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Chief Justice Asks Local Courts To Limit Jail Crowding, Evictions

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LIESL BONNEAU
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Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor is sending a message to all local courts and jails to do what they can to try and reduce the number of people behind bars as the state fights the spread of coronavirus.

O'Connor is calling on local courts to only stay open for emergency and time-sensitive issues. She wants them to temporarily stop most evictions and foreclosure proceedings and release people from jail who are at high risk of contracting the virus.

O'Connor says it's important that local courts still have the ability to make their own decisions.

"They have to have the flexibility that if someone has to be removed through the eviction process because they're a domestic violence perpetrator that should be allowable on a local court's judgement."

O'Connor is also asking courts to put off warrants for non-violent offenses and is making $4 million in grants available for video conferencing equipment for local courts.