Civil Jury Trials in Manatee County Extended Through the End of the Year

There will be no civil jury trials in Manatee, Desoto and Sarasota Counties through the end of the year.  The 12th Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Florida has extended civil jury trials through December 31, 2020. 

The Florida State Courts System has proactively addressed the effects on court operations of the Coronavirus Disease and considers the health, safety, and well-being of courthouse visitors, court employees and judicial officers a high priority.  As a result, the Courts state that they must continue to take steps to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the courts, its participants and the general public. 

In early March, a Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order (AOSC20-13) was issued to suspend criminal and civil jury trials through March 27, 2020.  This Administrative Order (AOSC20-23), was then amended to extend the suspension of jury trial through July 17, 2020.  In May, the 12th Judicial Circuit Courts decided to suspend civil jury trials in this circuit with a local Administrative Order (2020-13.01) through September 18, 2020.  The Courts announced based on requirements, benchmarks, and guidelines established by the Florida Supreme Court, it is apparent that the 12th Judicial Circuit Court will not be in a position to effectively and safely resume civil jury trials on September 18, 2020 and ordered all civil jury trials in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court be suspended through December 31, 2020 (In accordance with Article V, section 7, Florida Constitution, Rule of Judicial Administration 2.215, and section 43.26).  This date may be extended by further order of the Florida Supreme Court, the 12th Judicial Circuit Court, or both.

Criminal jury trials remain suspended until 30 days after the chief judge of the circuit determines that the circuit or county within the circuit has transitioned to Phase 2, pursuant to Florida Supreme Court Administrative Order 20-32.  The Manatee County Clerk of Court will update the public on any changes.  If you have any questions concerning the status of your jury duty services, we urge you to contact our office 941-749-1800 or visit our website at:  www.manateeclerk.com.