The preliminary hearings for Lori Vallow and her husband, Chad Daybell, will happen in-person. The hearing for Chad Daybell is scheduled for August 10 and 11. Vallow is planned for August 3 and 4.
The Idaho Supreme Court did rule that all court proceedings are to be held remotely on April 22, 2020. The order states that a "presiding judge may, in the exercise of discretion and after making findings on the record, determine that proceeding must be held in-person because of the court's needs or to prevent undue prejudice to a party."
According to court filings, the defendant has the right to be present during the preliminary hearing and has a right to confront and cross-examine witnesses in person.
The courtroom where the hearings will happen is large enough to provide the required social distancing of everyone in attendance. Plexiglass has been installed along the bench and the witness stand to protect the health of hearing participants.
The court has issued an Order Governing Courtroom Conduct, dated July 8, 2020, for the preliminary hearing and future hearings to provide safety and public access measures. The Administrative District Judge issued an Administrative Order Governing Courthouse Conduct, dated July 7, 2020, that also aims to provide safety and public access measures.
Both filings were signed by Magistrate Judge Faren Eddins, who presided over Vallow's and Daybell's initial hearings.