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Ada County Courthouse goes digital to catch up on backlog of cases caused by coronavirus pandemic

The courthouse is now offering free help from their staff and computers at Expo Idaho to help people without internet at home.

BOISE, Idaho — The Ada County Courthouse has a significant backlog of court cases due to the continuing COVID-19 shutdowns. However, as restrictions ease, the courthouse is now doing what it can to get caught up on that backlog.

Idaho Fourth District Administrative Judge Melissa Moody explained to KTVB on Tuesday that judges, staff, and county clerks are working long hours to get back on track.

“We will continue to have extremely long days for the months to come, in addition, we will also be holding court on some Saturdays throughout the summer,” she said. “So there are lots of efforts to catch up with our overly burdened court dockets in light of the coronavirus.”

Ada County is now encouraging people to attend their court dates from the comfort of their homes, as all scheduled hearings have moved online.

“If you have a smartphone if you have a laptop, and if you have the ability to use those, you have the ability to attend court from your couch,” Moody said.

The county also has staff working at Expo Idaho, where computers are available for people who do not have an online connection at home.

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“Maybe they don’t have a smartphone, they don’t have a laptop, or they don’t know how Zoom works,” Moody said. “For people that need that kind of assistance, the remote facility at Expo Idaho is there to help.”

The county does require everyone to wear face masks at Expo Idaho, to be 20 minutes early, and to leave any children at home.

In addition to the services offered at Expo Idaho, the Ada County Courthouse has a trailer outside the court where people can file pleadings.

“If you have a court hearing in the next two weeks, call the trial court administrator’s office,” Moody said. “You can get some instruction so you can get set up to either attend from your house or Expo Idaho.”

The Ada County Courthouse currently has four digital courtrooms for criminal trials.

All criminal jury trials have been postponed until August 3.

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