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Press Release Courts Extend Start Date for Jury Trials to January 11, 2021

For immediate release:
11/20/2020
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Executive Office of the Trial Court
  • Massachusetts Court System
  • Office of Jury Commissioner

Media Contact for Courts Extend Start Date for Jury Trials to January 11, 2021

Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago

BOSTON, MAIn response to the current situation in the Commonwealth with respect to COVID-19 and the expectation of rising infections during the holiday period, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) and the Trial Court announce further postponement of the resumption of jury trials. It is anticipated that Phase 1 of the plan previously approved in the SJC order of September 17, 2020, and scheduled to begin the week of November 30, 2020, now will commence the week of January 11, 2021.

Phase 1 calls for initially conducting a limited number of jury trials, with six-person juries, in a designated number of courthouses, and is expected to last for two months. The Trial Court will complete its preparations for Phase 1 over the coming weeks so that the required comprehensive protocols that address the health and safety of jurors and other trial participants will be in place in all courthouses that are identified for Phase 1 jury trials. The Trial Court also is identifying and securing jury trial locations in those counties that do not have courthouses suitable for conducting jury trials during the pandemic.

Court leaders continue to seek to balance the critical right to trial by jury with health and safety concerns of trial participants. The Office of Jury Commissioner will cancel jurors summoned for dates before the new resumption date and trials currently scheduled will be rescheduled. Courts will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in the Commonwealth.

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Media Contact for Courts Extend Start Date for Jury Trials to January 11, 2021

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court 

The Supreme Judicial Court is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court.

Executive Office of the Trial Court 

The Executive Office of the Trial Court facilitates communication and enables joint leadership of the Trial Court by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Court Administrator.

Massachusetts Court System 

The Massachusetts court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the 7 Trial Court departments, the Massachusetts Probation Service, and the Office of Jury Commissioner.

Office of Jury Commissioner 

The OJC provides randomly selected pools of jurors, representative of the communities from which they are drawn, to each of the state's Trial Jury and Grand Jury courts.
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