DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has issued an order suspending grand jury hearings and criminal jury trials until mid-July in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Chief Justice Susan Christensen issued the order Thursday, saying trials and hearings already in progress will continue, but those that have not begun and are scheduled to begin over the coming weeks have been postponed.
Non-jury criminal trials, in which a judge issues a verdict, are scheduled to resume June 1 under the order. Grand juries and jury trials scheduled through June are now pushed back until at least July 13. The order also allows for certain hearings — such as bond and initial appearances — to be conducted by videoconference or phone.
In civil cases, such as lawsuits and divorce cases, non-jury trials have been pushed back to June 15, while jury trials have been postponed to at Aug. 3.