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Posted on: June 18, 2021

COVID-19 Safety Restrictions Lifted at Polk Courthouses

red, pink, and blue digital rendering of COVID-19 virus

As of June 21, COVID-19 safety restrictions are lifted in all of the offices of Stacy M. Butterfield, Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller. This includes the offices in the Bartow, Lakeland, and Northeast (Winter Haven) courthouses. 

Social distancing and masks are no longer required in all spaces, including in-person court proceedings and jury. Individuals who wish to wear a mask and socially distance may continue to do so.

Some court proceedings will transition to in-person proceedings. However, virtual hearings may continue to occur. Court attendees must check their court notice for instructions. 

Physical and virtual courtroom locations are available the day of a hearing via the Clerk’s online Find My Courtroom service. The information is not displayed online in advance. Attendees may contact the office at 863-534-4000 if the information is needed before the court date. 

Interested parties can also register to receive text and/or email notices about upcoming court dates through the e-Notify link on the Clerk’s website. 

The administrative order issued by Judge Ellen Masters, chief judge of Florida’s 10th Judicial Circuit, is available at www.jud10.flcourts.org/. It provides full details about these changes.

Along with this, appointments are no longer necessary for marriage licenses and new passport applications.

As a reminder, the Clerk’s office closes at 4:30 p.m., including the Official Records Department.

“Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady recently lifted COVID-19 safety restrictions citing improved health measures, increased vaccination rates, and official health guidance,” said Clerk Butterfield. “I remain committed to ensuring that we serve our customers safely and believe we can continue to do so with these restrictions removed. The pandemic was an extremely challenging situation, but we were able to make significant technological advancements despite the challenges. We launched many online services that will remain in place, making access to my office easier than ever.”

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