Malheur County Circuit Court still open but some hearings are postponed

Malheur County Circuit Judge Lung Hung, listens during a trial last year. The Malheur County Circuit Court is holding some jury trials in the wake of the COVID-19 virus out break but other hearings have been postponed. (The Enterpirse/File).

VALE – The Malheur County Circuit Court is still functioning, but many nonessential hearings are postponed.

Jury trials for those in custody who have not waived or entered a plea will still happen, said Marilee Aldred, trial court administrator.

“They cannot be postponed because of constitutional or statutory requirements,” said Aldred.

Aldred said Friday she did not know how many jury trials or non-essential hearings had been or would be postponed.

In a press release issued Friday, the circuit court said staff are taking “additional measures to protect” jurors. Those steps include wiping down courtrooms with disinfectant and calling in a smaller jury pool to allow for social distancing.

If an individual doesn’t receive a notice that their case has been continued – or postponed – they should call the court to check on the hearing status.

“Unless you have received a notice, received confirmation from your attorney or received confirmation from court staff that your case has been continued, you are expected to appear at your court appearance,” according to the statee.

The circuit court is on the second floor of the Malheur County Courthouse in Vale. Earlier this week the courthouse adopted a by-appointment-only restriction and closed off access. However, those with circuit court business can still access the courthouse through the back door of the building.

The circuit court is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call the circuit court at 541-473-5171.

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