Courts Nationwide Provided Guidance on Handling a Pandemic

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has published an operational guidebook for courts – Preparing for a Pandemic: An Emergency Response Benchbook and Operational Guidebook for State Court Judges and Administrators – which advises both of the legal and procedural implications of operating during a widespread health emergency.

In the wake of an outbreak of infectious disease, certain considerations need to be kept in mind by officers of the court as pertains to the Constitutional rights of citizens, such as where the lines need to be drawn in protecting public health without unduly restricting or depriving the rights of those who are, or who are possibly, infected.

In less philosophical terms, the NCSC as well provides advice regarding the daily operations of a court under such circumstances. Considerations regarding how to handle a party’s lack of appearance due to illness; a reduction in jury pools; and the possibility of class-actions undertaken by the state in order to enforce isolation and quarantine protocols against multiple individuals.

For more information, visit the NCSC’s website HERE.

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