With COVID-19 cases again on the rise in Lewis County, Lewis County Superior Court has suspended all jury trials until at least the week of Jan. 31. All civil and criminal jury trials scheduled for the weeks of Jan. 10, Jan. 17 and Jan. 24 will be rescheduled.
Bench trials — trials where a judge hears a case and makes a decision without a jury — will continue to be held, as will all other types of court hearings.
Parties in both civil and criminal matters are encouraged to participate remotely if possible. More information on how to do so is available online at lewiscountywa.gov/offices/superior-court/video-appearance-links/.
Those who attend in person are required to strictly follow masking and social distancing requirements in the courtroom.
The court cited information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with guidance from local officials, the state Supreme Court and Gov. Jay Inslee’s restrictions regarding COVID-19 as reasons for limiting court operations.
The suspension marks the third time Lewis County Superior Court has put jury trials on hold since the start of the pandemic.
The first suspension, which put jury trials on hold from March 2020 to March 2021, amassed a backlog of hundreds of cases, according to Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer. The second suspension lasted two months and was lifted in early November.