The Minnesota Judicial Branch will pilot criminal jury trials in a limited number of counties starting in June 2020. Pilot counties must comply with the Minnesota Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, implement recommendations for Re-Starting Jury Trials during COVID-19, and submit signed Jury Trial Pilot Checklists. The three documents address changes to facilities and protocols that must be followed to meet social distancing and safety needs, and were developed with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
Jurors in the approved pilot counties should respond to their jury summons letter as required.
Jurors will be provided a paper mask when they arrive at the courthouse. If they wish, jurors may supply their own face covering. Jurors will assemble, participate in voir dire, listen to proceedings, deliberate, and move throughout the courthouse while maintaining 6 feet of social distance in every direction. Guidance will be available for how to follow social distancing in seating and elevator use. Where necessary partitions and physical barriers have been set up in each courthouse to ensure that traffic flow and interactions are taking place safely.