As precautions and restrictions are tightened at the Madison County Circuit Court due to the COVID-19 pandemic, three associate judges got creative so couples could still wed on March 20.
Associate Judges Maureen Schuette, Veronica Armouti, and Barry Julian decided at the last minute to conduct the wedding ceremonies outside in the courtyard between the courthouse and the administration building in order to comply with social-distancing instructions.
Chief Judge Bill Mudge said 12 weddings had been scheduled that day but was unsure how many ceremonies were performed.
In a March 18 press release, Mudge said marriages and civil unions that had been scheduled would be accommodated, but no new ceremonies will be scheduled through April 30. Additionally, couples were encouraged to limit the number of people attending the ceremony and were advised not to include anyone who was feeling ill.
Precautions at the Third Judicial Circuit, which includes Madison and Bond Counties, have been tightened over the past week to address the changing circumstances of the COVID-19 emergency.
All jury and non-jury trials in civil, criminal and traffic divisions are postponed for 30 days.
Additionally, all arbitration, mediation, foreclosure matters and any hearings or trials associated with those dockets are also postponed.
All plenary and emergency orders of protection and plenary and emergency civil stalking no-contact orders are extended for 30 days. However, parties may seek emergency relief from those orders upon filing a motion with the assigned judge. Hearings will be heard by the presiding judge at his or her discretion and conducted remotely via telephone, video or other electronic means.