Pause on jury trials through end of January


VERMILION COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — There will be a pause on jury trials in the county through the end of January.

In a news release, Presiding Judge Thomas O’Shaughnessy said the decision was made because of a rise in COVID-19 cases. He also said, “The Rita B. Garman Vermilion County Courthouse has continued, and will continue to operate with respect to all other court proceedings with safety measures for the protection of all people who enter the Courthouse. But due to the increased positivity rate, the judges decided that all cases scheduled for jury trial should be continued to a future date to be set by the assigned judge.”

There will be limited access to the Courthouse. Judge O’Shaughnessy said it will be restricted to “persons essential for court proceedings and operations.” They will have to wear masks in public spaces and courtrooms. There will also be a reduction in high volume calls to no more than 20 cases scheduled each hour, according to the judge.

When going to the Courthouse, you are asked to follow these guidelines:

  • Do not enter the Courthouse if you are feeling sick
  • Arrive no more than 10 minutes before the hearing and leave immediately after your hearing ends
  • You should only bring yourself to the hearing
  • All non-e-filings are to be done at the Clerk’s lobby windows
  • No congregating inside or outside the courtroom or in public areas
  • Limit negotiating on a case at the Courthouse – “While we know negotiations occur close to hearings, but you may not have that luxury for now. Judges may not allow extensive negotiations during hearings for everyone’s safety,” said the judge.

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