Wayne County Circuit Court to resume jury trials in March

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
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Jury trials will resume in Wayne County Circuit Court in three months, officials said this week, setting a timetable for the gradual end of restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After consulting with officials with the Wayne County Health Department, the court announced it will slowly resume jury and bench trials as well as evidentiary hearings and other in-person proceedings on a "limited basis."

Judge Timothy Kenny of Wayne County Circuit Court

Evidentiary and other in-person hearings will resume the week of Feb. 16. Jury trials will resume March 15, a year after the court first adjourned  all civil proceedings and delayed some criminal and juvenile cases in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Jury trials and some in-person proceedings had resume in September but were suspended in September due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Last month, the court suspended jury trials and other in-person proceedings until January. Despite creating a safety plan that included health screening and installing plex-shield barriers in courtrooms, court officials have halted in-person matters such as jury trials, bench trials and evidentiary hearings.

“As the numbers are on an upward spiral, it is clear that it would not be safe to continue jury trials, bench trials, and evidentiary hearings at this time,” Chief Judge Timothy Kenny said in a press release last month.

 Kenny told The News earlier this year that "hundreds" of hearings and other matters had been adjourned because of the public closure and adjournments of trials created by the COVID-19 crisis.

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