Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Status of Jury Trials in the KC Area

As a personal injury attorney in the Kansas City area, we have many cases on file in the various courthouses around town. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has put most personal injury trials on hold and clients are having to wait even longer to get their day in court. Since when a courthouse resumes trials varies depending on the county’s spread of the virus, the date when trials resumes also varies by county. We’ve been keeping tabs on status of trials in the courthouses in the area. Here are a few:

Jackson County, Missouri.

The Jackson County Circuit, the 16th Judicial Circuit, has two courthouses:

  • One in Independence
  • And one in Kansas City

Currently, the courthouse in Kansas City is in Phase 1 and not holding jury trials. However, they will consider holding “extraordinary, pressing, and urgent” jury matters while in Phase 1, though what cases qualify for this is unknown.

The Independence Courthouse is currently holding jury trials, though modified to take into account size limits, social distancing, and face coverings. From what I know, the only trials that are happening in Independence are criminal trials, not civil trials like personal injury cases.

Platte County, Missouri.

Platte County is currently in Phase 1 and not holding any jury trials. All jury trials are cancelled through the end of the year. There is an exception for cases where a statute or constitutional provision requires a trial before the end of the year, or for cases approved for trial by the presiding judge. As to the latter, it is not known what cases the presiding judge would approve.

Johnson County, Kansas.

According to its website, Johnson County District Court is currently holding trials. Their COVID notice page states, “All jury trials are continued through October 23rd, 2020.” The most recent court-wide order from the presiding judge also indicates that trials may proceed, but with strict guidelines.

We had a case set for trial October 5, 2020, but it was postponed pursuant to the latest admin. order and rescheduled for August of 2021. Strictly speaking, trials are continuing, but practically, with the backlog created by the pandemic, you’re not going to get your personal injury case tried in Johnson County, Kansas for nearly a year.

Since the resumption of jury trials is tied to the spread of the virus, please do your part to slow the spread. Stay home if you can, wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart if you can’t.