Jury trials in N.S. suspended amid high COVID-19 case numbers

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Jury trials scheduled between now and Jan. 17 will be postponed due to high COVID-19 case numbers in the province. (Emma Davie/CBC - image credit)
Jury trials scheduled between now and Jan. 17 will be postponed due to high COVID-19 case numbers in the province. (Emma Davie/CBC - image credit)

All Nova Scotia jury trials scheduled to begin between now and Jan. 17 are being suspended amid rising COVID-19 case numbers in the province.

Affected jury trials will be rescheduled at some point.

"We know that we are able to hold jury trials in Nova Scotia while still respecting public health restrictions, but the question right now is should we," said Justice Deborah K. Smith, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, in a news release Tuesday morning. "Cases are surging and it's unlikely that the situation will be under control in the near future.

"With that in mind, and after careful consideration, our court has decided that the responsible thing to do is to suspend these matters until we are confident that jury selections can proceed safely in this new stage of the pandemic."

Jury summons that require people to go to court for jury duty in the first two weeks of January will be deferred. A courthouse staff member will contact potential jurors with more information.

Information about jury selections in the Halifax Regional Municipality will be available by calling the juror information line at 902-424-6400.

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