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May 26, 2022

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Clark County courts suspend jury trials due to COVID-19 spike

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Clark County Superior and District courts have suspended jury trials through the end of the month, following the advice of Clark County Public Health.

Presiding Judge Derek Vanderwood signed the Superior Court general order Thursday, citing the spike in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant. The order went into effect immediately.

District Court Presiding Judge Kelli Osler planned to sign a similar order Thursday night, according to District Court Administrator Amber Emery.

In an email to local attorneys shared with The Columbian, Vanderwood said Superior Court readiness hearings are still scheduled for Jan. 27 for jury trials scheduled the following week.

“We will be evaluating the situation and may extend the jury trial suspension if necessary,” he said in the email. “We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we work through these challenging issues.”

All suspended trials will be rescheduled.

Most dockets were canceled or modified, and all criminal and civil jury trials were suspended for a number of weeks at the start of the pandemic. The courts also moved to temporarily pause jury trials in December 2020 into 2021 due to a surge in cases.

For more information, including the orders suspending jury trials, visit the courts’ websites at https://clark.wa.gov/superior-court and https://clark.wa.gov/district-court.

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