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Ky. Supreme Court postpones all jury trials as COVID-19 cases surge

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 12:29 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Supreme Court has issued new mandates for state court operations as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Kentucky.

Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said in an email to court personnel Friday that it is imperative to restrict court activities now to protect the public and court staff from exposure.

“As I’ve said many times over the last few months, one of our guiding truths has been the involuntary nature of most court proceedings,” he said. “People can choose whether to eat at a restaurant or go shopping, but in most instances they don’t get to choose whether they go to court. We have a responsibility to do all we can to keep people from being exposed to a potentially fatal virus.”

To address the surging cases, the Supreme Court has amended two orders to limit in-person proceedings and restrict access to judicial facilities.

The new orders adopt as mandates many of the recommendations announced on Oct. 29, 2020, as counties began moving into the red zone. These including the following:

  • Limiting entrance to judicial facilities.
  • Requiring remote hearings in all proceedings, except as specified in Administrative Order 2020-71.
  • Postponing all jury trials until Feb. 1, 2021.
  • Requiring grand juries to either be conducted remotely or suspended.
  • Postponing all show cause dockets until Feb. 1, 2021.
  • Requiring judicial sales to be conducted either remotely or outside and in accordance with CDC guidelines.

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