Superior Court halts all jury trials

Allen Superior Court news release:

Superior Court Halts All Jury Trials Until At Least January 11
Pause will continue until Allen County no longer in COVID-19 “Red” status

(December 8, 2020) – Allen Superior Court will halt jury trials until at least January 11 due to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 infections in the community.

The pause will continue until Allen County is no longer classified as a “red” county on the Indiana State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard and Map. The color-coded map assigns counties a color based on number of weekly cases per 100,000 and their seven-day positivity rate.

“The court has gone to extraordinary steps to protect people entering its facilities, in particular those who have been called for jury duty,” said Judge Frances C. Gull, Administrative Judge of Superior Court’s Criminal Division. “But the most prudent thing we can do right now is to suspend jury trials entirely until it’s safer to ask people to come to the courthouse.”

Continuances, pleas and motions to dismiss cause the number of scheduled jury trials to change often. However, as of today (Tuesday, Dec. 8), there were approximately 40 jury trials on the Superior Court calendar through Jan. 8, 2021.

During this period, bench trials, sentencings and guilty pleas can take place as scheduled.

Counties across the state have been encouraged by the Indiana Supreme Court to suspend in person criminal and civil jury trials and to conduct as many other proceedings as possible via remote means. Allen County courts have been conducting many types of hearings by phone and by video since the beginning of the pandemic.

Starting Nov. 23, access to Court facilities was already restricted to prospective jurors, attorneys, litigants, court staff and those having business with the Clerk of the Courts.

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