Idaho jury trials halted until at least January 4

The Idaho Supreme Court on Monday issued an order halting all jury trials in the state from starting until at least January 4 due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

On September 10, the state Supreme Court issued standards for the resumption of jury trials, but on November 9 found cancellations of scheduled jury trials around the state are substantially increasing as the incidence of COVID-19 cases are rapidly climbing statewide. The percentage of counties with sufficiently low incidence rates to commence jury trials has decreased from 91-percent of counties on September 10, to only five-percent of counties on November 6.

In order to address the continuing rise in the incidence of COVID-19 cases in the state, foster public safety and mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus, pursuant to Idaho Court Administrative Rule 48, no jury trial, whether criminal or civil, shall commence in Idaho state courts before January 4.

In addition, the Idaho Supreme Court strongly encourages participation in alternative dispute resolution procedures, including the use of senior judges, who can be made available without cost to the parties by the Idaho Supreme Court until December 31.