Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea has issued a statewide order extending the current limitations on in-person court meetings through March.
As a result, no new criminal or civil jury trials can begin before March 15 due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19.
For criminal jury trials, the chief judge does have the option to grant an exception if three criteria are met: the defendant has requested a speedy trial, the defendant is in custody, and the case regards a felony or non-felony person crime.
The chief judge, with consultation with the Gildea, can also grant exceptions for in-person civil jury trials. Civil jury trials may also take place remotely if all parties and the judge agree to it.
Among the high-profile trials due to start before Mar. 15 is that of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of the murder of George Floyd.
This week, a Hennepin County judge rejected a bid to delay Chauvin's trial, saying it will go ahead on Mar. 8 as planned.
More information about the limits can be found on the Minnesota Judicial Branch website.