O’Brien County, Iowa –This week, The Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme court, Susan Christensen has decreed that Jury trials are to yet again be suspended in Iowa, only having been recently reinstated since September.
The reason for this is due to Iowa seeing a massive surge in COVID-19 cases. O’Brien County Attorney Rachael Becker took some time to go further in-depth about what this will look like in O’Brien County.
(as said) “What it means for O’Brien County is that we do have a few cases that are on our docket for a jury trial, and so, hopefully in February we will have a few cases that will be moving forward with a jury but, fortunately, the supreme court has allocated some time for us to prosecute cases even though we’re going to have to have extensions for speedy trial deadlines or one-year deadlines because of the pandemic.”
Becker continues by saying that only trials are suspended, but the court is still in session.
(as said) “…We still do have court it’s just that we can’t have a trial so a lot of our court action is still taking place, which is the bulk of our work because we don’t have that many jury trials in O’Brien County.”
Due to the suspension, some parts of Iowa are seeing backlogs in cases. Becker states that O’Brien County has seen some back-ups in the court system due to the pandemic and the court system figuring out ways to try and continue cases without trying to spread the virus.
(as said) “I wouldn’t say right now that we have a really long list of people who are just waiting for their trial date and like I indicated right now I’m only aware of two.”
For any questions concerning the court system and how a case will be conducted in the future. contact the O’Brien County Courthouse.