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Idaho Supreme Court orders new COVID-19 safety measures in courts

Idaho Supreme Court orders new COVID-19 safety measures in courts

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Idaho Supreme Court

This June 8, 2017, file photo shows the Idaho Supreme Court building in Boise.

BOISE — The Idaho Supreme Court ordered a number of new COVID-19 courtroom precautions across the state that will take effect Monday.

The order cited the current surge in cases and the harm it has done to the state’s health care system, according to a State of Idaho Judicial Branch press release.

The order issued Wednesday supersedes an emergency order issued by the court on June 25. The elements including returning to holding most court hearings online with exceptions that includes all trials on a petition to terminate parental rights and all felony sentence hearings.

Courts must provide a publicly accessible livestream when the public cannot be physically present in the courtroom for a proceeding that is traditionally open to the public.

New jury trials cannot begin between Sept. 27 and Dec. 6 and no new grand juries can be impaneled during that time. Existing trials or grand juries may be allowed to continue.

Anyone in a public building space used for court business must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth and maintain a distance from other people who do not live in their household.

In a mixed-use building with court and non-court operations, anyone entering a courtroom, clerk’s office or counter area or other spaces used for court business must also follow the above rules.

The order allows for the discretion of local administrative judges to take further steps to protect public safety and health.

The order noted that in most Idaho counties jury trial were already temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 cases.

The order and previous COVID-19 emergency judicial orders can be viewed online at isc.idaho.gov on the homepage.

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