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Jury trials suspended across state of Florida through April 17

Posted at 6:03 PM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 18:05:01-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Chief Justice Charles Canady of the Florida Supreme Court has issued a new order suspending jury trials statewide through April 17.

The Chief Justice issued the order on Tuesday.

“We are all facing an unprecedented challenge,” Canady said in a video address. “The pandemic is now affecting everyone. We are living our lives in a way that none of us would have contemplated a few short weeks ago. And none of us can count on things getting easier any time soon. We face many tough choices on the path ahead of us.

The new order also extends an earlier suspension of speedy trial rules and related court procedures and directs all state courts to cancel or postpone court proceedings other than essential and critical ones.

It also orders other measures designed to reduce the need for in-person contact in court proceedings as much as possible, including suspending some notarization requirements.

“The pandemic presents an extraordinary challenge for the legal system. We depend on human interaction to achieve justice under the law," said Canady. "We are working to maintain that interaction while also minimizing the spread of the virus. I am confident that the courts, the legal profession, and all of our partners are up to the task.”

The Chief Justice may choose extend or change emergency orders in the weeks ahead as needed to address the changing landscape of the COVID-19 emergency.

Canady’s video and all other Florida court COVID emergency orders and advisories are being linked on one webpage as they are reported on a statewide basis: