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Jury Trials In Florida Suspended In Response To COVID-19 Outbreak

**Update: On March 24, 2020, the Florida State Supreme Court issued a new administrative order  suspending jury trials until April 17, 2020.

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Florida’s Court System has suspended jury trials until Friday, March 27.Listen to the audio version of this story.

The administrative order suspending jury trials was issued by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, March 13.

In the order, Canady wrote, a public health emergency currently exists in the Florida State Courts System that requires mitigation of its effects by adopting “social distancing” measures meant to reduce the increase in person-to-person transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

As a result of the order, grand jury proceedings, jury selection and criminal and civil jury trials will be suspended.

A proceeding that started prior to the administrative order may continue without delay if the presiding judge gets the approval from the chief judge.

According to the order, anyone with a summons for jury duty dated between Monday, March 16, 2020, and Friday, March 27 are not required to go to court.

Prospective jurors are urged to check their County’s Clerk of Courts office’s website for updates and information regarding whether to report for jury duty after March 27.

Copyright 2020 WGCU

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.