Waukesha County courts to resume jury trials on Tuesday.

 
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Byline: Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

Jury trials will resume in Waukesha County on Tuesday with protective measures in place to minimize risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Third Judicial District Chief Judge Jennifer Dorow signed an order on Thursday authorizing jury trials to start again under the county courts' operational plan. The county first resumed other in-person proceedings on June 22.

Waukesha County courts will schedule the start of jury trials onmultiple days per weekand stagger report time for jurors to maximize the use of designated jury trial courtrooms andaccommodatesocial distancing.

In addition,anyone entering the courthousemust answer COVID-19 screening questions; wear a face mask inside the building, unless a court official says otherwise; and keep six feet apart from other people.

Dorowsaid cases have been prioritized on the right to a speedy trial, case type, input from victims and other factors.

The jury trial requirements outlined in Waukesha County's operational plan are as follows:

Trial Days

In order to maximize the use of our designated jury trial courtrooms and reduce the

backlog of jury trials, as well as accommodate the social distancing required for

jurors during the voir dire process, the Courts will schedule the start of jury trials

on multiple days per week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays) and stagger the

report time for jurors, as appropriate.

Exceptions:

If there is not a civil trial scheduled and there is a third non-custody criminal trial scheduled, the civil courtroom can be used for the noncustody criminal case.

Five day or lengthier trials can start on Monday.

Juvenile Court should only be used for six-person juvenile court type trials.

Jury Status Hearings

All jury status hearings are to be scheduled no later than the Thursday prior to thestart of the trial and if feasible the Monday prior. This will allow for the prioritizingof trials and movement of court officials to accommodate trial and court calendars.

Jury Assembly Areas

Jury Assembly Room (JAR): In order to maximize the use of the JAR, the Clerk'soffice will remove the tables in the JAR and adjacent caf on days these spaces willbe used for jury assembly purposes. The chairs will be lined up around the walland middle area of the room.

Alternate Jury Assembly Areas:

Cafeteria: Half of the cafeteria will be designated as an alternate juryassembly area when needed. For such use, the chairs will be lined up aroundthe walls and...

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