On June 8, 2020, Florida Chief Justice Charles Canady issued a memorandum with the new amended orders for state courts regarding the resumption of in-person court proceedings. Among the updates, jury trials, which were once suspended until the end of the month, have now been suspended until July 17, 2020. These include other grand juries, jury selection, and criminal and civil jury trials. Along with these new proceedings, Chief Justice Canady also amended two other earlier orders regarding jury proceedings.
Suspension of Florida Grand Jury Investigating School Violence
In addition to extending the suspension of jury trials, the first new amended order extends the suspension of a statewide grand jury investigating school violence through July 26, 2020. One of the school violence investigations that has currently been suspended is the 2018 school mass shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Broward County.
In May of 2020, the Supreme Court had called an order to ensure that the statewide grand jury has more than enough time to thoroughly finish investigating this case after the coronavirus suspension has ended.
Florida Chief Justice Canady Establishes Remote Civil Jury Trial Pilot Program
The second new amended order announces a pilot program in five judicial circuits created to use remote technology to carry out civil jury trials. Criminal cases will not be included in this pilot program due to the complex constitutional and due process issues. The participating judicial circuits are:
- The 4th Judicial Circuit: Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties.
- The 7th Judicial Circuit: St. Johns, Flagler, Putnam and Volusia counties.
- The 9th Judicial Circuit: Orange and Osceola counties.
- The 11th Judicial Circuit: Miami-Dade County
- The 20th Judicial Circuit: Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties
The administrative order states, “Each participating judicial circuit shall present the results of its remote civil jury trial pilot project and report its findings and recommendations to the chief justice through the state courts administrator no later than October 2, 2020.” It is important to note that in order to participate in this new program, all parties must consent. Therefore, attorneys will advise their clients on whether or not to participate.
At Panter, Panter & Sampedro we are doing our best during these difficult times to make sure that your case is being reviewed, monitored, and pursued. We are also following all guidelines to keep our staff, our families, and our communities safe. Currently, our attorneys at Panter, Panter & Sampedro are accepting new cases and continuously working on all current cases. Our team has prided ourselves on protecting Florida’s families for decades, let us help protect yours. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at (305) 662-6178. Please be safe.