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Jury Trials To Resume Monday At The Hamilton County Courthouse

The Hamilton County Court says it has taken COVID-19 precautions and is ready to start jury trials August 3.
Jason Whitman
The Hamilton County Court says it has taken COVID-19 precautions and is ready to start jury trials August 3.

The state of Ohio is ordering county courthouses to resume jury trials again after they were shut down because of the pandemic. Hamilton County's presiding judge says the court has taken steps to keep people safe but if they have legitimate health concerns, they can stay home.

Hamilton County Presiding Judge Charles Kubicki says three courtrooms have been specifically adapted for jury trials with safety measures to allow for social distancing. These include plexiglass dividers for the jury.

This is in addition to the standard policy of everyone entering the courthouse must wear a mask and have their temperature taken.

Kubicki says health concerns are of paramount importance. "Whether it's an attorney or whether it's a witness or a victim, anybody connected to a case that has any concerns about their health than the case would get bumped," he says.

Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman has approved the courthouse plan.

Jury Commissioner Brad Seitz has summoned jurors to report as early as Aug. 3. Kubicki says he's asking that jurors only report if they will be needed for a jury trial.

Kubicki says the governor's and legislature's orders to delay jury trials is expiring.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.