However, it will look very different for jurors, defendants and lawyers.
“No one has been through this, and it’s most difficult to move forward and to balance this virus and the safety of the Constitution,” said supervising Judge Leon Tucker, who runs the court’s criminal division. “There are people incarcerated, and some of those people are going to be guilty and some of those people are going to be found not guilty.
“Nonetheless, under the Constitution, they must have a hearing or a trial that’s afforded to them.”
Only a few cases will be heard each day.
“We’ve got to reduce the number of cases as best we could,” he said. “It’s reduced to about 25% of what we had.”
Jurors will be in a separate room, socially distant, with Plexiglas separators. They will watch the trial via Zoom. The courthouse will also be cleaned at least twice a day.
The public will enter the courthouse in one door, and employees and judges in another. Loitering in the lobby is off-limits.
If a court matter can be resolved over the phone or by video conference, it will be.
Staff members are also working with people who may have health or family concerns, but they should call the court ahead of time with concerns at 215-683-7170.