JASPER COUNTY — Judges John D. Potter of the Jasper Circuit Court and Russell D. Bailey of the Jasper Superior Court along with Clerk of the Courts, Kara Fishburn, announce temporarily enacted court procedures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while still remaining open to serve Jasper County citizens.
The Indiana Supreme Court directed trial courts on March 16 to create and to implement a plan to continue and/or reschedule non-essential hearings (excluding emergency matters, domestic violence hearings, and evidentiary hearings in criminal cases). The Indiana Constitution requires all courts to be open for citizens to seek redress. On March 17, the Indiana Supreme Court approved the local plan for Jasper County courts.
Court hearings and availability will continue for persons arrested, juveniles detained or placed outside of their homes, protective orders and emergency family law proceedings for domestic violence, and other necessary matters the court deems to be an emergency.
Only attorneys, parties and witnesses under subpoena will be allowed entry to the courts on the third floor. Friends, family members and other attendees will not be permitted during the Coronavirus restrictions. No person will be admitted to the building if they have:
• Visited China, Iran, South Korea, any European Countries, or any other high-risk countries as identified by the CDC in the previous 14 days.
• Resided with or been in close contact with someone who has been in any of those countries within the previous 14 days.
• Traveled domestically within the United States where COVID-19 has sustained widespread community transmission.
• Been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital or health agency.
• Been diagnosed with or had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
Persons will be screened at the entry point to the courthouse by court security.
The courts and the clerk encourage the use of on-line and telephone resources available to the public to conduct business with the court. Many options are available.
Protective order forms are available with courthouse security when you come into the courthouse or by going to www.in.govjudiciaryhocs/2645.htnt
E--file new cases into the court by going to https://www.in.gov/judiciary/efile/tyler.html.
Pay traffic tickets, court cost and fines, probation fees and restitution online at www.govpaynow.com or by calling Gov Pay Now at 888-604-7888; the pay location code (PLC) is 6631.
For any questions, please call the Jasper County Clerk’s Office at 219-866-4926.
Marriage licenses applications will be by appointment only. Please call 219-866-4926 to schedule an appointment. You can start the application on line at www.in.gov/judiciary/2605.htm. Both of the courts and the clerk will not preform marriage ceremonies at the court or elsewhere until further notice.
Child support can also be paid locally at Casey’s, CVS, Dollar General and Wal-Mart after setting up a payment account at childsupport.in.gov/pay. Payments may be made in person at the courthouse if other options are not available. The courts and the clerk will set up a drop-box for paper pleadings at the entrance of the courthouse.
The judges and the clerk of the courts strongly encourage any person who needs to come to the courthouse for court business to phone first. The cerk can be reached at (219) 866-4926. Many questions as well as many services can be accomplished over the phone.
Filing for unemployment benefits if COVID-19 has affected your job
According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Hoosiers can file for unemployment assistance online via a computer or smartphone at www.in.gov/dwd/2334.htm. They can also call the unemployment insurance help line at 1-800-891-6449.
Due to COVID-19, Governor Eric Holcomb announced that those residents who are currently receiving benefits or who have received letters requiring them to attend a Reemployment Services Eligibility Assessment (RESEA) orientation workshop at their local WorkOne, are now exempt from doing so through April 17.
Further information about COVID-19 and updates on Unemployment Insurance for workers and employers they can visit www.unemployment.in.gov.
Several offices of the Northwest Indiana WorkOne system will be closed due to the impact of the current COVID-19 situation and as they follow compliance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State. However, individuals needing WorkOne assistance can still call their local WorkOne office, leave a message, and a staff member will return their call.
DeMotte State Bank limits business to drive-up windows
DeMOTTE — Due to heightened CDC regulations regarding limiting person to person contact, DeMotte State Bank has determined that it is best for its customers and employees to limit DSB banking business to drive-up windows only effective Thursday, March 19.
The bank’s KV Banking Center and Tysens Banking Center locations will be closed until further notice, directing all customers to utilize the DSB’s main office and Wheatfield location drive-ups.
“Our commitment is to continue to serve all DSB customers to the best of our ability during this time and always,” DSB officials said in a press release. “We thank you for your patience and understanding while we prioritize the health and wellness of our customers and employees.
“As this situation continues to evolve, we will have updates available on our website and Facebook page.”
Workforce Development urges employees to file for unemployment benefits
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development would like to assist employers, workers, and agents during this emergency.
If you are temporarily closing or reducing worker hours, please encourage your employees to file for unemployment insurance benefits. They must do this online, through a computer or smart phone. They should visit unemployment.in.gov  for Frequently Asked Questions, video tutorials, and a link to file for unemployment insurance.
If you have the means to assist your employees by allowing them to file from your business, please assist as you can. DWD does have available equipment at our WorkOne locations, but we are also practicing social distancing which creates a barrier to quickly serving large groups of workers. Any assistance you can provide in getting these important benefits to your employees while preventing the spread of this disease is greatly appreciated.
If your employees must go to a WorkOne to use a computer, please have them contact the center ahead of time as some hours of operations have been changed.