Multnomah County Presiding Judge Orders in Response to Omicron
Today, Presiding Judge Stephen K. Bushong issued two new PJOs in response to the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. The first order continues remote appearances in the juvenile proceedings that were scheduled to return to in person appearances on January 3, 2022.
The second order continues the social distancing requirement for all court proceedings as authorized by an order issued by Chief Justice Walters today. The PJO also reinstates remote jury selection for all criminal and civil cases as soon as possible. These steps are necessary to minimize the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus in light of the highly-contagious omicron variant. The limitations associated with social distancing and remote jury selection means that the court will only be able to conduct a limited number of jury trials each week during the months of January and February. The highest priority cases—criminal cases involving in-custody defendants or approaching speedy trial deadlines—will likely use most of the available trial slots, though the court is hoping to also conduct a limited number of misdemeanor jury trials and possibly a few civil trials if there is good cause for holding a civil jury trial during the height of the pandemic. Attorneys with civil jury trials scheduled during January and February should contact the Presiding Court for a scheduling conference to re-schedule their trials. Attorneys who believe they can demonstrate good cause for conducting a civil jury trial during this time should contact Presiding Court for a scheduling conference.
The email address for Presiding Court is firstname.lastname@example.org. The PJOs are available below and on the court website.
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