Our Team prides itself on being Trial Lawyers who fight for the victims of personal injury. We file and litigate a lot of cases because under most circumstances that is the only way to be treated fairly by and insurance company. When an insurance company sees our name on the other side, they know that we will file a lawsuit and go to a jury trial if we must. However, COVID 19 has other plans for Jury Trials in the State of Indiana.
In a recent statement, the Indiana Supreme Court, speaking through Chief Justice Loretta Rush, suspended jury trials in the state until March to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This was a continuance of a similar order that prevented jury trials from occurring until early January. However, the dates differed, as, up until this point, the Indiana Supreme Court had allowed lower courts to make decisions to limit the spread, such as allowing pre-trial proceedings to occur online and to allow for the streaming online of any public meetings.
Chief Justice Rush, in her statement, discussed the fact that these proceedings, if held in person, would only prolong the emergency we are facing right now as a state and as a nation. Rush, in her statement, also noted that even when proper protocol is observed, the chances that those in the courtroom could be exposed to COVID-19 are still high. Because this is an issue, the Chief Justice stated that in-person proceedings must further be suspended, and this time the Indiana Supreme Court did not leave it up to the lower courts. In-person proceedings have been postponed until March 1, 2021.
This statement also works in conjunction with earlier rules and procedures laid out by the Supreme Court, stating that local judges have the ability to reschedule trials on a limited basis as long as it does not interfere with anyone’s right to a speedy trial, encouraged judges to work remotely as much as possible, and ensure that everyone have access to the technology necessary to conduct remote proceedings.
Prior to this order suspending all in-person trials, the Indiana Court System was following a phased approach as laid out by a guide reviewed by the Indiana Health Department and produced by the Indiana Supreme Court. This guide was an intricate step-by-step process for resuming work and following protocol during the COVID-19 crisis. This guide offered steps to the phased approach that was to be followed by Indiana Courts, and it laid out ways to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while still maintaining in person proceedings where it was safe.
These steps included implementing one-way hallways, installing plexiglass dividers where necessary, and posting signs in the workplace that discuss good hygiene. However, with the most recent order from the Indiana Supreme Court, and the progression of COVID-19 in our state, the phased approach to a return should continue in March, barring any more spikes or outbreaks in the state.
The Legal Team at Hurst Limontes LLC keeps fighting for their clients. Just because there are no Jury Trials does not mean that we cannot move these cases forward. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident Contact us at 317-636-0808. Our experienced Court Room Litigation Team is here to help.