Minnesota’s federal court system can now resume most criminal proceedings through video conferencing, other than full trials, pursuant to a Coronavirus relief act signed by President Donald Trump Friday.
Over the past few weeks, the federal court system has shut down its core functions, including most criminal hearings, naturalization hearings and attorney admission ceremonies.
On Sunday, using powers granted by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Judicial Conference of the United States determined that the emergency conditions related to COVID-19 have materially affected the federal court system’s ability to function.
In response, Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim issued an order Monday implementing the new procedures for Minnesota.
The order states defendants must consent to the video or telephone conferencing.