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Jury Trials To Begin Again In Tuolumne County Next Week

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Sonora, CA – As jury trials are set to begin again in Tuolumne County, the court relays what that will mean for those already summoned during the COVID-19 shutdown and changes to accommodate social distancing.

Criminal jury trials will resume on Wednesday, June 17th while misdemeanor jury trials are scheduled to begin Monday, June 22nd. Due to the large potential jury pools need for criminal trials, and the courthouse’s lack of social distancing space, the Tribal Building (formerly the John Muir building) at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds will be used.

Court officials relay this will be the practice for at least the next four weeks. Those who need to report for jury duty will be those that received their summons on or after Wednesday (June 17th). Upon the completion of a jury being selected, the trail will then be held back at the courthouse located at 41 West Yaney Avenue in downtown Sonora.

Since misdemeanor jury trials require a smaller jury pool its selection process will take place at the courtrooms located at the 60 North Washington Street court facility in downtown Sonora. Court officials explain that to have space for social distancing, two courtrooms will be used for jury selection. The judge will address jurors via video conferencing.

The court will implement the below coronavirus safety protocols for jury duty:

  • All persons reporting for jury duty will go through a mandatory COVID-19 screening process prior to entering the Mother Lode Fairgrounds’ Tribal Building or the courthouse at 60 N. Washington Street in downtown Sonora.
  • All persons will be expected to maintain a minimum six-foot distance between themselves and others.
  •  All persons who sneeze or cough are expected to do so in a tissue or, if no tissue is available, into the crook of their elbow.
  • All persons are expected to avoid shaking hands with each other and engaging in unnecessary physical contact.
  • All persons will be strongly encouraged to wear a face mask for the protection of others. Masks will be available upon request.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for use.
  • Tuolumne County Superior Court, Old Courthouse cupola in the background

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