OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Friday, John M. Gerrard, Chief U.S. District Judge for the District of Nebraska, ordered and extension of all civil and criminal jury trials, and all grand jury proceedings, until at least May 1.
Other court hearings and court-ordered conferences will continue being conducted through videoconferencing as much as possible.
“While a vast majority of the Court’s employees have appropriately been assigned to work remotely, the district’s courthouses and the bankruptcy court remain open, electronic filings are being processed and the intake desks remain available for nonelectronic filings," Chief Judge Gerrard said. "Staff in all judges’ chambers and the clerk’s offices, as well as staff in the bankruptcy court, remain available by telephone and email, and regular mail is being received."
The judge went on to say that court services can still be used by the public and the practicing bar during the next several weeks, as long as they following all applicable public health guidelines and screening procedures.
According to the press release, the district’s judges and staff plan to continue making decisions, filing orders and churning out work as they do their part in obeying all public health guidelines in order to significantly reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 and other diseases.
Read the full order:
IT IS ORDERED:
1. The areas presenting an elevated risk of transmitting COVID-19 for purposes of General Order 2020-03 shall now include any international travel and any domestic area subject to a lawfully issued quarantine order or functional equivalent.
2. The continuances implemented by General Order 2020-04 and General Order 2020-05 are extended to include all proceedings set to begin on or before May 1, 2020.
3. For the reasons stated in General Order 2020-04 and General Order 2020-05, the delays in progression of criminal cases occasioned by the continuances implemented by this General Order are excluded under the Speedy Trial Act pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(7)(A) & (B)(iii). The failure of any defendant to object to this General Order will be deemed a waiver of any right to later claim the time should not have been excluded under the Speedy Trial Act. - 2 -
4. Due to the unavailability of a grand jury in this District, the 30-day time period for filing an indictment or information is tolled as to any defendant during the time period of the continuances occasioned by General Order 2020-04 and this General Order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3161(b).
5. Case-by-case exceptions to the continuances extended by this General Order may be ordered for non-jury proceedings at the discretion of the Court, upon motion from the parties or on the Court's own motion after consultation with counsel. The provisions of General Order 2020-03 shall remain in effect for such proceedings.
6. The Court will vacate, extend, or amend this General Order no later than May 1, 2020.