The Tennessee Supreme Court has issued an order to suspend jury trials from Nov. 23 through Jan. 31, 2020, in response to the rise of COVID-19 cases throughout the state and nation.
According to a Nov. 17 news release, this suspension will impact all jury trials unless an exemption is granted by the Chief Justice.
Jury trials were previously suspended from March 13-July 3, and in March the court declared a state of emergency for the judicial branch.
"In response to the increased number of COVID-19 cases in the state, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an Order today designed to protect all of the participants in the judicial system and the public at large while keeping the courts open and accessible to carry out essential constitutional functions and time-sensitive proceedings," the news release reads.
The order also directs judicial districts to revisit and strictly adhere to their previously approved reopening plans, noting that the court’s July 9 Order mandating face coverings for all persons who enter the courthouse for court-related business is still in full effect.
The order also encourages the use of other tools to help combat the ongoing pandemic, such as video conferences, and prohibits anyone with COVID-19 from participating in an in-person proceeding.