Jury trials pushed back in California as COVID-19 pandemic surges

“No new jury trial will be conducted through September 30, 2020,” California judge says

Jury trials pushed back in California as COVID-19 pandemic surges

Jury trials have been pushed back in California as the COVID-19 pandemic surges through the state.

The Northern California District Court issued a general order on Thursday which said that “the public safety will be best served by limiting the permissible in-court criminal proceedings to ten people.” As a result, Chief Judge Phyllis Hamilton said that “no new jury trial will be conducted through September 30, 2020.”

“Any jury trial currently scheduled to commence before October 1, 2020, will be postponed or vacated,” Hamilton wrote in the order.

Civil matters through 30 September will be determined on the papers, unless a judge deems a hearing to be necessary. In such cases, the proceeding will take place via telephone or videoconferencing.

“This applies to motion hearings, case management conferences, pre-trial conferences, settlement conferences, alternative dispute resolution proceedings, and bench trials,” the court said.

As an alternative, judges who do not wish to delay proceedings may conduct bench trials through videoconferencing.

For criminal cases, appearances before magistrate judges are to be made remotely via telephone or videoconference. Guilty pleas and sentences will also “be consolidated for a date after the presentence” for those who have filed to enter a plea or an open guilty plea agreement, the court said.

Courthouses and law libraries in this jurisdiction have been closed to the public. Moreover, until further notice, the court has waived the need for pro se parties to obtain permission from a judge prior to using the electronic case filing system.

Courts in Kentucky and Connecticut have halted jury trials as well, the American Bar Association Journal reported.

Free newsletter

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter service and we’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest breaking news, cutting edge opinion, and expert analysis affecting both your business and the industry as whole.

Please enter your email address below and click on Sign Up for daily newsletters from NZ Lawyer.

Recent articles & video

MinterEllisonRuddWatts moves Auckland headquarters

District Court releases isolation and quarantine protocol

Solomons appoints leader for commercial team

Legal ops expert joins BarkerGilmore’s senior advisor team

Two senior associates join Simpson Grierson

New Zealand M&A operating in ‘a bubble of modified normality,’ Chapman Tripp says

Most Read Articles

Two senior associates join Simpson Grierson

MinterEllisonRuddWatts moves Auckland headquarters

PwC Legal senior manager looks forward to universal acceptance of Black Lives Matter

Two national firms bring in barristers