Allen County Superior Court Moves Toward Resuming Jury Trials

May 15, 2020

Different colored tape marks where people can sit while observing social distancing in the gallery of an Allen County courtroom.
Credit Rebecca Green / WBOI

After nearly two months of little to no activity in the Allen County courthouse, the system is starting to slowly move forward. 

On Thursday, Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull announced the criminal division’s plans for the resumption of jury trials, beginning July 1.

 

The Indiana Supreme Court has given counties permission to resume jury trials as early as June 1. Allen County officials are working through the process slowly.

 

The courtrooms all look different now, with caution tape and blue painters tape stretched across the seats. The number of seats available is much smaller than it was before social distancing.

 

Special consideration is being given to jurors. The option to defer jury service is extended to anyone over 75, and other accommodations are available to those between the ages of 60-74.

 

"The only people who aren’t really voluntary participants in this process are jurors. So I want to make jury service as easy and as safe as possible,” said Allen Superior Judge Fran Gull.

 

The Superior Court’s civil division has postponed all its jury trials until Sept. 2 to help accommodate the backlogged criminal court trial calendar.