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Press Release - Start, Stop, Resume, Repeat: When will Jury Trials Resume?

May 12, 2021

For Immediate Release

 

Contact: Zenell B. Brown, Executive Court Administrator
  (313) 224-2236
 
Subject: Start, Stop, Resume, Repeat: When will Jury Trials Resume?

 

Detroit, MI – The Pandemic has impacted court operations in many unforeseen ways; however, the greatest impact has been the start-stop cycle of jury trials. Pre-pandemic the Third Circuit Court averaged 400 jury trials each year.  Since the pandemic, the Third Circuit Court judges have conducted less than a dozen trials.  The burning frequently asked question in the legal community continues to be “When will jury trial resumes?”

 

The final answer is “It depends.” Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny consults with the local health experts, the judicial partners, and the State Court Administrative Office.  First, the Michigan Supreme Court requires the 7-day average of daily percent positive test results for the county must be 10 percent or less; and that the 7-day average of number of cases per day, per million people in the county, must be 70 cases per million or less. (If a county has a daily 7-day average of fewer than 20 cases, the criteria of 70 cases per million or less may not apply, depending on county population.) As of May 1, 2021, the 7-day average of the daily percent of positive cases for Wayne County was 9.9%. However, the 7-day average of the number of cases per day, per million people for Wayne County, was 266. (These figures do not include the report for the City of Detroit.)

 The good news is that the numbers are on a downward decline.  Based upon the Health Department’s advice and projections, the Court is anticipating that it will be safe to resume jury trials July 19, 2021. The 7-day average of daily percent of positive cases per day and the 7-day average number of cases per million should be at or below the required levels.  July 19, 2021 is the target date for jury trials to resume in Third Circuit Court

Chief Judge Kenny will continue to consult with the local health experts, the judicial partners, and the State Court Administrative Office to ensure a safe resumption of jury trials. When jury trials resume, judges, court staff, attorneys, judicial partners, witnesses, and jurors will be subject to the local




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