Courts in Delaware anticipating June reopening

If COVID numbers continue to decline, jury trials, in-person proceedings planned

Delaware State News
Posted 3/12/21

WILMINGTON — On Friday, Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. announced that jury trials and more in-person court proceedings may return to state courts in June, as long as current COVID-19 numbers continue downward.

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Courts in Delaware anticipating June reopening

If COVID numbers continue to decline, jury trials, in-person proceedings planned

Posted

WILMINGTON — On Friday, Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. announced that jury trials and more in-person court proceedings may return to state courts in June, as long as current COVID-19 numbers continue downward.

“We continue to monitor COVID-19 trends in Delaware,” Chief Justice Seitz said in a statement to judicial officers, branch employees, justice partners and members of the Delaware Bar Association.

“I am happy to report that the latest news is encouraging. The rate of positive tests, hospitalizations and deaths are all down significantly from the peak in January and vaccinations are underway.

“In Delaware vaccine is just starting to be made available to the judicial branch and our justice partners. We will be providing details as vaccine events are set up. While we have plans in place to stage vaccination clinics for the judiciary and justice partners, if an opportunity arises to get vaccinated outside our effort, don’t wait — take it.”

Chief Justice Seitz said that he anticipates the state moving to Phase 3 of the courts’ reopening plan, assuming “the downward trend in COVID-19 cases continues, and the vaccine becomes more widely available as promised.”

Details on Phase 3 are available here.

“In Phase 3, the Delaware Courts will maintain our current health safety precautions that include COVID-19 screening and temperature checks at the entrances to our court facilities, mask requirements and social distancing,” Chief Justice Seitz said.

He added that, due to the backlog of criminal cases, those will be given top priority when Phase 3 occurs.

Chief Justice Seitz cautioned that, “We will only move to Phase 3 if it is safe for our employees, justice partners, and the public. If conditions change for the worse, we will re-evaluate the move to Phase 3.

“We are mindful that while the COVID-19 trends currently look good, we are not yet past this pandemic and must not let our guard down. It is important for everyone to continue to act responsibly by wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly.”

He added that the judicial branch remains optimistic.

“The end of the pandemic won’t be like flipping a switch. If we are diligent and trust the experts, things will improve every day. The end of this pandemic is in sight. I ask for your patience for a little while longer. Brighter days are ahead.”