INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — After a months-long break forced by the coronavirus pandemic, felony jury trials are set to resume in Marion County, home to Indianapolis and the state's largest county court system.
Marion Superior Court officials said major felony trials will begin this week, while lower felony, misdemeanor and civil trials would resume the week of Sept. 14.
To protect jurors against the spread of COVID-19 during trials, the court said it is implementing assigned, socially distanced seating and requiring face masks. Jurors will also be provided personal hand sanitizers and sanitizer stations, as well as deep cleaning facilities.
Prospective jurors are being asked to notify the jury pool coordinator if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 30 days, are caring with someone with COVID-19 or will be self-quarantining on their summons date.
Major felony trials will take place at the Marion Superior Court Traffic Court to accommodate larger jury pools. All other trials will continue to be in the City-County Building. Prospective jurors are asked to check their jury summons to make sure they report to the correct location.
“While the Court recognizes that jury service may cause an additional burden for those called to serve during this time, the Court asks all prospective jurors to understand that the right to trial by jury is one of the cornerstones of our democracy," the court said in a news release.
County courts across the state have been slowly resuming jury trials in recent weeks. The first COVID-era trial was held last month in Lake County, The Indiana Lawyer reported.