With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, social distancing has become increasingly important. It’s been stated that everyone should avoid being in groups of more than 10 people if they can. Schools have been cancelled, people are foregoing their social plans, and many companies have their employees working from home. It’s very important to keep the disease as contained as possible, and Houston’s courts have recently announced the measures they’ll be taking: Anybody who has been summoned for jury duty between March 12th and March 20th no longer needs to report for duty.
What Does This Mean?
Anybody summoned for jury duty on civil cases in the Houston Region doesn’t need to show. All civil jury trials have been cancelled in the Houston Region to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Until April 1st, all civil jury trials are suspended. The court has also announced some changes in the way they’ll be running, including an increase in remote work and aides who will be available to take calls and answer snail mail. Decreased contact between everyone involved in the Houston legal system will make it much easier to contain the virus and protect the populations most likely to contract it.
What About Criminal Trials?
Criminal trials in the Houston region are still scheduled, but a notice has been given for any jurors to tell the court if they have any symptoms, or if they test positive for COVID-19, so the court can make necessary accommodations or reschedule as needed. The same request applies to attorneys, witnesses, and all other court personnel. Judges have been given the authority to cancel any trials at their own discretion.
How is Houston Protecting Their Jails?
The legal system poses a unique threat to the spread of COVID-19, since inmates are held in crowded jails with poor cleanliness standards. Houston’s jails have started screening new inmates to see if they have recently traveled to any high-risk countries, and anybody who has the virus or shoes symptoms will be taken to the hospital for treatment. Houston’s jails also have quarantine measures in place for anyone who has been in close contact with an infected person, or anyone who has been directly exposed. These measures have not been needed yet.
How Does This Affect Defendants?
If you or a loved one is on bond and awaiting their trial, they have no need to appear in court until their rescheduled trial date. Inmates in custody will still have their trials, unless the presiding judge chooses to reschedule.
Get Out of Jail Fast with ABC Bail Bonds
At ABC Bail Bonds, we understand everyone makes mistakes. We don’t believe your mistake should cause you to miss out on your life. Jail is no place to be while waiting for your trial when you have work, school, bills, children, or animals waiting for you at home. Our experienced bail bondsmen strive to get you out of jail as fast as possible so you can get back to your life after an arrest. If you can’t afford to pay us right away, let us know so we can set up a payment plan. Our bail bondsmen will help you right away, no questions asked!