Nebraska Federal Court Extends Use of Teleconferencing for Felony Hearings

By 
David Golbitz
The Daily Record

While the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska acknowledges and is encouraged by the progress made in dispensing the COVID-19 vaccine among the legal community, some hearings “cannot be conducted in person without seriously jeopardizing public health and safety,” according to a new general order issued by Chief U.S. District Judge John M. Gerrard.

General Order 2021-03 notes that while many in-court proceedings have resumed, certain felony plea and felony sentencing hearings cannot be held in person due to “the risk of COVID-19 transmission in correctional facilities and the community.”

The general order, issued March 23, extends the use of video or phone teleconferencing through June 21, “due particularly to risks associated with the housing and transportation of federal prisoners,” Gerrard wrote.

The court will decide to vacate, extend or amend this general order no later than June 21.

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