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  • Writer's pictureJD Slaughter

Austin jury trials, other proceedings delayed over coronavirus concerns

The Austin American-Statesman reports:

Travis County courts are taking a break from jury trials and other nonurgent matters to limit the odds of courthouse visitors spreading the new coronavirus.
In the criminal courts, there will be no misdemeanor or felony trials through May 8, according to a memo circulated Saturday from state District Judge Brenda Kennedy ... anyone with a pending case who is out of jail will not have to appear for a setting in their case until after May 8.
Travis County civil and family courts are suspending in-person, nonemergency hearings until April 13. This suspension covers jury trials, nonjury trials and all nonessential hearings.
That delay does not include juvenile court matters.
In the federal courthouse in Austin, all civil and criminal trials scheduled to begin between now and May 1 will be postponed to a date to be set by each presiding judge. Most other matters will go on as normal with judges still holding in-person hearings, sentencing proceedings and conferences.
The criminal district courthouse will not close down entirely.
Special case settings arranged by the parties; emergency hearings; mental health and related hearings; protective order cases; noncontested docket settings; and appearances for in-jail cases will continue.
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