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Older jurors will be excused during coronavirus crisis, courts say

N.J. judiciary planning for smaller juror pools and waiting rooms

By David Wildstein, March 12 2020 12:25 pm

New Jersey jurors over the age of 60 or people at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 will be excused from service, a spokesman for the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts said.

The courts are also exploring contingency plans for smaller juror waiting rooms and for a reduction in the number or jurors needed over the next few weeks.

No judges have specifically been asked to be excused from jury trials or work due to the coronavirus.

“The same advice given to all judges and staff applies,” said Pete McAleer, a spokesman for the judiciary. “They should stay home if they are feeling symptoms.”

McAleer also aid that maintenance crews have been instructed to clean court facilities more frequently.

Last week, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner signed an order restricting travel by court personnel.

No international travel will be permitted, and judiciary-sponsored events involving foreign nationals travelling to New Jersey must either be postponed or “adjusted so that any such individuals can participate remotely via videoconference.”

Rabner also ordered all domestic out-of-state travel for official business must be approved in advance.

“Particular caution will be taken to avoid any out-of-state travel to areas that have been reported as affected with community spread of COVID-19,” the chief justice said in his order.

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