King County, WA Issues Guidelines for Resumption of Civil Jury Trials
The King County Superior Court Clerk’s Office has issued an alert detailing the impending resumption of Civil Jury Trials. The notice reads as follows:
KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT CLERK’S OFFICE
ISSUED BY: Barbara Miner, Director and Superior Court Clerk
ISSUE DATE: August 11, 2020
ISSUE NO: 20-029
Notice Regarding the Resumption of Civil Jury Trials
King County Superior Court will hold civil jury trials at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center starting this month. This additional courtroom space enables physical distancing at the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, and is central to the Court’s response to COVID-19. Jurors, litigants, and staff assigned to trials at Meydenbauer Center will receive a guide with more information.
Expanded courtroom space is among the ways King County Superior Court has dramatically remade the administration of jury trials in response to the health risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every stage of the trial process, from how jurors are selected for a trial to where jurors perform their deliberations, has been reviewed.
For example, jurors will no longer report to Court locations in large jury group assemblies. Instead, prior to reporting for service, jurors will be contacted by the trial judge to complete an online orientation and any case-specific questionnaires. Most jurors will participate in jury selection via a video platform such as Zoom. Once a jury is selected, they will report in person for trial.
Facial coverings are required and masks are provided to those without them. Courtrooms have been configured for social distancing. Trials will be on staggered schedules to minimize building occupancy. Signage will direct safe use of stairways and elevators. Ventilation systems at all Superior Court locations have been reviewed and, where indicated, enhanced.
For more information on King County Superior Court’s COVID-19 response, please see https://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/superior-court.aspx
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