After one year of trials being on hold during the pandemic, the Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller began its first call for jurors on March 1. Criminal and civil jury trials were paused by an administrative order issued by the Florida Supreme Court on March 13, 2020.
On Feb. 25, 2021, The Fifth Judicial Circuit issued an Operational Plan Amendment to reinstate jury trials and grand jury proceedings in Lake County.
Potential jurors were issued summons to report to the Lake County Courthouse early March 1 in the first of three potential reporting times set for this week.
“In an effort to keep everyone safe, we are dividing the number of jurors who are to report into smaller groups, and keeping everyone spaced apart during the initial proceedings,” Cooney, Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller, says in a news release. “While we understand that it may be difficult for some to attend jury duty during a pandemic, we had a very successful morning with our community answering the call to honor their civic duty. I am proud of my fellow Lake Countians for reporting as requested this morning.”
New COVID-related excusal requests have been added for those potential jurors who:
- Are receiving leave pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- Do not meet the court’s screening requirements for courthouse entry.
- Are at higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 infection as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Must care for a child or relative whose regular care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
For more information related to Jury Duty, visit www.lakecountyclerk.org/jury or contact the Lake County Clerk’s Office at (352) 742-4160.