CLEVELAND — Jury trials at the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court will resume on Monday, April 26, 2021.
Trials resumed briefly in September 2020 after they had been postponed in March, 2020 due to the pandemic before the county judges voted to suspend jury trials once more as COVID-19 cases began to spike in the fall of 2020.
Judges however, continued to conduct bench trials in which a jury is not required. Hearings have also been held remotely and in person by all 34 Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judges.
The court is working with medical experts to make trials as safe as possible. The Common Pleas courtrooms have been equipped with Plexiglas partitions between jurors, attorneys and their clients and court personnel. The courtrooms are sanitized each night after daily use.
Citizens who receive a jury summons should call the court the night before they are scheduled to appear to determine if they will be needed. The number to call is (216) 698-2977. Jurors will assemble at the Global Center for Health Innovation which is across the street from the Justice Center, where there is more room for social distancing. Jurors will go through an electronic temperature scan and security and jurors will sign in and be seated in designated chairs.
Potential jurors will be escorted to the Justice Center and taken to the appropriate floor by a court staff member in a dedicated elevator. Masks are required in the Justice Center.
Once in the courtroom, potential jurors will be provided with clear face shields so that attorneys can interact with them. The judge and witnesses will also have clear shields that allow their faces to be seen.
A limited number of spectators will be permitted in the courtrooms.
On any given day, no more than five trials can begin. Backup cases will be ready should a trial settles before jurors are called into court.
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