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COVID-19 General Order 21-11: Suspending Jury Trials

Release Date: 
Wednesday, August 18, 2021

To combat the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), given the severity of risks posed to the public, Court staff, and other Court agencies, and considering the recent surge of COVID-19 cases within the 13 parishes encompassing the Eastern District of Louisiana caused by the Delta variant, the undersigned as Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana issued COVID-19 General Order No. 21-11 ordering that:
  1) All civil and criminal jury trials are suspended until September 20, 2021 and will be reset by each presiding judge. Those continuances do not continue any pending deadlines other than the trial dates. Attorneys should contact the presiding judges in their continued cases if they seek to modify such other deadlines.
  2) With regard to criminal matters, due to the Court's reduced ability to safely obtain an adequate spectrum of jurors and the effect of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases on the ability of counsel and Court staff to be safely present in the courtroom, the time period of the postponements implemented by this general order will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, as the Court specifically finds that the ends of justice served by ordering the postponements outweigh the best interest of the public and any defendant's right to a speedy trial, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

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