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Maricopa County Superior Court announces jury trials resuming

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Superior Court announced Monday that jury trials have resumed after weeks on hold because of coronavirus.

Jury trials were allowed to recommence Monday, Maricopa Superior Court Presiding Judge Joseph C. Welty ordered.

The trials were initially suspended in March due to the coronavirus, a stoppage that lasted until June 15. At that point, they were allowed again on a limited basis with increased health protocols.

When COVID-19 cases and ICU bed usage spiked in Arizona throughout June and into July, the court reversed course. On July 9, all new jury trials were suspended.

That order to suspend cases, signed by Welty, expired July 31.

Courts will continue with health protocols enacted during the June resumption of jury trials, which includes symptom screenings, temperature checks and mask mandates in the courtroom, limited elevator and juror bus capacity, and plexiglass installed in courtrooms.

The number of jurors summoned will also be limited.

The Jury Advisory Committee has created an electronic prescreen questionnaires for jurors to complete prior to the day of jury duty.

For those who request hardship absences in the questionnaire, the court will rule whether the juror will get an excused absence, if the appearance can be rescheduled or if the juror is to report on the assigned day.

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