The Idaho Supreme Court has issued clarifications to the types of court proceedings that can be held in person as courts seek to protect public health and safety amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the changes:

All felony sentencing hearings in which the defendant could be sentenced to life in prison (and the assigned judge has not agreed to impose a sentence of less than life) shall be held in person with the defendant and counsel present in the courtroom.

Other felony sentencing hearings can now be held remotely, but only if the parties stipulate to such a process and the defendant knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waives their right under law to hear their judgment in person.

Treatment court proceedings may be held in person at the discretion of the assigned judge.

Hearings regarding a petition for an ex parte temporary protection order may be held in person at the discretion of the assigned judge.

The Court’s Wednesday order amends part of a previous emergency order the Court issued Sept. 22. Its changes are effective immediately.

The order (and all previous COVID-19 judicial emergency orders) can be viewed by visiting isc.idaho.gov and selecting “State Judicial Emergency Orders Regarding COVID-19” on the home page.

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