Ontario Superior Court of Justice halts jury selection for upcoming trials

Richland County Judicial Center restricts access after possible coronavirus exposure

Richland County Judicial Center restricts access after possible coronavirus exposure

It's unlikely that there will be any jury trials in the Santa Barbara County Superior Courts in the near future, as the criminal-justice system seeks to protect its participants from the novel coronavirus.

The District Court says the public may continue to use Court services in accordance with the order while following all applicable public health guidelines.

"Our court is attempting to do its part in containing the virus affecting our country", said Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood.

The Ministry of the Attorney General has developed a plan to deal with COVID-19 in the province's court system, but for now, they are keeping courtrooms open.

Courts will reopen on Monday, March 16.

Those who do not have representation should come to court to ask to have their case adjourned.

"When he was being processed right outside our courtroom to get sent down to the jail, he disclosed that he had exposure to someone who self-quarantined and had had extensive contact with this individual who has been in Italy within the last week and a half", Judge Rosie Speedlin Gonzalez told local ABC affiliate KSAT.

The order provides some built-in exceptions for family and friends appearing for weddings and adoption proceedings, as well as media.

Europe Becomes Epicentre of COVID-19 Pandemic - WHO Chief
The definition of a pandemic also means that the Black Death , or bubonic plague, probably deserves the label. Simply put, when any disease spreads in a region and infects its residents it is categorised as an epidemic.

These guidelines also include travel limitations and public interaction, especially for those who are most at risk for complications from COVID-19, such as older adults and those with serious chronic medical conditions.

"Jury trials now in progress will continue, unless the judge orders otherwise". It does allow for some hearings that would typically occur in person to be held over the phone.

Please ensure that all parties are copied on e-mails requesting adjournments.

"Depending on the extent of delays, we'll measure whether or not this becomes a constitutional crisis", Neary said, noting that jury trials were suspended for two weeks during Superstorm Sandy. Cases will automatically take their place in the next session.

The court will keep its online docket updated with schedule changes.

Those include arraignments, juvenile matters, warrants, domestic-violence orders and emergency protective orders, he said.

Court Offices - including High Court offices dealing with probate of wills and wards of court - will remain open and function as normal.

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