that they are not to be used, so that we may maintain required distancing.
Third, a hand-sanitizing stations will be available in the lobby and courtroom.
Fourth, we will be closing our doors at 4 p.m. every day to allow time time for disinfecting via UVC lamps and sprays/wipes.
Fifth, renovations are continuing, so the newly installed conference room and ADA compliant restroom are not yet operational.
Sixth, visitors must maintain required distancing (six feet) while in the lobby and courtroom. Only designated chairs may be used.
Seventh, visitors should not come to court very early and not bring unnecessary persons.
Eighth, upon entering visitors must check in with staff. They will then be told to either sit in an available seat until their case is called or to provide their phone number and wait in their car until staff call them to advise them that their case is ready to be heard.
Ninth, visitors should not enter the courtroom until instructed to do so, as time for disinfecting is needed between cases.
Tenth, when entering the courtroom, visitors will be instructed as to seating in order to maintain distancing requirements.
Magisterial District Judge Alan R. Mege, Esq.