Updates on Options for In-Custody Appearances

From Mary Epping, Court Administrator:

Boone County In Custody Appearances

Thank you, everyone, for your patience as we’ve been working through the best options for keeping everyone safe and healthy.

At this time, we are not able to utilize “Zoom” within the Boone County jail for the criminal dockets. We do, however, have another video-conferencing program we are able to use with the jail. Attorneys wanting to appear by video would connect via a link emailed out and could then appear from any location as long as they have a camera on their device. However, this process has to be scheduled 2-3 days in advance and cannot change (no attorney could be added on) after the link is created.

Our plan, at this time, is to allow attorneys to appear in person, by phone, or video, based on their preference, and the defendants will continue to appear on video.

To appear by video:

Contact the court 3 business days prior to the hearing at 886-4069. Leave a message with your name, the case number and hearing date, and the email address we should send the invite to. Please include your phone number too, in case we need to verify something. Anyone calling less than 3 business days in advance will have to appear by phone or in person.

To appear by phone:

Please contact the court by 9 a.m. the day of the hearing at 886-4069.

Leave a message with your name, the case number and hearing date, and the phone number we should call.

Again, at this point, counsel may still choose to come in person.

We are continuing to look at procedures and will be making plans for what will happen when the court will start to hear more dockets in the future.

The court has to be cognizant of issues like confidentiality, recording hearings that have to be on the record, and ease of use.

Boone County Associate Judges’ Processes

 Preliminary hearings

The Associate Circuit Judge’s will accept written waivers of preliminary hearings and written waivers of arraignment and pleas of not guilty. In these cases, the Court will order the case placed on the trial request docket.  If no written waiver of arraignment is filed, we will set arraignment on the first Monday after the stay-at-home order expires.

Pleas of Guilty

The Associate Circuit Judges will accept written pleas of guilty with agreed upon dispositions. The form must include the recommendation, including conditions of probation where applicable, and signatures of the prosecuting attorney, the defense attorney, and the defendant. The defendant’s signature need not be notarized at this time. The Judge will continue to complete the judgment form for the clerk.  We will reference the signed plea of guilty in the defendant’s signature line on the judgment form.  We will place the completed judgment form in the Criminal Clerk box in the Judge’s office. It is the responsibility of defense counsel to send defendant a copy of the judgment form (and this will be in our docket entry). The defense attorneys should access the judgment forms from Case.net and send to their clients, as the Clerk will not be sending these out.

Admissions of Probation Violations

Where the disposition is agreed upon, the Associate Circuit Judges will accept written admissions of probation violations and will follow the recommended disposition. The format of the written admissions shall be the same as with the written guilty pleas.

Again, thank you all for working with us and being patient. We also hope everyone is taking care of themselves.




Mary Epping
Court Administrator
13th Judicial Circuit
705 E. Walnut Street, Columbia, MO 65201
Phone:  (573) 886- 4058
Fax:       (573) 886-4070