Courts set slow ‘in-person’ reopening, rules for trials, hearings

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Administrative Office of the Courts seal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — The Supreme Court is slowly opening courts starting June 1, but jury trials will be put off at least until August and some potential jurors will be excused for health reasons, according to new orders from the court issued Tuesday.

The complete order can be found here and the highlights are below:

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— Jury trials shall be postponed and rescheduled for no sooner than August 1, 2020.

— Grand jury proceedings may begin effective June 1, 2020.

— Cases where the 60-day period in RCr 5.22(3) or an extension thereof was tolled by operation of Administrative Order 2020-28 must be presented to the grand jury on or before July 30, 2020.



— Existing grand jury panels may be extended at the discretion of the court, subject to the 20-day limitation set out in AP Part II, Sec. 19(3).

— If an existing grand jury panel cannot be extended, the order provides guidance on how to orient a new jury panel.

— Jurors who are ill, caring for someone who is ill, in a high-risk category, unable to wear a facial covering, or who will suffer further economic loss as a result of jury service shall have their service postponed or excused.

— Strict health and safety requirements – including mandatory use of facial coverings by jurors, social distancing and disinfecting – must be followed for all grand jury proceedings.

On May 15, the Supreme Court issued Administrative Order 2020-39, which highlighted the health and safety requirements for expanding court operations beginning June 1.

The Supreme Court will address other legal matters, such as evictions, in subsequent orders as the Judicial Branch’s three Reopening Task Forces continue to meet and make recommendations.