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Indiana Supreme Court suspends jury trials in Indiana because of COVID-19

Posted at 10:47 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 22:47:42-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended all jury trials in the state through March 1 because of the ongoing COVID-19 surge.

According to a report from the court, in-person jury trials pose an exceptional risk to everyone involved even if every precaution is taken.

"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," Chief Justice Loretta Rush said. "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 Supreme Court has given local courts authority to adjust operations since the beginning of the public health emergency. Among the authority has been the ability to hold remote proceedings and stream public hearings online.

The Supreme Court said in a statement limiting non-essential in-court proceedings is one way Indiana courts can avoid intensifying the pandemic's impact on communities.