ODESSA, Texas (Big 2 / Fox 24) Ector County will be resuming court trials for the first time since March, jury selections will begin next month but it won’t be held at the court house.
In a 5- 0 vote the Ector County Commissioners Court approved on Thursday for jury selections to take place at the Ector County Coliseum. Clarissa Webster, the Ector County District Clerk said while potential jurors will not be reporting the court house, there will be less people who are summoned to jury duty.
“There still isn’t a facility large enough to accommodate the number of jurors that we normally have,” Webster said. ” So it would be about half than we usually get, we’re hoping to get 100-150 people to show up on that day.”
Residents who receive a jury summons will be required to show up at Barn G at The Ector County Coliseum on Oct. 5 , safety measures will be taken during jury selections.
“Their temperature will be taken before they come in and they’ll be seated in a location that is a minimum of 6 to 8 feet between jurors,” Webster said.
Potential jurors will also be required to fill out COVID-19 a pre-screen as soon as they get their summons in the mail. Dale Childers, Precinct 3 Commissioner, said this new jury selection is a county wide effort.
“It also includes building maintenance because they are having to put up screens and they have to make sure there’s WiFi,” Childers said. “Obviously it’s a county effort, every single department is making sure that this is going to work.”
Childers hopes this new jury summons will go as safely as possible, but he’s also looking forward to resuming our local justice system.
“Obviously we need to keep our courts moving,” Childers said. “We have a need, and luckily Judge Rush and all the District Courts, and also the District Clerk and every single county department
has stepped up to make sure process is smooth and it’s safe.”
Jury summons have already gone out. The Ector County District Clerk’s Office is urging residents who receive their summons to fill out the COVID-19 pre-screen questionnaire online. The questionnaire can be found on the Ector County jury information website.