Good Question: Can you pass on jury duty during the pandemic?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A viewer named Daniel wanted to know something about jury duty. He asked News10NBC’s Brennan Somers: "In light of the higher rates of COVID infections within Monroe County, if a person receives a summons for jury duty, can one refuse to serve?"

For the time being, all jury trials in New York have been postponed. It still isn’t clear when they’ll resume again.

Here are your options if you’re concerned about the spread of the virus when trials do resume:

NYS court officials told Somers your first jury duty postponement can be made online–for any reason. If you want to ask for another delay, here in Monroe County there’s a juror support office you can reach out to as well.

Court officials say they know these are unusual circumstances. They are very pleased by the public’s interest in still serving in cases over the past several months.

While jury trials are on hold, there’s still a need for grand juries. Officials at the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office told Somers they were permitted to seat a grand jury. There’s one right now, and this will help handle a backlog of cases.

The office says it is doing everything it can when it comes to social distancing and cleaning to keep court proceedings safe.


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