1. STATUS QUO UNTIL APRIL 5, 2021
In the interest of the safety of court staff, court users and the public, trial court departments shall maintain the current level of court business and Departmental Standing Orders shall remain status quo until April 5, 2021. Managers shall staff court offices in teams with a cap of no more than 50% of staff working in a court department or office at any time. In the event a court department or office within a court department is not able to conduct the business described in the Departmental Standing Order while maintaining the 50% staffing cap the manager of the court department shall contact the Chief Justice of the Department, the Commissioner of Probation, the Director of Security or Director of Facilities, as applicable, who may waive the 50% cap, if the situation warrants.
2. JURY TRIALS
Phase 1 of the resumption of jury trials will begin on a limited basis on January 11, 2021, for six-person juries at designated locations that will follow protective practices for health and safety.
3. INVENTORY, CATEGORIZE & PRIORITIZE CASES
Each department and court division conducting jury trials shall initiate a “jury readiness inventory” to determine the number of cases awaiting a jury trial. Departmental Chief Justices with courts conducting jury trials shall develop a departmental protocol to determine each court’s “jury readiness inventory.” This process shall include screening cases for possible resolution and determining “jury readiness,” including a determination that no non-trial motions are outstanding. Any case that is determined to be ready for jury trial, with no pre-trial motions outstanding, shall be scheduled for a Covid Jury Status event if the defendant is not in custody and for a Covid Jury Status Custody event if the defendant is in custody, on a future date(s) as determined by each court department.
Each Departmental Chief Justice with courts conducting jury trials shall develop a “jury trial priority plan” to inform their court departments which cases shall be prioritized for jury trial once jury trial dates become available. Once the jury trial dates become available, court departments shall schedule jury trials for Covid Jury Trial and Covid Jury Trial Custody events in a manner consistent with the departmental “jury trial priority plan.”
4. REMOTE WORKING TRAINING
Register Pamela Casey O’Brien will develop a remote training curriculum which will be presented via Zoom to Registers, Recorder of the Land Court, Clerks, Clerk Magistrates and Assistant Clerks and Chief Probation Officers to assist them in improving remote operations.
5. FTR RECORDING OPTIONS
JISD will explore with FTR simplified options for recording court hearings.