Jury trials in Marion County have resumed after months of delay due to the pandemic. With the moratorium lifted, there are new challenges facing courts.
Between illness, quarantine and child care issues, courts are experiencing an increased number of potential jurors not showing up.
Marion County Superior Court Judge Mark Stoner said his felony court is already dealing with about twice the number of open cases
“Until we can get juries up and running consistently it’s just going to continue to the backlog where people are simply just not going to be able to have access to the courts and that’s not good for anyone,” Stoner said.
Stoner said they will work with people who can’t make their summons by providing excused absences and rescheduling.
Stoner said courts have made COVID-19 changes for safety including masks, social distancing and plexiglass.
“No one is going to be crammed into a 14-person box to do jury service,” he said.
Stoner said there have been times that so few people showed they were unable to hold the trial.
Right now, the felony courts are only doing two trials a week. Beginning April 5, all criminal and civil trials will be held in the City-County Building.