The COVID-19 pandemic has reached all of us far and wide and is changing the way we are all living our day-to-day lives. The way court proceedings operate is no different, and with new updates arriving every day, our firm is working hard to stay informed of those changes. Significant changes have been made to Maricopa County Probate Courts and how they operate.
Below we’ve compiled the most recent updates from the Maricopa County Superior Court Probate Division regarding changes made due to COVID-19:
- By March 20, 2020, nearly all probate hearings were converted to telephonic appearances.
- Mental Health case calendars have remained top priority and have stayed open. These hearings are now being held in a courtroom, rather than a hospital, in order to reduce exposure risk to the Court, staff, attorneys, witnesses, and litigants involved.
- Probate hearings are being held on a priority basis. Emergency and Temporary Guardianship/Conservatorship for adults, matters involving health care directives, and disputes over a deceased body are all urgent matters and are being prioritized.
- In order to reduce foot traffic and exposure risk, court staff are working remotely and reducing in-office hours.
- New cases and filed motions are still accepted, but due to reduced staff processing time has slowed. Remember, there is no e-Filing or other electronic filing in Probate Court. You are still able to go in-person to the Probate filing counter downtown to obtain orders and letters of appointment.
- The Probate Court is not requiring a notary for Petitions to Approve Accountings now and is accepting scanned original signatures if you cannot get a “wet” signature.
In summary, courts are working diligently to ensure they are serving the public and meeting their needs while maintaining strict social distancing protocols and the health of both court staff and the public at large.
If you’re in need of assistance with a probate matter, contact the attorneys at OWENS & PERKINS by clicking here or by calling our office at 480.630.2464 to schedule your FREE 30-minute consultation. We remain fully operational while practicing appropriate social distancing and cleaning regimes.