LOS ANGELES – The presiding judge of Los Angeles County’s court system announced Friday that jury trials in criminal cases will not resume until August as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jury trials — which have been on hold in Los Angeles County since March 17 — are now set to begin resuming Aug. 10, according to the court.
“Throughout this unprecedented public health crisis, the court has implemented measures designed to protect the public it serves while safeguarding the rights of all participants in court proceedings,” Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile said in a statement released late Friday afternoon. ‘The court continues to evaluate this balance as the novel coronavirus contagion rate in Los Angeles County increases and public health authorities provide more guidance about how to slow its spread.
The Los Angeles court system got approval from California’s Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye to issue the latest emergency order, which also requires everyone to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth while they are in a courthouse and limits access to proceedings to those who can be accommodated in courtrooms while enforcing social distancing.
The order allows people whose disabilities preclude them from wearing a mask to seek an exemption under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Court officials said requests for such exemptions should be directed in advance to the ADA liaison at each courthouse, with a list of the court liaisons available at its website at www.lacourt.org/ada/adahome.aspx.
Brazile ordered the courts to substantially scale back operations in mid-March to comply with state and county public health directives to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.