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Court Announces Resumption of Jury Trials and Reopening of Clerk's Offices - IndyBar News

IndyBar News


Posted on: Feb 12, 2021

Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson announced Feb. 12 that the court anticipates the resumption of in-person jury trials in all divisions of the Southern District of Indiana on Monday, April 5, 2021. Additionally, the clerk's offices in all divisions will reopen to the public on Feb. 16, 2021.

To reduce foot traffic and ease accessibility, the court will continue to accept filings from pro se litigants via email. Information on how to do so can be found in a previous General Order. Drop boxes for filings also remain accessible at all courthouses.

Questions concerning currently scheduled trials should be directed to the courtroom deputy clerk for the assigned judge. The resumption of jury trials does not preclude a judge from continuing a jury trial for reasons related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic nor, for criminal jury trials, making the necessary findings to exclude any such delay under the Speedy Trial Act.

The clerk may temporarily excuse any person summoned for jury service upon a showing of undue hardship or extreme inconvenience, but the potential juror will be summoned again for jury service at a later date or be reinserted into the jury wheel. Until the court orders otherwise, upon a person’s written request, the clerk shall temporarily excuse for undue hardship or extreme inconvenience any potential juror who:

  • At the time of request has ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19;
  • Is in a category deemed at high risk of COVID-19 infection by the CDC or federal, state, or local public health authorities;
  • Is quarantined due to exposure to a person testing positive for COVID-19;
  • Is caring for a family member or other dependent with symptoms of COVID-19 or who has tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • Is a healthcare professional whose current employment is essential to the care and/or treatment of patients occasioned by the COVID19 pandemic.

The court is taking multiple steps to keep jurors as safe as possible, including requiring face coverings by everyone who enters the courthouse, practicing social distancing, installing plexiglass barriers where appropriate, employing enhanced cleaning procedures, requiring all visitors to answer health screening questions and self-screening of employees, and more. The court has created a frequently asked questions page for jurors on its website which includes a link to an informational video and other  specific details about what jurors can expect when reporting for jury duty.

The District  Court has also created a COVID-19 response page on its website that contains all orders, press releases, and other information regarding Court operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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