Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Suspending Jury Trials

a gavel and scales
The court is collaborating with county Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Office and MetroHealth Medical Center to address the potential of COVID-19 in the jail. [Zolnierek / Shutterstock.com]

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court is suspending jury trials for the next month amid coronavirus concerns.

Both civil and criminal trials are on hold unless a person’s right to a speedy trial is at stake, according to a press release from the court. The suspension will be re-evaluated at the division’s April 8 meeting, according to the release.

The Common Pleas Court judges will also conduct pre-trials by phone or video conference during that period. Citizens summoned for jury duty may not need to report in person, the release said. A phone number will be provided March 16 for jurors to call and check if the need to go to the court.

The court is collaborating with the county prosecutor’s office, sheriff’s office and MetroHealth Medical Center to address the potential of COVID-19 in the jail and develop a plan. Details are still under discussion. More information will be available on the county court website.

The decision comes amid multiple other closures and cancellations around the region, including suspension of some events at public libraries and shifts to remote classes at multiple colleges. The Cleveland International Film Festival and St. Patrick's Day Parade have also been canceled, along with multiple other arts events. State and local officials are monitoring the number of coronavirus cases and continue to test those at risk of developing COVID-19.

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