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Muskegon government buildings reopen for in person services for first time since March

Two government buildings reopened to the public Monday with mask and social distancing requirements to keep the public safe.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — The general public can once again enter the Muskegon County Hall of Justice and Muskegon City Hall.

Both municipal buildings reopened to the public Monday, July 6.

"We're finally are able to open to the public," said Muskegon County Circuit Court Administrator Sandra Vanderhyde.

But to enter the Michael Kobza Hall of Justice, 990 Terrace St. visitors must first pass a health screening and have their temperature checked.

The courthouse closed in March due to the coronavirus. The reopening plan for circuit and district courts around the state fall under guidance issued by the Michigan Supreme Court. 

By reopening the courts in Muskegon County have reached phase three of the Michigan Supreme Courts's four phase plan for courts to return to full capacity of operations

"We have had a 42-day downward trend of positive COVID-19 cases in Muskegon County," Vanderhyde said. "We plan on being in phase three for quite some time."

Inside visitors will notice the number of seats available in hallways and courtrooms has been reduced.

Signs remind visitors of social distancing rules, and hand sanitizer stations are in place on every floor. 

Posted at the entrances to elevators are signs asking visitors to limit the number of passengers on an elevator to two at a time.

Vanderhyde says courts in Muskegon County will still work to conduct as many hearings as possible virtually. In-person court proceedings will be allowed on a limited basis based on capacity restrictions to ensure social distancing.

Masks are required to enter the hall of justice. 

Court officials will continuously monitor local COVID-19 data and adjust plans related to staffing and public access to court facilities as needed. 

General Court Business from July 6 to July 24 is from 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday with the Muskegon County Hall of Justice closed Fridays.

Starting July 27, the courthouse will be open during the same hours on Fridays.

On the first floor of the county building staff at the Muskegon County Clerks office are working through the lunch hour in an effort to serve community members in need of vital records like birth certificates, marriage licenses, and Concealed Pistol License (CPL).  

"The key right now is that it's not going to be business as it use to be," said Muskegon County Clerk Nancy Waters. "We have a backlog because we shut down in March."

Muskegon City Hall is also open for in person services this week for the following tasks: 

  • Beach parking passes
  • Water/sewer bills
  • Property tax payments
  • Income tax payments
  • Voter registration
  • Absentee ballots
  • Police records

The limited hours are this week only Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Mask and social distancing requirements are also in place at Muskegon City Hall.

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