Idaho Supreme Court issues new order due to COVID-19 concern

The Idaho Supreme Court on Monday issued an amended order, effective Wednesday, in response to the presence of the coronavirus in Idaho aimed at keeping people socially distant during court proceedings.

Among the things does is push back all criminal jury trials scheduled to be held between Wednesday and April 30. Those trials will be continued to “no less than thirty days from the date of the trial’s original starting date.”

The Idaho Press reports the order also instructs judges to issue a summons instead of a bench warrant or a notice of a failure to appear, unless there is a public safety concern.

“With the exception of emergency matters, child protection hearings, domestic violence hearings, and evidentiary hearings in criminal cases, all in-person appearances for civil and criminal dockets shall be excused,” according to the order. “Judges are encouraged to use telephonic or video technology for all necessary hearings, including arraignments and mental health hearings.”

The order reads: “With the exception of emergency matters, adoption proceedings, and hearings statutorily or by Court Rule required to be held, small claims, eviction, juvenile, probate, contested infraction, and guardianship cases shall be continued.”

Additionally, the order states signs should be posted outside public entry points instructing people not to enter courtrooms if they have:

Visited China, Iran, South Korea, any European countries, or any other high-risk countries identified by the CDC in the previous 14 days
Resided with or been in close contact with someone who has been in any of those countries within the previous 14 day
Traveled domestically within the United States where COVID-19 has sustained widespread community transmission
Been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency
Been diagnosed with or have had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19
A fever, cough or shortness of breath
People who try to enter a courtroom in violation of those rules, or if they appear ill, will be denied entrance by courthouse security.

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