Alabama jury trials to resume with new safety protocols

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 3:48 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WAFF) - Starting in September, jury trials will resume in Alabama with new procedures in place to decrease exposure to COVID-19.

Some Alabamians will begin receiving jury summons as soon as this week, and for the first time ever, jurors will be able to go online, by computer or smart phone, to verify their information and answer qualifying questions.

A secure, dedicated juror website has been developed so that potential jurors can qualify for jury service in advance of their appearance date, avoiding large numbers of jurors gathering on opening day of jury service for qualification and empaneling. Jurors who are at a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 may use the online form to request excusal or deference to a later date.

Those new procedures include sanitizing surfaces, temperature checks for fever, social distancing measures, contactless sanitizing stations, one-way travel staircases where applicable, limitations on the number of people permitted in an elevator, newly configured jury boxes to seat jurors at least six feet apart, jury deliberation rooms that permit jurors to maintain appropriate social distancing during deliberations and recesses.

Individuals who receive a juror summons and do not have internet or smart phone access will be able to contact their Circuit Court Clerk office for assistance.

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