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Press Release - Court Works to Ensure the Health and Safety of Jurors

Aug 20, 2020

For Immediate Release


Contact: Timothy M. Kenny, Chief Judge
Zenell B. Brown, Executive Court Administrator
(313) 224-2236
Subject: Court Works to Ensure the Health and Safety of Jurors

 

Citizens who respond and appear for jury service help ensure trial courts are able to fairly and impartially resolve disputes. “The voice of the community expressed through jury decision is vital to our confidence that justice can and will be achieved,” Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny commented as efforts to resume jury trials are being planned at Third Circuit Court (the Court) in mid-September. Chief Judge Kenny has made it a top priority to ensure the health and safety of the jurors, judges, parties, witnesses, attorneys, and court staff.

Jury summons will go out this week to Wayne County residents. But in addition to the customary language requiring jurors’ appearance, the summons contains a section entitled “Public Health and Safety.” It is critical that citizens know the Court has taken extra precautions and measures to provide a safe environment. This section advises jurors of the some of the precautions the Court has taken to protect their health such as temperature screenings at the entry of the courthouse and the requirement that everyone entering the Court wears a face covering.

In the summons, the Court shares a link for a video juror experience which highlights additional precautions, including.

  • Jurors will be provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits that will include masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial wipes.
  • Seating is socially distanced (at least six feet apart), and there are social distancing markers on the floor in the jury assembly room and courtrooms.
  • Clear plexi-shield partitions have been installed at check-in counters and in courtrooms. There are hand-sanitizing stations throughout the jury assembly room.
  • Frequent cleaning of touch-points.

Judges, judicial partners, and communities groups and organizations offered input on the various precautionary measures. Representatives from Focus-Hope, the National Association of the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs-Detroit, Logical Choice, Team Wellness, and recent graduating alumni from Cristo Rey and Cass Tech were among the many individuals and organizations to serve on focus groups for the Juror Health and Safety video. Jurors and other citizens may view the video at http://www.3rdcc.org/jury-services/juror-health-and-safety-video.

The Court recognizes that some citizens will be unable to appear for jury service because of their age, underlying medical conditions, and other hardships caused by the pandemic. The Jury Services Department will grant excusals and postponements as necessary. While jury trials will resume, Chief Judge Kenny along with the entire bench and staff at the Court are committed to ensuring that they do so safely. The health and safety of all parties, participants, and staff are top priority.

 

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