Middle District of Pa. courts suspend all civil and criminal jury trials

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A general view shows the exterior of the United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

On Thursday Chief Judge John E. Jones III of the  United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania entered a standing order of court suspending all civil and criminal jury trials in the district, effective immediately, trials will resume no earlier than January 11, 2021.

“Our goal in restarting trials was and still is to keep all participants safe—-most notably the jurors who have earnestly and ably answered the call to service,” says Chief Judge Jones. “But the COVID-19 pandemic is now reaccelerating at an alarming rate. While we believe that our safeguards can keep everyone appropriately protected from the Coronavirus, our Court has made the decision to err on the side of prudence and caution.”

The Middle District of Pennsylvania is comprised of 33 counties in the central and northeastern part of the state and has courthouses in Harrisburg, Scranton, Wilkes, Barre and Williamsport.

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