COVID forces Marion County to halt all jury trials until end of January

The Marion Circuit and Superior Courts are suspending all jury trials until the end of January because of the ongoing surge in COVID-19 illnesses, with nearly 100 court personnel testing positive for the coronavirus.

The executive committee of the courts issued an executive order Thursday, continuing all jury trials until after Jan. 28. Starting Jan. 31 and running through Feb. 11, the court will resume jury trials with a phased-in approach.

About 90 vaccinated and unvaccinated court staff have tested positive for the coronavirus since Jan. 3, according to the Marion Courts’ order. Given the number of positive tests coupled with the level of positivity in Marion County, the court determined an emergency continues to exist.

As a result, jury trials are suspended to protect the health and safety of the public. So long as the numbers continue to improve, the courts anticipate returning to regular operations on Feb. 14.

Other courts around the state are adjusting their operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Allen Superior Court has halted all jury trials at least until Feb. 14. Also, earlier in January, Madison and Lake counties suspended jury trials.

The Indiana State Health Department reported 16,502 new COVID cases as of Jan. 18, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. Currently, every county in the state is red, which means every county has a seven-day positive rate for all tests of 15% or more.

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