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The number of jury trials completed in 2020 was cut in half

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The coronavirus has played a big factor in many cases being delayed over the last year. Jury trials were suspended entirely in North Dakota from mid-March until July.

State Court Administrator Sally Holewa believes the court is exceeding expectations with the number completed since then, considering the limitations.

From July 1 to December 2020, the state finalized 138 trials. Comparatively, in 2019, the courts completed 247 for the entire year.

“Behind the scenes, you know there’s probably 10-20 trials scheduled every week that don’t go to trial because they settle, and so we feel like we’re making a lot of progress on the cases that have been backlogged, because we’re getting them on the schedule and we’re getting them settled or to trial,” Holewa added.

The 138 trials completed in 2020 and 247 in 2019 do not include those that end up being settled outside of a jury trial.

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