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Palm Beach County to resume grand jury proceedings, limited jury trials

Chief Judge Krista Marx's order calls for 'discrete number' of jurors
Palm Beach County Chief Judge Krista Marx
Posted at 11:16 AM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 20:17:13-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County will soon begin conducting limited jury trials and convene a grand jury.

Chief Judge Krista Marx issued an administrative order Wednesday calling for a "measured approach towards resuming jury trials in criminal and civil cases."

The order states that grand jury proceedings "will resume no earlier than 30 days after" entering Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan. Palm Beach County moved to Phase Two on Tuesday.

Marx's order also states that "a small pool of jurors will be summoned for the purpose of trying a discrete number (approximately 4) of circuit criminal and civil cases."

The goal, Marx's order states, is "to develop strategies for the larger resumption of jury trials in 2021."

Palm Beach County will continue to hold the majority of its non-essential court proceedings remotely.

During a recent Zoom interview with Contact 5 investigative reporter Dave Bohman, Marx said a juror's coronavirus concerns would not be a reason for someone not to serve if called for jury duty.

Chief Judge Krista Marx discusses backlog in Palm Beach County courts

"Short of military service, it's one of the rare times in your life that your country will call upon you, and if this pandemic hasn't made you patriotic and appreciate the great country we live in, then I don't know what will," Marx told WPTV. "So I sure hope that our citizens will step up and recognize the great importance of the jury system."

Marx did not set a specific date for jury trials, noting that it's time to start planning because conditions are improving.

As Contact 5 reported last week, jury trials are scheduled to resume in select courtrooms on the Treasure Coast beginning Oct. 5.