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Ky. Supreme Court suspends jury trials

With nearly all of the state in the red zone for COVID-19, the Kentucky Supreme Court announced a number of changes to court proceedings Friday.

The court issued two amended orders, setting out new procedures to limit public access to the physical courthouses.

The court postponed all jury trials until Feb. 1, 2021. Grand juries can continue meeting if they can do so remotely; otherwise, grand jury meetings are suspended. The 60-day period for a grand jury action in a case would be continued until the grand jury resumes.

Master commissioner property sales were also allowed to be conducted remotely. Live sales can resume after Feb. 1, 2021, unless sales can be held safely outdoors.

A separate order limits in-person access to the courthouse or court facilities to those for emergency hearings in court or those seeking emergency protection orders.

Appointments are required for driver’s licenses, road tests or anyone who needs access to a physical case file in the clerk’s office.

Other court proceedings, both civil and criminal, will be conducted remotely and scheduled through the judge’s offices.

The order also requires facial coverings in clerk’s offices and court rooms; the judge can allow a person to remove a mask in order to make a clear record if there is sufficient distance between parties.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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