Skip to main content

Federal courts in Minnesota are suspending jury trials until next year

This decision applies to jury trials that have yet to commence.

The U.S. District Court in Minnesota is suspending all jury trials that haven't started until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and surging cases in Minnesota.

In a general order posted Wednesday, the court says all criminal trials that have not already commenced as of Nov. 4 are suspended through Dec. 31 and all civil trials are continued through Dec. 31.

The state's federal court is doing this in an effort "to protect public health, reduce the size of public gatherings, reduce unnecessary travel and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak."

Minnesota is experiencing high COVID-19 infection rates statewide and active COVID-19 cases are at record highs, the order notes. On Thursday, Nov. 5, a record 3,956 new cases were reported and 25 more people had died of the virus.

Federal courts in Minnesota had resumed limited jury trials in September after developing a protocol to help protect the health and safety of those involved, the order notes. But now all jury trials that haven't yet started are delayed until after the new year, unless otherwise approved by the chief judge if special circumstances require. 

Andrew Mannix, the federal courts' reporter for the Star Tribune, tweeted about this order, noting that those in custody awaiting trial could petition for release on home monitoring. 

Next Up


Charges: Driver had been drinking at party before striking teens, killing one

The victims were walking home from Walmart at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.


Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.


Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.


chauvin trial day 4

Derek Chauvin trial: Here's who is on the jury

Opening statements for the trial, is expected to last 2-4 weeks, are set for Monday.

covid-19, coronavirus

As COVID-19 cases surge, Itasca County suspends contact tracing

Health officials instead will focus on high-risk settings, like schools and long-term care facilities.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Prosecutors appeal court's decision to split trials in George Floyd's death

Prosecutors want one trial for all four former Minneapolis police officers.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Bracing for security threats, federal courthouses closing in Minnesota

Security is also being ramped up at the state capitol.

Judge Peter Cahill - March 8

Chauvin trial: Jury pool sent home as court awaits appeals court guidance

Judge Cahill rejected the prosecution's motion to delay the start of jury selection, but it was delayed Monday anyway.

covid saliva test

Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 7.54.07 AM

Grand jury indicts 2 with aiding and abetting murder of Minneapolis Realtor

Four people have now been indicted by a grand jury in connection to the 2019 killing of Monique Baugh.