Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19

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Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19
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 Santa Barbara County Courthouse (Photo: Wikipedia)

Update by Santa Barbara County Superior Courts

Presiding Judge Michael Carrozzo met with representatives of the legal community this afternoon and urged the justice system leaders to work collaboratively to reduce the number of persons required to come to court. 

Judge Carrozzo is encouraging all judges to work with attorneys and litigants to postpone current and upcoming jury trials. Judges will consider these circumstances on a case-by-case basis.  We will be reducing the number of jurors coming to court as significantly as possible. All attorneys are asked to work together to settle as many matters as possible and reach stipulations to continue cases, where necessary. The Court will be encouraging the use of Penal Code Section 977 waivers in criminal cases permitting defendants to appear through their attorney of record.

The Court is working collaboratively with the justice partners to implement video appearances to reduce the number of in-custody defendants being transported between the jail and the courts. The use of telephonic appearances is encouraged for all parties. The court is establishing electronic filing for criminal justice partners to reduce the number of persons required to come to the clerk’s office.

The justice partners agreed to work with the presiding judges in the arraignment courtrooms throughout the county to explore further approaches to reducing the number of persons coming to the courthouses.

These efforts are in addition to measures already being taken to reduce exposure to pathogens.  Hand sanitizing dispensers have been placed throughout the courthouses and jury assembly rooms.  Janitorial staff have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning - paying particular attention to door knobs, hand railings, and work surfaces. 

Jurors who are ill are encouraged to contact the Jury Division through the online portal or by calling.  Persons paying fines are directed to pay over the phone or via the web-based payment system.  Addresses and phone numbers are available at the court’s website https://www.sbcourts.org/gi/covid19.shtm


By an edhat reader

The courts here in Santa Barbara, despite the public emergency due to the coronavirus, continue to force senior citizens to appear for jury duty.  Microphones are not being disinfected and the rooms are not well ventilated.  Meanwhile, the CDC advises those over age 60 or with underlying health conditions to avoid crowds and poorly ventilated rooms. 

When will the County of Santa Barbara cancel jury duty, especially for those more susceptible?

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a-1584059880 Mar 12, 2020 05:38 PM
Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19

From Santa Maria Times - COVID-19 highschool report hoax: "Santa Maria school officials on Wednesday said rumors of coronavirus cases, circulated in a text message on social media are a hoax.

The text message falsely stated that four cases of coronavirus were reported in Santa Barbara County, including two at Santa Maria High School, according to Santa Maria Joint Union High School District spokesman Kenny Klein. "

yuiotta Mar 12, 2020 06:03 PM
Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19

I was on the LA federal Grand Jury while living in Lompoc. I had juror friends from Solvang and San Luis Obispo. You live in the court district and will probably serve (if selected) with someone who lives further from LA than you. I stayed in a hotel in Chinatown, just uphill from Union Station. Made a killing on the flat rate per diem., I think the per diem kicked in at 150 miles. They will pay you mileage and parking.

Minibeast Mar 12, 2020 03:37 PM
Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19

One can always hope . . . But, seriously-----I served on a couple juries. It's not so bad. If **you** were on trial would you want (as your jury) only a bunch of lame-os who couldn't figure out how to get out of jury duty? Or would you want someone who felt it was their duty and privilege to serve?

a-1584059268 Mar 12, 2020 05:27 PM
Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19

Yes MTNDRIVER you are correct unfortunately, I could not delete the comment which is why I posted an UPDATE. This tweet stated it was "confirmed" today, and was shared by several including a scanner account for fires and the like and it appeared to be legit. The original lady who posted it has since removed it claiming she is bad at Twitter Management, and is getting reamed out for that rightfully so (it scared me). So EDHAT mod please delete my comment as I cannot.

a-1584059266 Mar 12, 2020 05:27 PM
Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19

Yes MTNDRIVER you are correct unfortunately, I could not delete the comment which is why I posted an UPDATE. This tweet stated it was "confirmed" today, and was shared by several including a scanner account for fires and the like and it appeared to be legit. The original lady who posted it has since removed it claiming she is bad at Twitter Management, and is getting reamed out for that rightfully so (it scared me). So EDHAT mod please delete my comment as I cannot.

Ahchooo Mar 12, 2020 02:35 PM
Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19

The first day of jury duty requires people to gather in the Jury Assembly Room. I don't know how many people are usually called at once, but I doubt you'd be able to keep a three-foot distance from each other in that room. Call the number listed on your jury summons today and see what they say. I had to call about a different issue a couple weeks ago and I reached a helpful human being quite easily.

giftedinSB Mar 12, 2020 01:52 PM
Superior Court Works to Postpone Jury Trials Due to COVID-19

I was wondering this as well because I was summoned for next week, but my guess is no. The Constitution promises the right to a fair and speedy trial, so I imagine that trials and hearings are proceeding as scheduled. If you are a senior citizen, you could bring that up as a request to be excused. If you are immunocompromised, you could mention that as well, but you should be prepared to have a doctor's note to back that up.

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