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Several Colorado courts suspend jury trials due to COVID-19 concerns

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Posted at 11:37 PM, Jan 03, 2022

DENVER — In the last week, Colorado courts across the state have suspended jury trials due to COVID-19.

On Dec. 30, 2021, the 14th Judicial District, covering Grand, Moffat and Routt counties, suspended jury trials through Feb. 14 because of a “dramatic spike” in the positivity and incidence rates of COVID-19. The 19th Judicial District, which covers Weld County, announced the same day it would suspend trials through Jan. 28.

The following day, the 1st Judicial District, which covers Jefferson and Gilpin counties, suspended jury trial operations until Jan. 21.

By Monday, several other courts followed suit.

The chief judge for the 18th Judicial District, which covers Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties, ordered to suspend all jury trials through Jan. 28 and the court is moving to remote operations as much as possible.

The 20th Judicial District, covering Boulder County, suspended jury trials through Jan. 28, noting that the order may be amended or extended based on COVID-19 data for the county.

Jury trials will also be suspended through Jan. 28 for the 17th Judicial District, which covers Adams and Broomfield counties, though District Attorney Brian Mason said there may be some exceptions.

The chief judge for the 5th Judicial District, covering Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties, suspended their jury trials through Jan. 28 as well.

The Aurora Municipal Court also suspended jury trials. Any trials scheduled between Jan. 4 through Jan 27 will be postponed, though trials to a judge, or bench trials, will remain unchanged and all parties must appear in person as currently scheduled.

Each court that put new policies in place cited an increase in COVID-19 as the reason for the decision, including rising cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates. The state’s seven-day positivity rate was 23.99% Monday, the highest it’s ever been during the pandemic.The 2nd Judicial District, which covers Denver, has not suspended jury trials at this time.