Citing the “escalating danger” posed by rising COVID-19 cases in Georgia, state and local officials have once again suspended jury trials through February 2021.
According to a press release from the Northeastern Judicial Circuit Court, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton issued an indefinite prohibition on state jury trial proceedings in an order on Friday, extending the previous hold on trials that was set to run through Jan. 8, 2021.
Following Melton’s order, the Dawson and Hall County Superior Courts issued a notice that all jury trials would be cancelled through February 2021.
“While we were prepared to resume, having worked with health and county officials to implement every possible preventative protocol, the current circumstances are of grave concern,” Kathlene F. Gosselin, Chief Judge of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit stated in the release. “Jury proceedings must and will return soon, but given the still-rising case numbers and the strains already placed on our local health system, the judges are in agreement—the best course of action is to wait.”
Despite these cancelations, courts in the Northeastern Circuit will continue to conduct non-jury proceedings via videoconferencing technology, the release said.
Grand juries in the Northeastern Circuit will not be summoned until mid-February at the earliest.