Criminal jury trials to resume in Virginia Beach Circuit Court next month

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach Circuit Court Administrator Michael Davy says they will begin jury trials for criminal cases only on Nov. 16.

From there, they only plan to do one a week to see how the process goes.

“We’re taking baby steps hoping we’ll get back to some sense of normalcy,” said Davy.

Attorneys have prioritized certain two to three-day trials for this period.

Davy says they’ve reconfigured one courtroom so far, which is acting as their model COVID-19 courtroom.

On top of spacing everything out, they’ve added plexiglass and air purifiers into the room.

“What would normally be the floor of the courtroom, that’s been expanded out for seating and there is a wall with plexiglass built. The jurors will be behind a plexiglass area… There will be plexiglass on council tables, where the clerk sits, and where a witness would testify from,” Davy explained.

Everyone will be required to wear a mask, too.

They’ve also come up with a plan for those who want to attend.

“We have limited seating within the courtroom to maintain social distancing, so we’ll broadcast to an adjacent courtroom to allow for overflow seating,” he stated.

10 On Your Side asked Davy if there were any concerns of getting jurors to show up for duty at a time like this, something nearby cities struggled with.

“We’ve never had an issue. We don’t know how this will play out. We have just summonsed the jurors that will be coming in in November. We will see,” Davy said.

Davy says come January, they will evaluate civil jury trials, but those will likely resume more toward the end of 2021.

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