Daytona Beach, FL - The decision issued on July 9 to suspend jury trials in Volusia, Putnam, and St. Johns counties has been reversed, effective immediately.
Last week, Chief Judge James R. Clayton of the 7th Judicial Circuit Court, issued a reversal of the suspension:
Effective immediately, in accordance with AOSC 21-17 and AOZ 2021-029, jury trials are authorized in all counties of the Seventh Judicial Circuit. The stated intent of these Orders is to “keep the courts operating to the fullest extent consistent with public safety.” Given the rise in positivity rates last week, I paused jury trials for the week of July 12, 2021, in order to evaluate our current safety protocols. This decision was also guided by the understanding that previous versions of the Administrative Orders governing Covid protocols mandated actions be taken based on positivity rates. No such mandates exist in AOSC 21-17. Further, AOSC 21-17 provides for the phased reimplementation of the speedy trial procedures effective October 4, 2021, and provides for no extension based on the suspension of jury trials due to positivity rates.
I have consulted local health officials and other chief judges and determined AOZ 2021-029 provides the necessary protocols to provide for the safety of litigants, jurors, and court personnel, and no further suspension of jury trials is warranted. I ask that all of you continue to be vigilant in addressing public safety and call to my attention any concerns you identify in our efforts to keep the courts operating. Thank you – Judge Clayton