ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WIVB)–As the PAUSE order is set to expire this week, some areas are still trying to figure out what reopening will look like, including the courts.
There have only been virtual arraignments in Erie County during the coronavirus pandemic.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says judges have been Skyping from home and defense lawyers have tuned in from their offices.
Flynn says court reporters have been the only people physically in a courtroom.
The state says it hopes to get the courts back up as soon as possible which would include convening grand juries.
Flynn says those are impossible to do virtually since they must be private.
He says Cuomo’s latest executive order opens the door for the courts to start having felony hearings virtually.
Flynn says Erie County plans to start having those virtually starting next week.
When it comes to trials, Flynn says there must be at least 12 jurors
He says they can’t have juries until the courts reopen.
Flynn says that’s a discussion for later down the road.
He says once the PAUSE order expires, the courts will have to see how our region shapes up after a health analysis by leaders.