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Judge suspends federal jury trials, grand jury proceedings for 30 days over coronavirus concerns

A federal judge has suspended all jury trials and grand jury proceedings for courts in the southern district of Ohio for the next 30 days out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, according to a copy of the judge’s order.
(WBNS)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge has suspended all jury trials and grand jury proceedings for courts in the southern district of Ohio for the next 30 days out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, according to a copy of the judge’s order.

Chief District Judge Algenon Marbley issued the order Thursday, a copy of which was provided to 10 Investigates.

The two-page order issued Thursday morning says “there are multiple confirmed cases of COVID-19, in response to which the Governor of the State of Ohio, Michael DeWine, has declared a state of emergency which, among other things, limits large indoor gatherings.”

The order suspends “all civil and criminal matters scheduled for jury trial” and “all grand jury proceedings” for the next 30 days in the southern district of Ohio – which affects federal courts in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton.

The judge’s order also says that case-by-case exceptions to the continuances may be ordered at the discretion of the court and that the order does not limit the court’s ability to rule on motions.

The clerk’s office(s) will remain open. Staff in the clerk’s offices will be available by telephone, mail and intake desks. Electronic filing will continue.

“The public is encouraged to continue utilizing court services while following all applicable public health guidelines.”

The order will be vacated or amended no later than April 13, 2020.