RACINE COUNTY – Racine County courts will resume conducting jury trials and follow safety protocols to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Jury trials have been suspended since March 22.
Safety practices will include facial coverings to be worn by all individuals in the courtroom (includes judges and staff), strictly enforced social distancing and prospective jurors to have their temperature taken, via a no-touch thermometer, as they enter the court building. Hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray and paper towels will be placed in a “sanitation station” set up in the courtroom.
In addition, Racine County Courts will use Memorial Hall, 72 Seventh St., as an alternative courtroom for jury assembly and selection. “Jurors are instructed to pay close attention to their notice of service, which will include an informative letter from the judiciary outlining the plan and procedures undertaken for their safety and well-being,” according to a news release.
“It is anticipated that COVID-19 related issues may be the basis for juror requests for excusal. It will be the policy of the Courts to grant reasonable excusals or deferments,” the release stated. “However, prior to granting such a request, jurors will be thoroughly advised on the precautionary practices and procedures. Jurors who are symptomatic for COVID-19 will be excused.
“Jurors will be further reminded of the importance of jury trials. Every year, there are over 150,000 jury trials in state courts. The right to a jury trial is one of the cornerstones of our democracy. It is one of the few mandatory obligations that comes with being an American citizen and is one of the principles stated in our Declaration of Independence,” the release concluded.
For further information about the Racine County Courts and jury trials, contact the Racine County Clerk of Courts office at 262-633-3333 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.