New order from the Indiana Supreme Court temporarily suspends jury trials due to pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS– A new order handed down Monday by the Indiana Supreme Court suspended statewide jury trials until March 1, 2021.

Citing the need for drastic measures as COVID-19 continues to surge, the Court said even with precautions, in-person jury trials pose an exceptional risk to everyone involved.

“We have hope that 2021 will bring improved conditions. But hoping is not enough. There is more we must do, and we must act now,” said Chief Justice Loretta Rush.

“Since March, we have been balancing the requirement to keep courts open with the need for public health. The worsening pandemic creates urgency for us to halt jury trials as we maintain all other court operations, including through remote proceedings.”

The Indiana Supreme Court gave local courts the authority to adjust operations since the beginning of the public health emergency, according to an order issued on November 10, including holding remote proceedings and streaming public hearings online.

The Court said more than 6,000 Hoosiers have died from the virus, and Indiana has the fourth highest daily cases per 100,000 residents in the nation.

By limiting non-essential in-court proceedings, Indiana courts can avoid intensifying the pandemic’s impact on our communities. For more information about the judicial branch response to the coronavirus can be found at Courts.In.Gov/covid.

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