Trials, Hearings, Jury Service Continues During Government Shutdown

Despite a government shutdown, operations at D.C. Superior Court are proceeding as planned, with all scheduled hearings and trials underway and filings and payments being accepted.

Those on jury duty are expected to report for service. At least one murder trial is expected to be seated this week.

At the courthouse Tuesday morning, several people scheduled to report said that they checked to determine whether jurors were still expected for service.

I wasn’t surprised when I found out I still had to come,” Alex Jaffe said of his jury duty.

Another juror who preferred to remain anonymous noted that he didn’t receive notice to come to court Tuesday. He decided to come to court because “if we were supposed to come and I didn’t, there’d be problems.”

Originally, marriage license applications and wedding services were also expected to stop during a shutdown. However, a message from the D.C. Court twitter account indicates that new marriage licenses will be accepted.

Currently, childcare services, D.C. bar admissions, and the court’s law library are all unavailable because of the shutdown. Leah Gurowitz, Director of Governmental and Public Relations for D.C. Courts explained that though the courts would like to provide those services, they were not determined to be essential services to D.C. courts.

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