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Wednesday, October 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane County Superior Court again suspends jury trials

Judge Michael Price made the announcement Wednesday afternoon in an email to court staff, a copy of which was obtained by The Spokesman-Review. He cited statistics from the Spokane Regional Health District that illustrate "the continued escalation of COVID-19 in Spokane County."

Coronavirus has closed courthouses and stopped trials: How does Washington’s justice system come back?

There has not been a jury trial in Western Washington – perhaps in the entire state – since early March. While the wheels of justice still turn – some hearings are still held, arraignments and pleas are taken – for the most part they are spinning in place. The federal courthouses in Seattle and Tacoma have been shuttered by judicial order: Pretrial proceedings are done either by video, telephone or postponed. In the busier state courts, where locking the doors hasn’t been an option, the daily docket call looks very different than it did just four months ago.

Court considers request to end Inslee’s COVID-19 emergency orders

The state emergency orders over COVID-19 should be ended and local health districts allowed to decide what steps their communities should take in response to the virus, an attorney for some Chelan County residents argued Thursday in a court in Wenatchee.

Spokane County jail population plunges during pandemic

Only 620 people were held in the Spokane County Jail and the Geiger Corrections Center on Friday evening, according to the county’s online jail roster. That’s roughly two-thirds of the usual inmate population.

Washington Supreme Court ends legal turf battle in Stevens County

In a unanimous opinion issued last week, the high court’s nine justices sided with Stevens County Superior Court judges who sought to preside over preliminary hearings in cases that were originally filed in District Court. Such hearings often determine whether a defendant will be let out of jail while awaiting trial.