A January order suspending new jury trials for the Santa Barbara County Superior Court will end March 14.
This week, Presiding Judge Gustavo Lavayen signed an order to rescind the decision to temporarily suspend criminal and civil jury trials.
The order suspending trials was implemented as COVID-19 cases spiked in Santa Barbara County and the rest of the state in December and January.
The suspension did not affect trials that had already started, including two — one in Santa Maria and another in Santa Barbara — focused on defendants accused of committing multiple murders and other crimes linked to the MS-13 transnational criminal street gang.
Several court cases have been awaiting trial dates throughout the county after experiencing various delays, including those related to public-health concerns.
Santa Barbara County Superior Court had previously suspended trials in early 2020 due to the pandemic.
— Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.