CINCINNATI — Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas is temporarily suspending jury trials due to the increase of COVID-19 cases.
Judges Terry Nestor and Curt Kissinger with the Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court, respectively, said in a press release the county's court system has not been immune to the omicron surge in the Tri-State. Because jury trials require a number of people inside the courtroom, the two said all jury trials will be suspended effective Jan. 18.
"In light of the development in local conditions...the Courts are temporarily pausing jury trials in order to better-manage this public health emergency, and to provide the best protection for the public, court employees and all courthouse visitors," the release said. "The Courts will continue to monitor this fluid situation and will resume jury trials when conditions in Hamilton County improve."
Jurors summoned for service before Feb. 7 do not need to appear on those dates until further notice.
The Hamilton County Grand Jury will continue to hear cases. All other court hearings will continue as scheduled with masking required. People are asked to practice social distancing and use hand sanitizer provided in the Hamilton County Courthouse.
Hamilton County currently has the second largest case rate in Ohio, with 2,559.2 cases per 100,000 people. Butler, Warren and Clermont County are all in the top 20. The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners declared a county-wide state of emergency as a result of rising cases.