MOUNT GILEAD — Judge Jenifer Murphy Burnaugh announced that the implications of the COVID-19 virus have caused the Morrow County Municipal Court to order a change in location for jury trials.
Rather than taking place in the Morrow County Courthouse, jury trials will be held at the Four Seasons Barn located at 3310 Township Road 155, Cardington.
All other hearings will remain at the Courthouse.
The Morrow County Municipal Court holds jury trials on Wednesdays. The next scheduled jury trial is Aug. 26.
A return date for jury trials at the Courthouse has not been determined.
“The Morrow County Municipal Court serves an essential government function and has been open during the entirety of this health emergency. Accordingly, we have vast experience in balancing the continuation of court operations with the health and safety of those that have business before the Court.
“However, jury trials require special accommodations due to the number of people involved and the need for social distancing,” said Burnaugh.
The Four Seasons Barn has a maximum occupancy of 300 people which is more than sufficient for jury selection, the trial, and public viewing. Burnaugh credited owners Mark and Beth Clemons for opening their facility to the citizens of Morrow County.
Burnaugh also thanked the Morrow County Health Commissioner, Morrow County Sheriff’s Office, Morrow County Commissioners and Morrow County Court of Common Pleas for their collaboration.
“Trial by jury is one of the most valued rights that we possess in the United States. The preservation of this right is strengthened by the citizens of Morrow County’s willingness to respond to the call for jury service,” she said.