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Orleans Parish criminal, civil courts suspend jury trials until March over COVID-19 fears

Orleans Parish Criminal District Court announced Wednesday (Jan. 5) that it would suspend jury...
Orleans Parish Criminal District Court announced Wednesday (Jan. 5) that it would suspend jury trials through at least March 7.
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 11:28 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Orleans Parish criminal and civil district courts have suspended jury trials through early March, citing the city’s rising COVID-19 case numbers.

The Criminal District Court at Tulane Avenue and Broad Street on Wednesday (Jan. 5) suspended jury service and jury trials through March 7, according to an order issued by new Chief Judge Robin Pittman. Citizens summoned to the court for jury service should not report to the criminal courthouse before that date.

The move follows a Tuesday decision by the Orleans Parish Civil District Court to suspend jury trials at its courthouse at Loyola Avenue and Poydras Street until March 1. Chief Judge Bernadette D’Souza’s order directs jurors summoned for service at the Civil Court to visit the court’s website for additional instructions.

D’Souza’s order said additional COVID-19 restrictions are being activated at New Orleans’ First City Court and Second City Court.

Litigants and witnesses requiring accommodations because of disability or COVID-related issues are asked to call either First City Court Chief Deputy Ambrose Pratt (504-407-0401) or Second City Court Clerk Darren Lombard (504-407-0435) upon being served a summons, pleading or subpoena directing them to appear in court.

Pittman on Tuesday was appointed to a two-year term as Chief Judge at Criminal District Court, replacing Judge Karen Herman.

Herman announced she will run for the open seat on Louisiana’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, vacated Monday when Judge James McKay III retired after more than two decades on the job.

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