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U.S. District Court Issues New General Order Regarding Court Operations - IndyBar News

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Posted on: May 12, 2020

Following a May 7, 2020, meeting of the district judges, the Honorable Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, today issued a General Order that supersedes previous General Orders issued in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and specifically within the Southern District of Indiana.

Please read the General Order for specific details. This order continues jury trials through and including at least July 20, 2020; provides enhanced administrative authority for Jury staff to defer service for certain categories of jurors through August 24, 2020; provides for excludable time pursuant to the Speedy Trial Act upon particularized findings; and cancels naturalization ceremonies through and including at least June 15, 2020.

It is important to note that the Court continues to perform many of its essential functions during the unprecedented conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In cooperation with the detention facilities that house the Southern District of Indiana's pre-trial criminal defendants, the Court conducts initial appearance hearings and detention hearings via video teleconference technology with the same timeliness it would during normal operations. Defendants who wish to do so may also have plea and sentencing hearings conducted via video teleconference. Judges are conducting an array of civil proceedings remotely as well, including settlement conferences and discovery conferences. Court staff continue to docket filings, process incoming mail, and tend to the myriad other daily duties of the Court.

Limitations on operations do not affect the supervision of defendants and offenders in the community.  The U.S. Probation Office will continue its efforts to monitor and/or enforce Court-ordered conditions of release throughout the Southern District of Indiana. 

Chief Judge Stinson said, "Our judges and Court staff have worked tirelessly in our courthouses and from home to ensure that the wheels of justice continue to move. While we look forward to resuming full operations, the Court's priority remains ensuring the safety of our staff and members of the public."

The Court continues to work closely with the United States Marshals Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Indiana Federal Community Defenders, Inc., and other agencies to ensure that criminal defendants are detained or released as appropriate in each case, and that federal warrants are served as ordered by the Court.

The Court has 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.

Any orders and information pertinent to Bankruptcy Court matters, including meetings of creditors, can be viewed on that Court’s website, www.insb.uscourts.gov.

Please monitor the Court’s website, www.insd.uscourts.gov for updates.

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