District court jury terms canceled until April 16

  • District court jury terms canceled until April 16

OKLAHOMA CITY – Jury terms in all district courts in Oklahoma have been canceled through April 15, and all civil, criminal and juvenile jury trials have been continued to the next available jury dockets.

The joint order was issued March 16 by Noma Gurich, Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and by David B. Lewis, presiding judge of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, in accordance with the emergency declaration issued March 15 by Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Gurich and Lewis said their order was intended “to encourage social distancing and to avoid risks to judges, court clerks, court employees, and the public” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The statute of limitations in any civil case has been extended to April 15.

The 30-day suspension “also applies to appellate rules and procedures for the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Court of Civil Appeals,” Lewis and Gurich said.

Use of email, fax and drop boxes for acceptance of written materials is “encouraged,” although email is not permissible for appellate filings, the joint order decreed.

Judges are authorized to limit the number of people allowed to enter any courtroom, judges’ or clerk’s offices, jury room, or any other facility used by the district courts.

And the joint order bars certain people from entering “any courtroom, court clerk’s office, judges’ offices, jury room, or other facility used by the district courts.” Those individuals include:

• persons diagnosed with COVID-19 or having had direct contact with anyone diagnosed with the disease.

• individuals exhibiting symptoms such as fever, severe cough or shortness of breath.

• anyone who has traveled to any country outside of the U.S. in the past 14 days, and those with whom such travelers live or have had close contact.

• individuals who are quarantined or isolated, either voluntarily or by a doctor’s order.