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COVID-19 Impact on Court System

20th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Michael McHugh

On Friday, March 13 President Trump declared a National State of Emergency concerning the novel coronavirus. The following week Governor Ron DeSantis said there was evidence of potential community spread in Broward County. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued guidance recommending that gatherings of 50 people or more be cancelled or postponed for at least the next eight weeks. And we all know what’s happened since that week, and the various disruptions to daily life that we’ve gotten used to.

One of the systems that’s had to respond to social distancing in ways it’s never done before is the court system. To get a sense of how these past three months have unfolded, and what modifications have been made, and how things are proceeding as the state opens up, we’re joined by Judge Michael McHugh, Chief Judge of Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit, which includes Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.