With the completion of the renovation project at the Jefferson County Courthouse, the court is increasing the enforcement of rules in the courtroom.
Clerk of the District Court in Jefferson County Shawna Taylor wishes to remind people of the rules that are in place to protect people.
“These rules, which are set by the State of Nebraska, have been in place for a number of years,” said Taylor. “We’ve enforced them in the past, but when we completed the renovation we stepped up the enforcement. Really, it’s just to keep people safe while court is in session.”
During the renovation, a metal detector was installed just outside the courtroom, which is monitored by deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. No weapons of any kind are allowed in the courtroom. Also, people are not allowed to have any contact with the inmates present in the courtroom.
“It can be tempting for families to talk to other family members who are inmates, but it can cause a disruption in the court proceedings and can lead to other safety issues,” Taylor said. “There is a time and place to meet with them, but it shouldn’t be in the courtroom. That is another rule that is being enforced more heavily since they finished the renovation.”
The other rules being enforced include not being allowed to have cell phones or other electronic devices in the courtroom, not being allowed to wear hats or any other kind of headwear, and not bringing food and beverages into the courtroom. Taylor notes that there are small lockers outside the courtroom to store cell phones, but she encourages people just to leave them in their cars.
She hopes that making people more aware of the rules they will be able to make court proceedings go more smoothly.
“We are really stepping up the enforcement to help make the proceedings go more quickly and to have fewer interruptions,” Taylor said. “People can really help us out by following these rules set by the state.”