Jury trials suspended in California’s Central District due to coronavirus, including Santa Clarita

Jury trials have been suspended for three weeks in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, which covers the Santa Clarita area, due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

The Central District of California announced Monday that all jury trials in its jurisdiction should be suspended until Jan. 24 due to the “alarming” increase in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant.

“Given the increased rate of transmission of COVID-19 in the Central District of California due to the Omicron variant, conducting jury trials would expose court personnel, attorneys, parties, and potential jurors to a undue risk,” said Kiry Gray, director of the district court. and clerk of the Court for the Central District of California.

According to the announcement, courthouses in the Central District have recently faced an increase in coronavirus cases, which means jury trials could put those who work in courthouses at risk of contracting the virus.

“As a result, a temporary stay of jury trials is necessary to protect public health and safety, as well as to ensure the continued performance of the Court’s essential functions and operations,” Gray said.

Anyone entering Central District courthouses will need to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s masking guidelines.

“The temporary suspension of jury trials may be extended if necessary,” Gray said. “The Court continues to monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide updates regarding the Court’s operations as adjustments are made.”

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