The new year has seen an explosion in the number of persons infected with the Omicron variant of Covid-19. In 2020 and 2021, the spread of the deadly coronavirus wreaked havoc in the court system here in Washington, resulting in the temporary but prolonged shut down of the courts, including the shuttering of criminal jury trials.
Now, 2022 brings a fresh reminder that we have not reached a safe threshold to carry out one of the most basic functions of our society – the administration of justice. Effective January 25, Snohomish County District Court presiding judge Jennifer Rancourt signed Emergency Administrative Order 22-02, which suspends all criminal jury trials until at least February 14.
Other courts have already re-instituted further suspensions, or will be doing so again shortly. The Snohomish County Superior Court has not made any announcements of trial suspensions, but if case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to rise at the unprecedented rate we’ve seen, it’s a fairly safe bet there will be some further restrictions on felony trials.
Read the Judge’s Order here: https://www.snohomishcountywa.