Daily Briefs

Poll: Most courts have cut back to 25% or less of normal activities due to COVID-19 concerns 

Most of the nation’s courts are running at 25 percent or less of normal operations because of efforts to contain the coronavirus, according to an informal survey of hundreds of judges nationally.

In the nonscientific emailed poll conducted earlier this month by The National Judicial College, nearly 6 in 10 judges said their courts were down to 25 percent or less of normal operations. More than 850 judges from around the country participated. 

Nearly 80 percent of the judges said they were operating at 50 percent or less of normal. Fewer than 1 in 4 said their court was operating at 50 percent or better. 

Several judges reported that they had postponed all non-essential matters due to public safety concerns. 

“We allow only initial misdemeanor hearings, bond hearings and in-custody hearings. All other matters are continued 45 days or more,” wrote Judge Sonya A. Morris of East Chicago (Indiana) City Court. “The court was also attempting to reduce the county jail population by offering community service and alcohol and drug counseling in lieu of bond.”

Other judges said they had begun holding court activities remotely via electronic communications or setting courtroom participant limits for emergency hearings.

“We, like the rest of the nation, are changing our thinking about who gets detained pretrial,” wrote Wayne County (Michigan) Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Talon.

The National Judicial College is nation’s oldest, largest and most widely attended school for judges. Each month the NJC emails a one-question poll to its more than 12,000 judges around the country who have attended its courses for new and experienced judges. The poll often asks their opinion on an issue of the day.


Journal of Law in Society at Wayne Law elects new editorial board

Ten law students have been elected to the 2020-21 editorial board of The Journal of Law in Society at Wayne State University Law School.

New editorial board members are: Editor-in-Chief Ben VanBarr; Managing Editor Rebecca Bundy; Reviewing Editor Zoë Grenfell; Symposium Director Veronica Walrad; Executive Article Editors Brett Diederichs, Lindsey Jemison and Christina Woodward; Senior Note Editors Jessica Biondo, Emily Honet and Taylor Wells.

Acting as the scholarly voice of the Law School's Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, The Journal of Law in Society provides discourse at the intersection of law and society.

Each year, the Journal identifies a range of issues affecting Detroit and other parts of the world and then publishes articles that address those issues within their social context. The Journal publishes twice a year and hosts an academic symposium on topics relevant to the larger Detroit area.


Subscribe to the Legal News!


Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more

Day Pass Only $4.95!

One-County $80/year

Three-County & Full Pass also available