COURT UPDATE – Order
This Order is issued to update our standing orders with respect to community service, fines/fees, and jail during the Covid‐19 Emergency. For the purpose of this order, the Covid‐19 Emergency period is defined as the period from March 14, 2020 until June 1, 2020.
1 -This order supplements but does not replace Standing Order No. 10‐5, issued March 29, 2020.
The court’s operations continue to be governed by the Administrative Order issued by the Utah Supreme Court on March 21, 2020, as well as the Utah State Court’s Pandemic Influenza Response Plan, the Utah State Court’s Continuity of Operations Plan, and this court’s Continuity of Operations Plan.
1. Community Service in lieu of Fees/Fines. Several of our traditional providers of community service hours are not in operation and/or not able to take new volunteers during the Covid‐19 Emergency. However, a number of new Covid‐19‐related opportunities are in operation and in need of volunteers. In order to better support the community’s Covid‐19 response, the court will give all Defendants the option of submitting community service hours in lieu of fine/fee payments during the Covid‐19 Emergency, and will give Defendants credits toward their fines/fees for the hours they spend helping to alleviate the impact of this national emergency on our community.
1 -The period may be adjusted in subsequent orders. The benefits listed in this order only apply only to Defendants who have already been sentenced and/or Defendants who plead guilty during the Covid‐19 Emergency. The benefits described in this order will end as soon as the emergency period ends on June 1, 2020. Further, any Defendant must submit documentation within 90 days of the end of the emergency period to make use of any of the benefits described in this order.
Here is a partial list of these opportunities:
- Coronavirus.utah.gov. Any of the volunteer opportunities available on the State of Utah’s Covid‐19 specific website. See https://coronavirus.utah.gov/help/.
- Mutual Aid. Any of the opportunities with the mutual aid organizations. See, e.g.:
- Health Care Volunteers: Any of the healthcare volunteer opportunities. See https://userve.utah.gov/healthcare‐volunteers/. The following are especially needed:
i. MD/DO, PA,
ii. NP, RN, LPN, CNA,
iii. Paramedic, AEMT, EMT,
iv. Pharmacist, Pharmacy Technician,
v. Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
- Personal Protective Equipment Volunteers. Any of the opportunities to make masks, face shields, PPEs, and/or other critical supplies needed by the Covid‐19 response. See, e.g., https://projectprotect.health/#/.
- Volunteer with Shelter the Homeless. See https://homelessutah.org/volunteer/.
- Volunteer with the American Red Cross. The Red Cross has an urgent need for volunteers, including opportunities to serve from home. See
All of our requirements regarding the documentation and validation of these hours still apply during the Covid‐19 Emergency. A sample documentation form is attached as Exhibit A. Defendants are free to seek‐out other volunteer opportunities, but are encouraged to contact the court before starting their project to confirm that the hours will qualify for community service credit.
2. Fines/Fees in lieu of Community Service. Some Defendants may be unable to complete community service hours as ordered because they lack access to the above opportunities. During the Covid‐19 Emergency, the court will give all Defendants the option of converting their community service obligations to court payments at the rate of $10/hour.
3. Charitable Donations in lieu of Fines/Fees. Organizations serving Salt Lake City’s most vulnerable populations are in need of monetary donations to fund their Covid‐19 emergency relief efforts. During the Covid‐19 Emergency, the court will give all Defendants a dollar‐for-dollar credit toward their fines/fees if they submit documentation of charitable donations to one of the following two organizations:
- The Salt Lake Education Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund. Online donations can be made at: https://www.saltlakeeducationfoundation.org/. To be eligible, the donation must be earmarked for the “Emergency Relief Fund.”
- The Shelter the Homeless Fund. Online donations can be made at:
These credits will only be available if the donation is made to one of the above two organizations during the Covid‐19 Emergency, i.e., between March 14, 2020, and June 1, 2020.
4. Jail. Our prior orders have continued the self‐report dates for all Defendants who were previously sentenced to jail. We have received several requests from Defendants who want to serve their sentences now so they can re‐enter the workplace as soon as the Covid‐19 restrictions on the economy are lifted. In light of the extraordinary nature of this emergency—as well as the documentation of several Covid‐19 cases at Salt Lake County jails—the court will liberally allow Defendants to serve these jail sentences—even on DUI cases—via remote monitoring programs. This rule will apply to Defendants who have already pleaded guilty as well as to those who plead guilty during the ongoing Covid‐19 emergency.
5. Public Access to Court Hearings During Covid‐19 Emergency. Our court calendars are publicly available. https://www.utcourts.gov/cal/Just_SALT_LAKE_CITY_1867_Calendar.pdf. Members of the public who would like to access any virtual hearings are directed to contact the court no later than 24 hours prior to a hearing so that the court can arrange for them to access a hearing remotely.
All directives, proclamations, and orders may be amended at any time. The court will respond to such amendments as quickly as possible. In the meantime, the court encourages all of its partners and patrons to follow its social media accounts to obtain the latest news regarding the operations of the court during the pandemic:
- twitter.com/saltlakejustice (aka @saltlakejustice)
STANDING ORDER REGARDING COVID-19
Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Services (also known as CJS)
If you have been referred to CJS by the court, please call, Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Services Pretrial to schedule an appointment at:
385-468-3478 or 385-468-3572.
CJS office is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. All scheduled appointments will be conducted by telephone, to initiate supervision with Pretrial Services. Please be aware your intake appointment can take 60 – 90 minutes.
Citations for Salt Lake City Justice Court instructions have been modified due to the COVID-19 Pandemic as follows:
WARNING! FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY RESULT IN A WARRANT BEING ISSUED FOR YOUR ARREST AND/OR THE SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVING PRIVILEGE.
Contact the Salt Lake City Justice Court within 7 business days at email@example.com for a criminal case and firstname.lastname@example.org for a traffic case to schedule a court hearing. IF you do not have access to the internet, call the Court between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Mon – Fri at (801) 535-6300. Regularly check the court website at https://www.slc.gov/courts/ for updated information and an online chat option.
Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, court dates will be scheduled out far later than usual. If you wish to discuss a remote resolution of your case with the Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s Office, contact them at DA-SLCJusticeCourt@slco.org or (385) 468-7900. To speak with a defense attorney, call (801) 532-5444 and ask for the Misdemeanor Attorney of the Day.
LINKS TO FIND INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19
- Coronavirus and Utah (Utah Department of Health)
- General virus information (Centers for Disease Control and -Prevention)
- COVID information (Salt Lake County Health)
- Utah State Courts – Alerts
STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people that are sick
- Stay home if you are sick (take care of personal matters via email or phone).
- Put a distance between yourself and other people.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect.