Iowa jury trials postponed until Sept. 14 due to COVID-19

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- The Iowa Judicial Branch says it will postpone jury trials in criminal cases until at least Sept. 14 and push back any in-person proceedings until July 13 or later because of the coronavirus threat.

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Some hearings can begin July 13 or earlier if courthouses meet recommended safety protocols, but the use of teleconferences and video conferences will continue to be encouraged.

Health officials have warned that crowded courtrooms could be venues to spread the virus to clerks, jurors, lawyers, witnesses, spectators and defendants.