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Thursday, September 02, 2021

SAYFIE PULLS THE PLUG ON ALL IN PERSON HEARINGS/TRIALS

 County court was at it again this week, doing another trial- this one about some sick horses, of course the potential for litigants and jurors and court personnel to get sick was not apparently a major concern- although the information we received is that the judge and all parties took all precautions. It was still unwise to proceed, in our expert opinion. 

And on Thursday afternoon our new Chief Judge, who has already had to deal with a collapsing civil courthouse- PULLED THE PLUG ON ALL IN PERSON HEARINGS AND TRIALS. 

No more county court judges bringing 25 unnecessary people into the REGJB to try those ultra important reckless driving cases, resisting without violence, and possession of undersize Snook cases. So while we expect Friday's NY Times to lead with "Dade County Misdemeanor Court halts jury trials-nation shudders as legal system teeters on the brink!"   somehow we will muddle through. *

THE NEWS RELEASE:

In order to protect the health and safety of the community and court staff, the Honorable Nushin G. Sayfie, Chief Judge of the Miami-Dade Courts, has temporarily suspended in-person trials and in-person hearings for two weeks beginning Friday, Sept. 3rd, through and including Friday, Sept. 17th.

 The suspension was enacted in consideration of the current high rate of COVID-19 community transmission in Miami-Dade County, as well as the advice of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists who regularly consult with the Miami-Dade Courts.

 Only in-person trials and in-person hearings are affected by this temporary suspension. All other court matters that may take place remotely on the Zoom platform will continue as scheduled.Questions regarding specific cases or operations within a court division should be directed to the administrative judge of that division. A judicial directory for the Miami-Dade Courts may be found here.

Please continue to visit our website www.jud11.flcourts.org and social media @miamidadecourts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for future updates.


* Miami, Florida.

Special to the NY Times:

Miami, Florida canceled all pending misdemeanor jury trials on Thursday, causing legal experts to opine whether the nation's legal system can withstand the loss of jury trials adjudicating whether a defendant drove recklessly or resisted arrest without violence. The White House, already dealing with the Supreme Court's refusal to stay Texas's ban on abortions,  was caught by surprise: "The president is studying the order in Miami and legal experts will be briefing the President on the implications for the US legal system on Miami's suspension of critical misdemeanor trials on possession of undersized Snook. A senior White House official stated that "Our legal system is resilient. While the suspension of these critical proceedings is concerning, it is only temporary." 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...


Let’s talk about an unpopular subject : over the last two decades of there has been rampant death penalty billing abuse in south Florida. One local defense lawyer is accused of billing the tax payers 46 times - 24 hours a day. If true, does that mean this woman didn’t go to the bathroom on those days, or billed for, pardon my French, taking a shit? This has not received coverage here for obvious reasons but this is getting hard to ignore. Another lawyer billed 4000 hours in a year. The optics are bad and hurt the defense bar in miami.

Anonymous said...

As the late, great Judge Ed Cowart would say, see Snook v. State, 478 So.2d 403

Anonymous said...

Fleisher and Pekins better beware.

Anonymous said...

Good for Sayfie. Listening to science and otherwise realizing that banging out a Reckless Driving or commercial vehicle markings jury trial is not going to put even the slightest dent in the backlog of cases that happens during a once in a lifetime pandemic.

I mean seriously, what effect did having half a dozen jury trials during the entire pandemic have on anything? Nada.




Unknown said...

It's about time. Kudos to Sayfie. Bringing jurors in to subject them to possible COVID exposure is unconscionable. Lawyers and judges, bailiffs and court reporters. Everyone is at risk. Just suspend them for the rest of the year. A lot of these county court trials can be handled by Zoom, if they waive jury. It is so difficult to try a case in front of a bunch of masked zombies, with the witnesses surrounded by Plexiglas. Does anyone really want to continue with this?