No Jury Duty, No Walk-In Weddings in St. Louis Circuit Court

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Judge Rex Burlison has ordered a suspension of jury trials. - DOYLE MURPHY
DOYLE MURPHY
Judge Rex Burlison has ordered a suspension of jury trials.
Update: St. Louis County Court is also suspending jury trials through March 27. So no jury duty there, either.

The St. Louis Circuit Court is suspending jury trials until April 13 in response to the coronavirus.

Presiding Judge Rex Burlison announced the change today, which also includes a temporary halt to walk-in weddings, held on Fridays, starting next week.

“The circuit’s intention is to make the courts available to the public during this health crisis but to reduce the public’s exposure as much as possible until we have further direction from public health authorities,” Burlison said in news release.

Anyone with a jury summons through April 3 shouldn't report. They'll be added back into the general jury pool.

Today's announcement is a change from yesterday, when Burlison said at a City Hall news conference that it would be "business as usual" in the 22nd Circuit Court, aside from a few extra steps to make sure any potential jurors with symptoms of COVID-19 would be sent home.

Over at the municipal courts, the city is allowing people to call the customer service number 314-622-3231 to request a continuance for cases.

Suspending all but the most urgent matters among the circuit, associate circuit and municipal courts was one of the requests included in a letter to state and local government officials that was signed by sixteen organizations, including the ACLU, Arch City Defenders and Missouri Public Defender System.

The letter maps out a variety suggestions to fight the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable populations, including people who are incarcerated, low-paid workers and people with disabilities.

The recommendations include providing places for people who are homeless to self-quarantine if necessary, releasing people who aren't considered a danger but wait in jail because they can't pay bail and holding off on arrests for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.

Read the letter here.

For more information on COVID-19, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website, and for more on the local response, go to websites for the city's health department and St. Louis County's health department.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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