Gem State Roundup

Judges in Idaho can set their own COVID rules again, court says

By: - November 24, 2021 4:10 am
The Idaho Supreme Court Building

Idaho Supreme Court building in Boise on March 20, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Following the end of crisis standards of care for most of Idaho, the Idaho Supreme Court will return to allowing local judicial districts to set their own COVID-19 rules, according to an order issued Tuesday.

“In light of the improving circumstances … we have concluded that further modification of our safety protocols is now warranted,” the court’s order states.

The order takes effect Wednesday, allowing each district’s administrative judge to manage health and safety precautions at courthouses across the state to reflect local conditions.

Jury trials may resume beginning the week of Dec. 6, unless a county:

  • has a seven-day moving average of 25 or more new confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people.
  • is in a public health district where crisis standards of care remain activated. As of Nov. 22, that applies only to the Panhandle region.

If either of the above conditions are present, courthouse visitors in the affected county must wear masks and maintain social distancing. Individual judges still have flexibility to order masking or social distancing if necessary in their courtrooms, or to order that a hearing be held online.

The new order can be found on the Idaho Supreme Court’s homepage (isc.idaho.gov) under “State Judicial Emergency Orders Regarding COVID-19.”

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Kelcie Moseley-Morris
Kelcie Moseley-Morris

Kelcie Moseley-Morris is an award-winning journalist who has covered many topics across Idaho since 2011. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in public administration from Boise State University. Moseley-Morris started her journalism career at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, followed by the Lewiston Tribune and the Idaho Press.

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