State courts in Missouri will not conduct in-person hearings except for urgent matters until after May 15, the Missouri Supreme Court decided Friday.

The day after Gov. Mike Parson said the state stay-at-home order would be relaxed May 3, the court decided it would continue its current limitations on hearing past that day. Local stay-at-home orders in the Kansas City area will continue until May 15 and indefinitely in St. Louis.

The court on Friday also suspended until further notice any state or local court rule that could be interpreted to require the personal appearance of a defendant at a criminal or ordinance violation hearing or proceeding.

The courts remain open for necessary business, a release from the Supreme Court stated, but public access to courthouses is limited to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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