Updated Southern District order extends pandemic jury trial delays

A new general order from the Southern Indiana District Court in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues jury trials until at least May 29 and enables jury staff to deter service for certain categories of jurors through June 30.

The latest order, signed Monday by Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, acknowledges the health risks posed by the coronavirus are too substantial to resume normal court operations.

In addition to continuing all jury trials, the order also provides an exclusion to the Speedy Trial Act pursuant to 18 U.S.C. section 3161(h)(7)(A). It finds that a continuance serving the ends of justice and protecting the public health outweighs the interest of the public and the defendant to a speedy trial.

Under the order, jury administrators shall temporarily excuse any potential juror who may have COVID-19, is a high risk of infection or is caring for someone who has symptoms of the illness. Also, healthcare professionals who are essential to the care and treatment of COVID-19 patients shall be excused from jury service.

The court also canceled all court-officiated naturalization ceremonies at least through May 29. For anyone who qualifies for citizenship, the court will arrange for naturalization of that individual by a judicial officer.

The Court has created a COVID-19 response page on its website that contains all orders, press releases, and other information regarding Court operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any orders and information pertinent to Bankruptcy Court matters, including meetings of creditors, can be viewed on that court’s website.

Click here for prior COVID-19 information regarding federal and state courts and the legal community in Indiana.

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