Dougherty Co. cancels January jury trials following statewide order

Dougherty Co. cancels January jury trials following statewide order
Dougherty County (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Following a statewide cancellation of all jury trials, the Dougherty County court system has canceled all jury trials slated for the first of the new year.

Dougherty County was set to resume jury trials in January 2021.

However, Harold Melton, chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, issued a statewide judicial emergency order that suspended all jury trials in Georgia “at least until February,” Dougherty County officials said in a release. The order was because of a “disturbing spread’ of COVID-19, officials said.

Jury trials did resume in October, which Dougherty County officials said a slew of COVID-19 safety measures were adopted.

Officials said the Dougherty County clerk of court will be sending out written notices to those that were summoned for January trial dates.

“As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will continue to keep the health and safety of our citizens as our number one priority, while working to conduct court business in as timely and efficient a manner as circumstances allow,” said Chief Judge Willie Lockette. “As Chief Justice Melton mentioned, ‘we are hopeful that with the advent of vaccines and their widespread availability, the end of the virus is in sight and sometimes in the coming months, we will be able to return to a robust schedule of jury trials and all court functions, but now is not the time for full-blown operations.’”

For more information on the cancellations, call (229) 878-3187.

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