MENDOCINO Co., 12/6/20 — Due to the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases in Mendocino County and across Northern California, jury trials have been temporarily suspended by Mendocino County’s Presiding Judge Ann Moorman until January 8, 2021. The temporary measure echoes similar public safety measures implemented in the spring, when the pandemic first began.
All jury trials scheduled for the period from December 7, 2020 until January 8, 2021 will be re-set for a future date.
Here’s the announcement from Judge Ann Moorman:
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF MENDOCINO
FILED DEC 04 2020
CLERK OF MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERIOR COUAT OF CALIFORNIA
Order of the Presiding Judge #16 RE: Covid-19 Public Health Crisis
Order re Jury Trials (December 7, 2020 – January 8, 2021)
In consideration of the recent, unprecedented increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in this county and elsewhere, and Governor Gavin Newsom’s Regional Stay-At-Home Order, that will become effective on December 5, 2020, the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino has sought emergency relief from Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye from various statutory deadlines involving jury trials. This relief is sought to reduce the public safety risk arising from convening large venire panels and conducting jury selection in physical circumstances that may increase the risk to potential jurors, court staff, lawyers, spectators and other individuals involved in such proceedings to contracting COVID-19. The December 3, 2020 Order from Governor Newsom has identified the Northern California Region (including Mendocino County) as the region most at risk of running out of ICU capacity in the very near future which will result in a more stringent stay-at-home order.
Exercising the authority granted under Government Code section 68115 and the Request for Judicial Emergency Order of Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chair of the Judicial Council of California, made by the Superior Court of California, County of Mendocino (“Court”), Presiding Judge Ann Moorman, on this day, this Court HEREBY FINDS AND ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:
Any judge of the Mendocino County Superior Court may extend the time period provided in section 1382 of the Penal Code for the holding of a criminal trial by not more than thirty (30) days in cases in which the statutory deadline otherwise would expire on and between December 7, 2020 through and including January 8, 2021 inclusive (Gov. Code, $ 68115(a)(10));
All other jury trials scheduled to commence on or between December 7, 2020 and January 8, 2021 shall vacate and be re-set by the assigned department Judicial Officer. This Order is based on a finding of good cause arising out the Public Health Crisis and the above recitations. This Order will facilitate the court’s goal and that of our state and county of eliminating the need to gather large numbers of people in enclosed spaces that jury trials necessarily require. THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.
ANN Ć. MOORMAN Presiding Judge of the Superior Court