New Jersey halts in-person trials, grand jury proceedings due to COVID-19 surge
Submitted by New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday suspended all in-person trials and grand jury proceedings due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The order handed down by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner is effective immediately. It’s the second time this year that the pandemic has halted in-person trials and meetings of grand juries.
“The increasing rates of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths make it impracticable and unsafe for certain in-person court events to continue at the level reached during the past few months,” the court wrote in an order.
State courts will remain open and continue to conduct virtual proceedings, such as status conferences and plea agreements, but in-person trials and grand jury proceedings are suspended indefinitely.
New Jersey on Sunday reported 4,540 new coronavirus cases, which is higher than the mid-April peak during the first wave of the pandemic. Hospitalizations due to the virus are also on the rise.
There was only one trial underway in the state on Monday, in Atlantic County. That trial will continue to its conclusion. In-person grand jury panels can switch to a virtual format, and virtual grand jury panels that have been established in all 21 counties may continue to convene, the order said.
Originally published here by northjersey.com.