Resuming In-Person Jury Trials as Soon as November

Forsyth County Superior Court Chief Judge Jeff Bagley said this week he will likely convene “the first jury trial in this pandemic era.”

Earlier this week, Chief Justice Melton said he is committed to reinstating in-person juries in his new order coming next month.

Prepared to safely resume in-person juries, Chief Superior Court Judge Jeff Bagley has scheduled an October 7 virtual calendar call to schedule live jury criminal trials beginning November 2. Included in the notice is a statement which reads: "The judge has stated that he will NOT be granting continuances due to COVID-19 concerns."

Judge Bagley has said that he plans to convert the large jury assembly room to a suitable space to conduct trials. The county administration building meeting room, which can accommodate as many as 50 people with social distancing, will be used to pool potential jurors. Only one jury trial will convene at a time in the courthouse, and jurors will use a courtroom to deliberate.

Judge Bagley also said he intends to issue a letter to those summoned for jury duty “to put them at ease” by laying out the protocols the court has put in place.

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