By Jessica Mathews /

Jury trials in Livingston County have been postponed due to COVID-19 and a recent increase in cases locally, statewide and across the nation.

A letter was issued to the local legal community last week by Chief Judge Michael Hatty. It states that an administrative order issued in June allowed courts throughout Michigan to resume jury trials, provided that with mitigation measures in place, jury trials could be safety conducted without creating excessive risk to public health. In anticipation of conducting the first jury trial yesterday (Monday), Judge Hatty said the courts consulted with partner stakeholders and took great care in preparing to safely conduct jury trials. However, after consultation with the Livingston County Health Department, local judges determined that because of the current impact of the pandemic on the community, it would not be prudent to conduct jury trials at this time. They have been postponed until further notice.

Judge Hatty said throughout the pandemic, the number one concern of the court has been and continues to be the health and safety of those who pass through. He says they will continue to monitor local health conditions to determine when jury trials can safely resume. The full letter is attached.