Grand Forks County Courthouse prepares to resume jury trials on July 7

The Grand Forks County Courthouse will resume jury trials on July 7. The Grand Forks County Commission this week approved a motion to partially re-open the courthouse by appointment for those trials.

Grand Forks County Courthouse
Grand Forks County Courthouse. Grand Forks Herald file photo.

The Grand Forks County Commission this week approved a motion to begin holding trials in-person at the Grand Forks County Courthouse on July 7.

The courthouse will operate at 50% capacity in accordance with current Smart Restart guidelines.

This week, Grand Forks Public Health officials visited the courthouse to determine the maximum capacity for all court and jury rooms, and to establish safe spacing within each of those rooms.

Northeast Central Judicial District Presiding Judge Donald Hager told the Greater Grand Forks Bar Association Friday, June 19, that court staff plans to closely monitor the capacity of the building at all times during the day. Attorneys will be responsible for notifying the court clerk how many people they will require in the courtroom to hear the case.

Members of the public will be allowed to observe trials as capacity allows. Required parties, family members, witnesses, law enforcement, victim advocates and media will be seated first, Hager said.


The court will continue to use video and teleconferencing technology so that trials can also be observed remotely.

Hager said state and local courts are continuing to consider the question of juror safety. Juror questionnaires, including questions about COVID-19, are still being developed, Hager said, but people who are called to jury duty can expect to receive those questionnaires two weeks prior to jury selection.

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