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Fourth Judicial District to resume jury trials in El Paso County

Monday, June 15, 2020

DENVER – After seeking approval from Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats, Fourth Judicial District Chief Judge William Bain announced today that jury trials will resume on a limited basis in El Paso County the week of July 6, 2020.

“Trial by jury is the cornerstone of our judicial system, and there is no way to fairly and effectively effect justice without it,” Chief Judge Bain said. “With the thoughtful planning we have put in place in consultation with our local health experts, I am confident we can conduct these trials in a safe and efficient manner for everyone involved.”

Chief Judge Bain called upon the expertise of El Paso County Department of Health Deputy Director Dr. Leon Kelly (M.D.) to assist in the development of a plan to safely conduct jury trials in the El Paso County Courthouse. That plan, along with a request for a waiver from the Chief Justice’s order suspending jury calls until July 6, was then forwarded to Chief Justice Coats for consideration whereupon he gave his approval.

If you receive a jury summons and have a vulnerability for COVID-19, have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or have been in direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within14 days of your scheduled jury service, the Court asks that you contact the jury commissioner to reschedule your jury service.

Attorneys, court staff, defendants, jurors, media, public, victims and witnesses for these trials will be required to wear masks. The judge will spend approximately 30 to 45 minutes conducting the initial introduction and jury qualification process. The judge will not be required to wear a mask during this process, as long as he or she is at least six feet away from everyone else in the courtroom.

From their tables, the attorneys will conduct questions of the jury panel. The judge and attorneys will use a microphone to amplify their voices. Before each person’s use of the microphone, a new piece of plastic wrap will be placed over it. Social distancing measures will also be implemented throughout the courthouse and courtroom.

The Fourth Judicial District is the first judicial district in Colorado to seek and receive approval from the Colorado Supreme Court to resume jury trials.

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