Salt Lake City, UT—Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant has issued an updated Administrative Order. The order instructs judges to begin expanding virtual hearings for more cases in both criminal and civil matters, including bench trials.
During the moderate-risk phase of the pandemic courts will not resume in-person proceedings, including jury trails, until further notice. There are limited exceptions to the prohibition of in-person proceedings for unusual circumstances.
The Supreme Court has directed the creation of a judicial working group to establish a way to conduct safe and effective in-person court proceedings that follow state and federal pandemic safety guidelines. The working group is expected to submit its recommendations to the Utah Judicial Council for approval before in-person hearings will resume.
Most hearings can be held remotely in the meantime with the consent of parties, including bench trials. If a judge believes that a party’s consent to a remote bench trail is being unreasonably withheld, the updated administrative order allows a judge to order the bench trial to proceed.
Click here to read the May 11, 2020 Administrative Order:
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