Submitted by San Juan County
If you have business at the San Juan County Courthouse, please STOP before you go inside the building! Many county departments now have drop boxes just outside the courthouse doors.
Because of the COVID-19 public health crisis, the county courthouse is only open for essential business, and several county departments have closed their physical doors to the public. The Auditor’s Office, Treasurer’s Office, and Assessor’s Office have closed their walk-up public counters in order to reduce transmission of the virus. (Appointments are available for some transactions.) Other departments, such as the County Clerk’s Office and District Court Office, still have walk-up services available for essential business but are requiring most business to be done online or by mail.
Walking up to a counter to hand documents to county employees puts both you and the employee at risk of exposure. To reduce the risk, the county has installed drop boxes, pictured below, so that you can drop off your paperwork or payments without coming within 6 feet of another person.
Even better, while the courthouse building is only open from 8 am to 5 pm, the drop boxes are available at any time of day or night.
“We wanted to make it easy for folks to access these drop boxes, even if some departments are working on shortened hours,” said Greg Sawyer, facilities manager for the courthouse. “So, we put them on the outside of the building. It’s also safer that way – if you come inside the building, there are lots of door handles, stair railings, and other surfaces you might be touching, and that increases your risk of exposure.”
The drop boxes are located near the Sheriff’s Office, just outside the Second Street entrance to the main courthouse lobby. Each box is labeled by department. Use them as you would use a mailbox: put your paperwork in a clearly labeled envelope before you deposit it, with your return address in the corner. If you need to drop off a money payment, please use a check or money order – don’t deposit cash.
What if you don’t know which dropbox to use? When in doubt, call the department. Each department’s phone number is listed on its dropbox.
Along with staying home, washing hands, and wearing masks, using drop boxes instead of in-person contact at the courthouse is one more preventative step in the fight against community spread of the novel coronavirus.
For more information on how to conduct business at the courthouse, and for contact information for county government departments, visit https://www.sanjuanco.com/1687/Department-Service-Status.