Oct. 15, 2020

By Valerie Hartman

Every citizen has a right to access the Courts and courthouses for redress of their disputes.

Today, protesters gathered at the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City demanding a suspension of all landlord tenant cases. As part of that protest, many protesters attempted to deny access to the courts and deny access to the courthouse by chaining themselves to and temporarily shutting the west entrance into the courthouse. Although entry to the courthouse was available through the north entrance, the protesters’ actions temporarily closed the point of ADA access to the courthouse.

In addition to attempting to block access to the courthouse, several protesters also attempted to disrupt and interfere with court dockets and hearings by pretending to be litigants when they were not in fact parties to on-going cases, and by continuously talking and shouting over the Judge, litigants, and attorneys. Notwithstanding these actions which were ultimately unsuccessful, court dockets proceeded, and the rights of the litigants were protected.

The Court, as the Judicial branch of government, does not create laws, statutes or policy. The Executive branch of government (embodied by the President or the Governor) and Legislative branch of government (Congress or Missouri Legislature) create laws, statutes and policy. The Court has been and will continue to enforce and follow existing laws, including long standing landlord tenant laws, rules and procedures. The Court has been and will continue to act in compliance with the recent Order issued by the CDC.

The Executive and Legislative branches of government can change existing laws, statutes, procedures or policies. If the Executive and/or Legislative branches of government decide to change existing laws, statutes, procedures, or policies, the Court will enforce and give effect to those new laws, statutes, procedures, or policies.