In light of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, Courts in Nebraska and Iowa recently issued orders altering trail and hearing schedules for the remainder of 2020 and early 2021.
Iowa Judicial Branch
All jury trial that has not commenced by November 16, 2020, will be continued until after February 1, 2021. There will be no jury trials from November 16, 2020, through January 31, 2021. Priority will be given to emergency matters, criminal cases, and certain civil matters.
Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation:
In-person hearings are suspended through at least March 19, 2021. All hearings scheduled during that time period will be held by video unless the agency grants a continuance. Continued cases will be rescheduled between April 26, 2021, and October 25, 2021, and heard in Des Moines, Iowa.
Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court
Hearings scheduled through the remainder of 2020 will be held in person unless a party files a Motion requesting a trial by video teleconference or telephone, and the Motion is granted by the Court. Attorneys must notify the Court of the number of witnesses and spectators expected to be present two days before an in-person proceeding. Additional cleaning measures, social distancing requirements, and screening procedures are also in place.
Douglas CountyDistrict Court:
Jury trials scheduled to be between November 9, 2020, and January 1, 2021, are continued to the next jury rail selection date, pending further order of the Court. Criminal or civil bench trials will take place as scheduled in person. Other criminal hearings may be held by audiovisual device, in person, or may be continued until after January 1, 2021. Other civil matters may occur by audiovisual platform. Public access to the Douglas County Courthouse is also restricted to employees, media, and to members of the public who need access to the Courts for in-person hearings, to file legal pleadings, pay a fine or cancel a warrant.
Douglas County Court:
Criminal, traffic, civil, and small claims trials are suspended until after January 1, 2021. Probate hearings and trials, pre-trial hearings, certain please, sentencings and admission on probation violations, and civil hearings and motions are also suspended until after January 1, 2021. Certain other criminal, traffic, civil, or probate hearings may proceed either by Webex conferencing or attended in person by essential personnel only.