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Jury trials in Idaho delayed until 2021 amid rising COVID-19 cases

The Idaho Supreme Court issued a new statewide order on Monday. It applies to criminal and civil cases.

BOISE, Idaho — Due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases across the state, jury trials in Idaho have been put on hold until Jan. 4, 2021.

The Idaho Supreme Court issued this latest order on Monday. It applies to both criminal and civil cases.

On Sept. 10, the state high court issued an order allowing jury trials to start again when their counties met the new case threshold.                        

Since that order was issued, data supplied by the state shows the incidence rate of COVID-19 cases has increased from Sept. 13 to Nov. 8 by 335 percent. The average week over week increased by 21 percent. The moving average incidence rate statewide is trending upward.

Since the recording of statewide case counts in Idaho began on March 13, there have been only nine days with case counts over 1,000. All nine days have occurred since Oct. 23.

The new order says the courts must protect public safety while mitigating against the spread of the coronavirus. It also recognizes that substantial resources are expended to hold jury trials. It reads in part:

“Pursuant to Idaho Court Administrative Rule 48, no jury trial, whether criminal or civil, shall commence in Idaho state courts before January 4,2021. This order shall not otherwise effect any deadlines in any existing pretrial orders.”

The Idaho Supreme Court previously suspended all trials in March.