All jury trials in California suspended for 60 days because of coronavirus

Seats in the jury box sit empty during a hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court May 4, 2007. (Fred Prouser-Pool/Getty Images)

California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye on Monday suspended all jury trials in California's superior courts for 60 days and allowed courts to immediately adopt new rules to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile Monday signed a order restricting access to all Los Angeles County courthouses to judges, commissioners, court staff and authorized persons until further notice.

Cantil-Sakauye said her order is aimed at ensuring California courts can meet stringent health directives, such as maintaining a 6-foot distance from others, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"Courts cannot comply with these health restrictions and continue to operate as they have in the past,'' Cantil-Sakauye said. "Court proceedings require gatherings of court staff, litigants, attorneys, witnesses, and juries, well in excess of the numbers allowed for gathering under current executive and health orders."

"Many court facilities in California are ill-equipped to effectively allow the social distancing and other public health requirements required to protect people involved in court proceedings and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.''