Jury trials resume this week in 9th District courts | PostIndependent.com

Jury trials resume this week in 9th District courts

Jury trials are set to resume this week in 9th Judicial District courtrooms in Garfield, Pitkin and Rio Blanco counties after a near year-long suspension due to COVID-19 precautions.

Jury selection has already begun in a criminal trial that’s slated to begin this week, and jury summonses went out last week for another trial that’s set for early May. Other trials are slated for additional April dates, according to the 9th Judicial District website.

Trials are set to resume in both district and county courts in the three counties that make up the judicial district, according to a Friday press release.

“Except for a brief period in the late summer and fall of 2020, jury trials have been suspended over the course of the pandemic by orders from former Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats and 9th Judicial District Chief Judge James Boyd,” according to the release.

Now, with the increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly to the most-vulnerable populations, and improved metrics to monitor disease spread, courts officials said they feel comfortable proceeding with trials — many of which have been delayed for several months.

“Chief Judge Boyd has adopted a jury trial plan in consultation with public health officials, other judges and judicial districts throughout the state, court staff, attorneys, and others,” according to the release. “The plan involves a limit on the number of trials that may proceed at any one time in a courthouse, health screening for arriving participants including jurors, social distancing, a mask requirement, and other appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all participants.”

View the plan, including COVID-19 protocols:

2021_02_Amended Jury Trial Plan During Pandemic.pdf

The 9th Judicial District includes five courthouses to which jurors may be summoned for a trial.

Those with questions about potential jury service should contact the jury commissioner for each courthouse, by visiting https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/District/Jury.cfm?District_ID=9.

The courts will continue to utilize WebEx for hearings and other routine court appearances.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@postindpendent.com

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