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The Jury’s Still Out: Trials Could Resume in L.A. County in as Soon as 2 Weeks

Published on Friday, June 26, 2020 | 5:25 pm
 

After a three-month break in jury trials, Los Angeles County residents may be summoned to jury once again as soon as July 13, although plans remain fluid as authorities monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The majority of California’s trial courts have either begun reopening, or will begin the process in the coming weeks as the county and the state continue lifting COVID-19 restrictions, according to Blaine Corren, a spokeswoman for the Judicial Branch of California.

L.A. County Superior Court officials have announced that jury service will remain suspended for at least two more weeks.

“Please be advised that jury service is cancelled for all jurors scheduled to serve now through July 10, 2020,” court officials said in a written statement. “Jurors scheduled for service this time period should not report for jury service and do not need to take further action including registering for jury service or checking reporting instructions.”

Since July 10 is a Friday, the next potential court business day will be the following Monday, June 13.

But the potential for an additional delay remains, depending on the course the novel coronavirus takes in the days and weeks ahead, court officials said.

Additional details were to be posted on the L.A. County Superior Court website once available, and those with questions were advised to contact the court at 213-972-0970 during the regular business hours listed on their summonses.

Meanwhile, court officials at the state level were working to help mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on justice and make sure that when courts do reopen, they do so as safely as possible..

The Judicial Council’s Trial Court Facility Modification Advisory Committee set aside $5 million in funds to reimburse local courts for the installation of social distancing measures, Corren said in a written statement.

“In addition, a council working group of 23 volunteer judges and court executives released a 75-page resource guide to help the state’s trial courts with their pandemic continuity of operations, including jury service,” she said. “The guide provides a range of considerations and approaches courts can draw from based on capacity and local health and safety regulations.”

Measures such as aggressive cleaning, social distancing and screening for those with symptoms are being employed.

L.A. County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile signed an order on June 5 mandating the wearing of face coverings in all 38 county courthouses.

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