Both criminal and civil jury trials may resume across Idaho starting on March 1, 2021, as long as courts follow certain conditions and limitations ordered by the Idaho Supreme Court in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The order also allows impaneling new grand juries subject to the same conditions.
The Idaho Supreme Court ordered a halt to jury trials late last year due to worsening spread of the virus, the related health and safety risks posed by ordering juries, case parties and court staff into close proximity with each other, and concerns over the impact on health care providers and systems.
The recent order relies on COVID-19 incidence rate standards established in two of the Court’s related orders in September 2020.
Per the most recent order, the courts will prioritize jury trials for criminal cases, starting with those in which a defendant is incarcerated.
Civil jury trials will be prioritized after those.
Jury trials must follow safety protocols the Court detailed in a separate order July 24, 2020. This order states that jury proceedings can still be postponed if the administrative district judge for the relevant court determines local COVID-19 incidence rates meet certain thresholds laid out in today’s order — or that other circumstances exist that pose a substantial increase in the health or safety risks to jury trial participants.