Resumption of state jury trials delayed till November

Staff Writer
Published: 10/17/2020 4:36:46 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The resumption of jury trials in state courts will not begin until at least early November, delaying an original late October start date.

The new earliest potential start date for jury trials is Nov. 9, according to a statement from Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey released Friday. The state Supreme Judicial Court in September had originally authorized Phase 1 of the state’s gradual resumption of jury trials to begin no earlier than Oct. 23. 

“We continue to review building systems to minimize any risk to jurors, court users and court staff,” Carey said in the statement. “We are following CDC guidance in terms of occupancy levels and want to take a few more weeks to prepare. This is a complicated process, given the coordination required.”

Any trials scheduled beofre Nov. 9 will be rescheduled. The Office of Jury Commissioner is canceling jurors summoned for the weeks of Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, the statement read.

Phase 1 of the state’s resumption of jury trials will limit trials to juries of six, with alternates, that will be conducted in a small number of locations with no more than one trial at a time conducted in each location, according to a September order from the SJC that had announced the original start date.

Michael Connors can be reached at 

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