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Criminal Justice

COVID Surge Delays Criminal Trials In LA County

A wooden gavel rests on a marble table.
(Courtesy Unsplash)
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Criminal trials in Los Angeles County are now on hold for two weeks due to the surge in COVID cases.

That order came Tuesday evening from Eric Taylor, who is the Superior Court's presiding judge. Taylor said the delay will reduce foot traffic in the courts and is needed to "balance access justice with local public safety needs."

Trials are currently set to resume Jan. 19.

The L.A. order comes after a three-week delay by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. That order applies to federal courts in L.A., Pasadena, Riverside and Santa Ana.

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Some hearings are expected to take place through video conferencing, including one Friday in the corruption case against former L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar.

In a memo, Clerk of Court Kiry Gray said that given the increase in COVID transmission, "conducting jury trials would place court personnel, attorneys, parties, and prospective jurors at undue risk."

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