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Ingham Circuit and Probate Courts extend suspension of in-person jury trials until May 17

(WCAX)
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 4:04 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Judge Richard J. Garcia, Chief Judge of the 30th Circuit Court and the Ingham County Probate Court, issued an order on March 18, 2021.

The order extended the suspension of in-person jury trials in the two courts until May 17, 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The 30th Circuit Court and Ingham County Probate Court are both located at the Veterans Memorial Courthouse at 313 W. Kalamazoo Street in Lansing. The Mason Historical Courthouse is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As a result of the pandemic, jury trials have not been conducted in the circuit or probate court since August 2020.

However, the order does not prevent a jury trial. Jury trials can be conducted through remote means based on standards that Michigan Supreme Court has issued.

Supreme Court’s guidelines for allowing in-person jury trials:

  • Determine that there is a seven-day average in the county of less than 70 COVID-19 cases per million per day less than a 10-percent positivity rate in diagnostic tests
  • Once these minimal criteria are met, the Chief Judge must determine whether in-person jury trials would create an excessive risk to public health

Judge Garcia’s March 18 order indicates that the county continues to exceed the minimal standards for cases per million per day and total cases per day. The order finds that since these basic standards are not met, in-person jury trials will be suspended.

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