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6 more Milwaukee County courtrooms to reopen for jury trials

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//September 29, 2020//

6 more Milwaukee County courtrooms to reopen for jury trials

By: Michaela Paukner, [email protected]//September 29, 2020//

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Six more Milwaukee County courtrooms will reopen for jury trials in the next month.

First Judicial District Chief Judge Mary Triggiano approved an amended phased operational plan that went into effect on Monday. The plan reopened one courtroom for jury trials in the civil division on Monday, and five more rooms are to follow in the next three weeks.

All courtrooms have health and safety precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including requiring masks, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene. The court is also continuing to use virtual Zoom hearings as much as possible.

 

Reopened courtrooms

The plan re-opened Courthouse 404-Civil Division for jury trials on Sept. 28. The court will use 400-Courthouse for voir dire and 408(D)-Courthouse for deliberation in these trials.

Courthouse 501-Criminal Division will open starting Oct. 5 for domestic-violence calendars. Scheduled cases will use 500-Courthouse for voir dire and 511(I)-Courthouse for deliberation.

The Milwaukee County Zoofari Courtroom-Children’s Division will house termination-of-parenta- rights hearings starting Oct. 5 as well. Voir dire and deliberation will happen on site.

An additional three courtrooms will open on Oct. 19 – Courthouse 629-Criminal Division, another room at Milwaukee County Zoofari and Vel R. Phillips Youth and Family Justice Center 1407-Children’s Division.

Courthouse 629 will have gun, drug and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area calendars. The court will use 400-Courthouse for voir dire and 624-Courthouse for deliberation.

The second Zoofari courtroom will hear cases from the civil division with voir dire for Utah Model. VPYFJC will hear CHIPS cases, using Zoofari for voir dire and 1044 VPYFJC for deliberation.

Calendaring

Cases will be scheduled for jury trial on Mondays at 8:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. each week using the following voir dire space schedule:

Courthouse 400 (30-Juror Capacity)

  • Monday at 8:30 a.m.: Civil cases in CH 404
  • Monday at 1:30 p.m.: Gun, drug and HIDTA cases in CH 629

Courthouse 500 (30-Juror Capacity)

  • Monday at 8:30 a.m.: General felony, homicide and sexual assault cases in CH 608
  • Monday at 1:30 p.m.: Domestic violence cases in CH 501

Safety Building 620 (30-Juror Capacity)

  • Monday at 8:30 a.m.: General felony, homicide and sexual assault cases in SB620

Zoofari (55-Juror Capacity)

  • Monday at 8:30 a.m.: Children’s CHIPS jury trials or civil jury trials if there are no CHIPS
  • Monday at 1:30 p.m.: Children’s TPR cases

In the Criminal Division, jury trials involving defendants who are in custody and have made a demand for a speedy trial or prompt deposition will be given priority. The Children’s Court, Civil, Criminal and Family divisions are directed to create and distribute policies and procedures to guide litigants on jury trials and other in-person proceedings.

Milwaukee County first resumed jury trials in July, opening two courtrooms in the criminal division for jury trials.

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