Superior Court Jury Trial Suspension Extended Through 28 February 2021
Since March of this year, Cowlitz County has been challenged in an unprecedented way as the COVID-19 pandemic has raced across our community.Fear, concern, and disruption has touched us all.The Courts have been no exception to this struggle as we grapple with the constitutional mandate of providing access to the courts and at the same time making sure court visitors and staff are as safe as they can be in our facilities.
In response to this pandemic, the Superior Court has instituted safety measures at all levels of court operations that meet or exceed recommendations from the Cowlitz County Health Department and the Washington Department of Health. These safety measures include mandated mask wearing, enforced social distancing in court facilities, increased ventilation and targeted cleaning of high touch surfaces to name a few.
Over the past weeks, the COVID pandemic has continued to surge within our community. During the month of November, the average number of new COVID cases per 100,000 residents was 207 or a HIGH level of COVID activity over a 14 day period (10/28-11/10).Since this time, our average is now 392 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents. We remain in the HIGH level of COVID activity over the most recent 14 day reporting period (11/18 to 12/1).
In response to this growing surge, the Cowlitz County Superior Court will extend the prior suspension of all jury trials. The extended suspension of jury trials is effective December 15, 2020 until February 28, 2021.
All other in-person Superior Court matters will be suspended effective December 15, 2020 until February 28, 2020.All defendants and litigants are still required to appear for scheduled hearings via zoom.
For other emergency changes, please refer to EMERGENCY ORDER No.4-A (Modification #4) attached.
The Court is committed to providing critical access to the courts and at the same time doing it in the safest possible manner. Given the continued, dramatic increase in COVID cases being experienced after the most recent holiday, we feel it is safest for litigants, staff, and our community to extend the prior suspension of jury trials and in-person criminal and civil matters. We want to do all we can to make court safe for everyone and we feel this decision promotes access and safety,Judge Gary Bashor, Presiding Superior Court Judge.
Enter your text hereAs we continue to monitor the COVID pandemic in our community, we will update our community concerning court operations. All other court operations will continue in their present form.
For more information about the Cowlitz County Superior Court, please visit our website at:https://cowlitzsuperiorcourt.us/
For Additional Information Contact::Chadwick M. Connors, 360-577-3085 or firstname.lastname@example.org...