Chief Justice Harold Melton just announced that he will be issuing an Order that cancels all jury trials in the State until at least the middle of February.
Both Newton and Walton had been preparing for jury trials for the week of January 11th. This included regular meetings with the judges, DA's Office, defense attorneys, law enforcement, health departments, and others to ensure they would be conducted in a manner that was safe for everyone. However, the rise in numbers of positive cases of Covid-19 was on our radar and something that we were all watching closely.
Anyone that received a notice to appear or a subpoena for jury trials to begin on January 11th does not need to appear in court that day. Our offices are working to make sure everyone knows of this cancellation. Further updates will be shared when there is relevant news.
Currently, only jury trials have been cancelled. Jury trials vary greatly from other court matters because a much larger number of individuals must be summoned to the courthouse so that jury selection can be conducted. Therefore, other criminal and civil court is still moving forward with an emphasis on handling matters using video conferencing when possible.
The DA's Office will continue to be a part of this process in ensuring that the justice system can still function but does so in a safe manner. - District Attorney Randy McGinley