11th Circuit suspends in-person jury trials, pivots to remote platforms
Citing the latest COVID-19 surge, 11th Circuit Chief Judge Nushin G. Sayfie has suspended in-person jury trials and hearings for two weeks.
“The suspension was enacted in consideration of the current high rate of COVID-19 community transmission in Miami-Dade County, as well as the advice of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists who regularly consult with the Miami-Dade Courts,” according to a court statement.
Court officials stressed that the September 3-17 suspension affects only in-person jury trials and in-person hearings.
“All other court matters that may take place remotely on the Zoom platform will continue as scheduled,” the statement said.
The statement refers questions about individual cases to the administrative judge of each division. It urges readers to refer to the court website, www.jud11.flcourts.org and social media @miamidadecourts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
According to the latest statistics, Florida reported 10,162 new COVID-19 cases on September 6, and no new deaths. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed 46,973 lives in Florida and the state has recently been averaging more than 340 deaths per day.
The Supreme Court has given Florida’s chief judges the authority to respond to changing health conditions, and in recent weeks, some circuits have issued similar temporary suspensions. In a June 4 administrative order, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady encouraged the use of remote court proceedings.
The order states that “each chief judge of a judicial circuit should take all necessary steps to support the remote conduct of other trial court proceedings with the use of technology in accordance with this administrative order and other applicable standards and guidance as may be adopted by the Chief Justice or supreme court.”