SANTA FE – New Mexico’s state court system plans in mid-June to resume starting jury trials that had been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The suspension to be lifted under an order issued Thursday by the state Supreme Court’s chief justice has been in place since March.
The order says the 21 judicial districts can resume starting jury trials beginning June 15 through July 15 but that districts must first submit plans to maintain social distancing of people in courtrooms and jury selection rooms and use of protective barriers in courthouses.
Chief Justice Judith Nakamura’s order said courts will rigorously follow practices developed by public health authorities and that courthouses will be reopened “in a safe and gradual manner that is based on the local circumstances and available resources in each judicial district.”
New Mexico’s courts have already required that people entering court buildings wear a protective face covering and have limited the number of people in locations within courthouses.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.