SANTA FE (KSMX)- The New Mexico Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended all-new criminal jury trials in state courts as a measure to mitigate the spread of novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Criminal jury trials will be suspended until at least April 30. However, presiding judges can proceed with a criminal jury trial if there is an exceptional circumstance, reported by the Las Cruces Sun.
Civil jury trials were suspended late last week.
According to the court’s updated order, which will go into effect immediately, included a 20-day suspension of all trials that have not already started. In a statement, New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura said the order will help preserve the integrity of the justice system while also providing safety from COVID-19, a disease from the coronavirus.
“The precautionary measures imposed by the Judiciary today will provide additional safeguards for all New Mexicans while allowing necessary court functions to continue,” Nakamura said.
It was also reported that it is imperative the courts remain open. Clovis Municipal Courts will stay open to the public with normal service hours as directed by the New Mexico Supreme Court.
In Clovis, Public Safety, including police, fire, EMS and emergency management, public works functions, including wastewater, landfill, streets and traffic departments, CATS, and the Clovis Municipal Airport, will continue to function as normal, with heightened awareness regarding separation of staff from the public where possible.