Mississippi chief justice extends COVID-19 order for courts

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The head of the Mississippi Supreme Court is extending a emergency order that allows judges to postpone jury trials to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The extended order by Chief Justice Mike Randolph remains in place through Nov. 12.

Randolph issued an emergency order in August, and this the second extension of that. He said in a statement Thursday that the state Supreme Court “has sought to properly balance individual rights, public health and safety, and the constitutional requirement that Mississippi state courts remain open and accessible.”

Judges presiding over drug intervention courts may modify drug testing schedules and home supervision of participants.

Judges are also allowed to use teleconferencing, videoconferencing and electronic filing to limit in-person contact. They may allow felony plea hearings, felony sentencing hearings and probation violation hearings to be conducted remotely by interactive video equipment.

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