Source: Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
January 28, 2021 (San Diego) – San Diego Superior Court jury trials were suspended throughout most of 2020, though a few trials were held in October and November. Jury trials were again suspended in December and January; however, the Court now aims to resume jury trials in February 2021.
Jury duty summonses were mailed to members of the public starting in September 2020. Beginning in late November summonsed individuals were advised they did not need to report for duty when they called the telephone standby phone number while trials were paused. Individuals with summons for dates in February and beyond should follow the instructions on their summons to call in for telephone standby jury duty. Small groups will be instructed to report in person for jury duty. Those not called in on the first day of their telephone standby service will need to call in the next day for further instructions until their service is complete.
“Jury trials have been one of the most heavily affected areas of the Court’s services throughout the pandemic and it is necessary for us to safely press on with resuming jury trials to ensure timely access to justice,” said Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne. “We’ve placed COVID-19 safety and prevention measures in every courthouse and the jurors who did serve in-person on trials in the fall reported that they felt safe and comfortable during their service.”
Members of the public who are summoned for jury duty are encouraged to report for duty as directed. The first jury trial of 2021 is targeted to begin on February 8 in the Central Courthouse before expanding to the East, North and South County courthouses. For more information on the precautions taken to safely bring jurors into the courthouses, please refer to this video and this guide to jury service in the San Diego Superior Court during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of the Court’s services are now available online from virtual hearings in every case type to electronic document filing to setting up traffic fine payment plans.
For those who need to physically come into one of the local courthouses, COVID-19 safety precautions are in place, including temperature screenings at the door, increased cleaning, social distancing and facial covering requirements.
In-person services are available in some instances, for example, to file a request for a temporary restraining order or attend a virtual hearing if home access to a telephone or computer is not possible. In-person appearances for select civil or criminal proceedings and traffic trials are available for those who prefer not to waive their right to personally appear or those who are ordered to appear.
For more about the Court’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a complete and regularly updated guide to all San Diego Superior Court Services available during COVID-19, please refer to the Court’s website at sdcourt.ca.gov/coronavirus.