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Niagara County calls public defenders back to work

Niagara County has called back 15 laid-off assistant public defenders after three weeks of furlough.

"While courts across the county will not be immediately resuming regular schedules, we want our team engaged with their clients and fully prepared to defend their rights when court proceedings resume," Public Defender Nicholas B. Robinson said.

Judges and clerks were set to return Thursday to Western New York court buildings, and the ban on electronically filing new civil cases has been lifted.

The only proceedings in recent weeks had been criminal arraignments and occasional motion arguments, all done by video. That format will continue for now.

Social distancing and face masks will be required of everyone entering court buildings. All members of the public will be screened for Covid-19 before entering.

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