Criminal Division to expand operations

by Jamison Koehler on August 30, 2021
DC Superior Court front

The Criminal Division of D.C. Superior Court will expand in-person operations beginning on Tuesday, September 7.  

At a virtual “townhall” meeting with the Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association (SCTLA), Criminal Division Presiding and Deputy Presiding Judges Juliet McKenna and Danya Dayson described the difficult balancing decisions facing the Criminal Division in light of the pandemic.  

The Division would like to continue to do as many things as possible remotely. 

After all, it does not make sense for a defendant to take off work or arrange childcare, take two or three buses, wait in line and then in court, only to stand next to his/her lawyer as the parties agree on another court date.  Minor matters can be handled just as efficiently by phone or video.  

At the same time, there are some instances – trials and show cause hearings, for example — in which the defendant in a criminal case needs to be standing next to his/her lawyer.  

MISDEMEANOR/COMMUNITY COURT CASES

The default position with respect to misdemeanor defendants on release is that, except for detention hearings, trials, and cases in which the courts orders otherwise, they are to appear remotely.  If they appear remotely, so too can the prosecutor and defense attorney.

Citation arraignments

Arraignments for people who were released after arrest with notice to return to court will continue to be held remotely.

Login information for participation by video is as follows:

https://dccourts.webex.com/meet/ctb313
https://dccourts.gov/citationus
https://dccourts.gov/citationoag

Phone:  202-860-2110, Meeting ID # 129 311 6590

In citation arraignment cases in which the parties enter into some type of diversion program (a deferred prosecution agreement, for example), the cases will remain on this calendar, with diversion “end date” hearings scheduled for Mondays and Fridays.  The case would only be sent to the appropriate community court calendar in cases of non-compliance.

Cases in which trial is set or in which the defendant requests to appear in person will be transferred to the appropriate community court calendar for a status or trial readiness hearing:

Initial status hearings

Initial status hearings set prior to November 1, 2021 will proceed remotely in the Misdemeanor Initial Status Hearing (MISD) courtroom:

Video login:  https://dccourts.webex.com/meet/ctbMISD
Phone:  202-860-2110, meeting ID 179 694 1147

All other detained and non-detained cases will proceed either remotely or in-person:

Courtroom 112-R:  1D (Judge Smith)
Video login:  https://dccourts.webex.com/meet/ctb112
Phone:  202-860-2110, meeting ID 129 912 7159

Courtroom 314-R:  2D/4D (Judge Pittman)
Video login:  https://dccourts.webex.com/meet/ctb314
Phone:  202-860-2110, meeting ID 179 694 1147

Courtroom 218-R:  3D/5D (Judge Wellner)
Video login:  https://dccourts.webex.com/meet/ctb218
Phone:  202-860-2110, meeting ID 129 515 6417

Courtroom 116-R:  6D/7D –M/T/W (Judges Fisher/Nooter)
Video login:  https://dccourts.webex.com/meet/ctb314
Phone:  202-860-2110, meeting ID 179 896 0679

Courtroom 310-R:  DC OAG Calendar (Magistrate Judge)
Video login:  https://dccourts.webex.com/meet/ctb310
Phone:  202-860-2110, meeting ID 129 966 2646

Courtroom 316-R:  DC OAG M/T/W (Magistrate Judge)
Video login:  https://dccourts.webex.com/meet/ctb316
Phone:  202-860-2110, meeting ID 129 547 9121

Mental health court

Cases approved for and seeking admission to mental health court will be scheduled in Room 111-R on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Drug court

Cases approved for and seeking admission into drug court will be set at 2:00 pm in Room 111-R on Wednesdays.

FELONY CASES

As with misdemeanor cases, defendants in felony cases who are on release are encouraged to participate in routine hearings remotely unless otherwise ordered by the court.  Preliminary hearings, motion hearings and trial will continue to be in person.  All detained defendants will be brought over from the jail to appear in person. 

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