Butler County court canceled after judge returns from coronavirus diagnosis

Judge Charles Pater. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Judge Charles Pater. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

A Butler County Common Pleas Court docket was canceled this week after the judge returned to work following his recovery from the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Judge Charles Pater’s courtroom on the court wing’s fourth floor is usually busy with a full slate of cases to be called. But this week court was canceled.

Pater said he previously tested positive for the virus and had mild systems.

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Pater said he followed CDC guidelines and was able to return to work safely on Monday. However, there were concerns from attorneys and others about guidelines that would have to be followed by family members if they were in contact with the recovered judge.

“Out of caution, I just canceled the docket,” Pater said.

The judge has been working this week and expects his regular docket to resume next week.

Since March, the county’s common pleas division has take added precautions, including masks being mandatory in the hallways and a camera that take the temperature of all who enter at the security check point. During the lockdown, many cases were put on hold or moved through phone conferences. Trials are now held in a special courtroom fitted for coronavirus safety.

Wayne Gilkison, court administrator, said the only recent change in court procedure is the cancellation of Pater’s Tuesday docket due to a health issue.

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