In compliance with the Missouri Supreme Court’s Administrative Order 1791 dated March 22, 2020, the Office of State Courts Administrator’s “Statement on The Courts and the Coronavirus” and Governor Mike Parson’s March 13, Executive Order 20-02 declaring a state of emergency in Missouri, the 42nd Judicial Circuit Court, including Dent County, Crawford County, Iron County, Reynolds County, Wayne County, and any municipality contained therein, is modifying court operations in the interest of public health.

The plan outlined below will not impact any litigant’s liberty interests or due process rights.

Simultaneously, it will eliminate the inevitable close social contact found in high-volume courts.

In support of the world-wide effort to aggressively prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting social contact, the court is taking the following actions:

• All cases considered to be non-essential in preserving a litigant’s liberty interests or due process rights starting March 17 through April 17 will be postponed to a later date. As the April 17 date approaches, the Court will evaluate whether the current policy should be continued.

• The judge presiding over each case shall determine if a case is considered to be essential to preserving a litigant’s liberty interest or due process rights. If a litigant has access to the internet, please go to and click on With either the litigant’s name or a case number you will be able to see if the judge presiding over the case has continued the matter. If you do not have access to the internet, please contact Dent County Circuit Clerk, (573) 29-3931.

• New court dates for continued cases will be mailed to litigants or emailed to their attorneys at the address on file. If unrepresented litigants have a pending case, those litigants must keep their addresses updated with the court. To update your address, call the Circuit Clerk.

• Victims and witnesses should contact the prosecutor’s office for information.

For more information, contact the Presiding Circuit Judge’s Office at (573) 729-6816.

Assessor’s office is open, call first for appointment

In effort to protect the public and employees from contact with COVID-19 virus, the assessor’s office will be open by phone only, said Jamie Homeyer, Dent County Assessor. If you need a replacement assessment form, call the office, (573) 729-6010, and one will be mailed to you.

Your completed assessment form can be mailed to our office: Dent County Assessor, 400 N Main, Salem, MO 65560; or you can drop it in the silver-metal payment drop box located in front of the courthouse.

Penalty for late assessments are waived through April 30, 2020.

If you need a waiver to license a vehicle handle by phone and fax with the license office.

Kelsaw’s docket for March 26 rescheduled

All cases docketed for Thursday, March 26, before Judge Nathan Kelsaw are hereby rescheduled for April 23, at 9 a.m. except for the following types of cases:

• Cases set for preliminary hearing where the Defendant is currently incarcerated in the Dent County Jail

• Cases set for 48 hour and 7-day confinement hearings

• any other case determined by Judge Kelsaw to be a proceeding necessary to protect the Constitutional rights of the defendant.