CONCORD, NH — Chief Justice of the Superior Court Tina Nadeau has made the decision to cancel the remaining jury trials in New Hampshire Superior Court throughout the state through the end of December. Trials scheduled to resume in January in Rockingham County, Hillsborough County Northern District, Cheshire County, and Merrimack County are expected to continue as scheduled.
“COVID-19 infection rates and cases have now risen to the level where the risk that one person in 25 will be infected in each of the remaining counties where jury trials were to take place in December is over 70 percent. As a result, based on scientific advice provided by the court’s consultant epidemiologist Dr. Erin Bromage, we can no longer conduct jury trial proceedings with adequate protections in place,” noted Chief Justice Nadeau. “However, we will continue to conduct video, telephonic and necessary in-person hearings throughout the day in all court locations subject to the chief justice’s approval.”
“To ensure the continued health and safety of jurors, court staff, and parties to these cases, cancelling these cases, regrettably, was our best option,” said Nadeau.
Jury trials scheduled to resume in January in Rockingham County, Hillsborough County Northern District, Cheshire County and Merrimack County will continue. Also, jury trials are still on track to proceed in Coos, Grafton and Carroll counties in 2021.
“While we are currently hopeful of proceeding in these counties in January,” Nadeau said, “we will continue to evaluate the safety of conducting jury trials and other proceedings on a week-to-week basis.”
For more information on jury trials in New Hampshire, see the NHJB website.