Jackson County plans to reopen county courthouses on Monday. With one notable exception – marriage licenses – services should be available both in Independence and downtown Kansas City.


There will be changes because of COVID-19 concerns: Visitors and employees have to wear face masks, visitors will get a temperature check when they come in, hand sanitizer will be available, floor decals will indicate where to stand, and people are asked to practice social distancing, including gatherings of no more than 10 people. Personal protective equipment is being stockpiled for staff.


One of the key services lost in the last few weeks of shutdown is marriage licenses. As of Monday, those will be available only at the Recorder’s Office at the Truman Courthouse on the Independence Square.


“We’ve had a big clamor for marriage license,” County Administrator Troy Schulte told county legislators this week.


Many county employees will continue to work from home to reduce the number of people in offices and because many are at high risk or have underlying health conditions.


“Although May 18 is our date we’re going to start, we may not be fully operational,” Schulte said, adding that the county was still looking for such things as devices to scan temperatures.


He said the message to residents is this: Bear with us.


“Even though we’re going to open May 18, we’re not going to open like it was business as usual.” he said. “It will probably be this way for at least 90 days, probably six months, maybe for the rest of the year.”


He added, “We should have capacity at every courthouse for all the current functions. The only one we won’t have dual capacity for is the recorder” – with those functions all in Independence for the time being.


The county also says parks, including the marinas and the Fred Arbanas Golf Course, will reopen Saturday. A face mask and social distancing are required at all county park facilities, the county says.


The county also says recording and marriage information is at www.jacksongov.org/267/Recorder-of-Deeds. Those with additional questions can call 816-881-3191. Walk-in recordings or copy requests should be mailed to: Truman Courthouse, Recorder of Deeds Department, 112 W. Lexington, Suite 30, Independence, Missouri 64050.