After putting a hold on seeing people in-person at the Tulsa County Courthouse because of COVID-19, judges can now resume in-person hearings in the courtroom.
"We have to at least try to provide an opportunity for the wheels of justice to turn for people," said Tulsa County court administrator Vicki Cox.
Cox said video hearings are still the preferred method, but judges can conduct in-person hearings if they say it's necessary. She said they are requiring masks and physical distancing in the courthouse.
"Our stress here has mostly been trying to figure out the best way that we can to make operations run smoothly and make people feel like they aren't at too much risk being in the building," Cox said.
Cox said for now, only defendants and their legal teams are allowed in the courtrooms, meaning you cannot have any friends or family with you as support.
She said judges are also working on finding larger venues, like the Cox Business Center to host cases.
"They are working on some things like that that may help us resolve a larger number of cases at once under limited circumstances," Cox said.
Cox said the pandemic has changed the way the court operates, but they are working hard to give people a full opportunity for justice.
"We may see thousands of litigants here in the building, every month, every week as a matter of course, but to each of those litigants, their case is their whole life," Cox said.
Cox said jury trials are set to begin at the courthouse on February 1.