State and federal courts resume in-person jury trials with COVID guidelines


(WTNH)– Showing up for jury duty is our civic responsibility, but let’s face it, not many people are rushing to get to the head of that line—especially during a pandemic.

Trial by jury–15 months ago– this process came to a screeching halt due to COVID-19. In-person jury trials start today in both State and Federal courts.

Attorney Tara Knight says caution will be a top priority.

“For example, coverings over microphones, witnesses will stand with face shields, not masks because it is important for jurors to be able to look at witnesses, in order to assess their credibility,” said Tara Knight, Attorney, Knight & Cerritelli Managing Partner

There will also be deep cleaning and Jurors will deliberate in areas that provide social distancing.

This statement by the chief court administror help put the wheels of justin in motion. It says in part:

Now, with the virtual elimination of pandemic-related public health restrictions by the (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and prevention and the Governor…the time has come for us to restore the essential and fundamental component of our system of justice – the right to a trial by jury.”

Judge Patrick L. Carroll 111, Chief Court Administrator

So, what type of push back are they hearing as a result of jury trials resuming?

“There is concern that excuses might be made, that jurors don’t want to come in because of COVID,” attorney Tara Knight said. “Attorneys are very happy that jury trials are resuming, especially in the civil realm. Where a lot of civil cases aren’t settling—they are backlogged.”

If you receive a summons to report to juror duty, you’re still expected to respond, despite us being in a pandemic.

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