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The Iowa Supreme Court has ordered the suspension of criminal and civil trials in light of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people because of COVID-19.
The Iowa Supreme Court’s order issued March 17, stated that any criminal trial not in progress and scheduled to begin before April 20 will be continued and reset to a date no earlier than April 20, including jury and bench trials.
The order also said all civil nonjury trials and other hearings set to commence before May 4 shall be either continued to a date no earlier than May 4 or conducted by telephone, at the discretion of the district court. Civil jury trials not in progress but scheduled to begin before May will be continued to a date to be determined.
Reynolds issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency on March 17 that in part prohibited mass gatherings of over 10 people.
“Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of this disaster,” the order stated.
The Iowa Supreme Court’s order issued March 17 said routinely, more than 10 people gather in courtrooms and court hallways throughout Iowa.