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In-person jury trials to resume in Idaho on March 1

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Posted at 8:39 AM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 11:33:33-05

BOISE, Idaho — Criminal and civil jury trials are set to resume in person in Idaho starting on March 1, as long as courts follow certain conditions ordered by the Idaho Supreme Court in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order also allows impaneled new grand juries, subject to the same conditions.

The Idaho Supreme Court ordered the jury trials to stop late last year due to the spread of the virus, health and safety risks posed by ordering juries, case parties and court staff in close proximity with each other. There were also concerns over the impact on health care providers and systems, according to a news release.

The court will prioritize jury trials for criminal cases, starting with those where a defendant is incarcerated. Civil jury trials will be prioritized after those.

Jury trials must follow safety protocols and jury proceedings can be postponed if the administrative district judge for the relevant court determines local COVID-19 incidence rates meet certain thresholds. Trials may also be postponed if other circumstances exist that pose a substantial increase in the health or safety risks to jury trial participants, according to the release.