Court Proceedings Scaling Back Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Jury Trials Already Underway Will Be Allowed To Continue

Associated Press
March 16, 2020 - 8:18 am

Photo Courtesy: USA Today

LAS VEGAS, NV (AP) - Nevada’s efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak now include not starting new jury trials and trying to avoid holding courtroom hearings in state courts for Las Vegas.

The Eighth Judicial District issued a statement Friday night announcing those steps and others to protect the community during the pandemic.

The pause on jury trials in civil and criminal trials is for 30 days but any jury trial currently underway will proceed, the district’s statement said.

The district cited Gov. Steve Sisolak’s declaration of a state of emergency on Thursday and “the severity of the risk posed to the public” by the virus.

Nevada’s tourism and casino industries have been reeling due to travel cutbacks prompted by the outbreak, and the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announce it would keep call centers open longer to accept claims for unemployment insurance claims.

The order scaling back state court proceedings in Las Vegas said that many hearings that aren’t conducted by video or telephone will be decided without in-court hearings or be rescheduled, the judicial district’s announcement said.

Exceptions will be made for “”essential case types and hearings” such as in-custody criminal sentencings, civil commitment cases, bail motions, probation revocation hearings and protection orders, the judicial district said.

In other news. Gov. Sisolak’s office on Saturday announced he’d formed a medical advisory team chaired by Dr. Ihsan Azzam, the state’s chief medical officer, and including four other medical professionals.

“Dr. Azzam and this medical advisory team represent some of the brightest and most well-respected medical professionals in the state,” Sisolak said. “In this rapidly developing situation, it is critical that we turn to those with expertise in infection control and public health to guide our decision-making, and I have full confidence that we’ve assembled the right team for the job.”