Federal judge suspends Fresno court cases due to H1N1 flu virus

Judge Lawrence O'Neil says for the next seven days no inmates from the Fresno County jail will be taken to court.
January 15, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A federal judge says the flu forced him to issue a health emergency. Judge Lawrence O'Neil says for the next seven days no inmates from the Fresno County jail will be taken to court.

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In his order O'Neil says an inmate who recently came in for sentencing has been diagnosed with H1N1 and has been quarantined. He also cites medical information, which states a person is contagious for 24 hours before they show any symptoms.

O'Neil says he wants to assure the health and safety of the entire court staff. And while attorneys support his decision, they admit, it will likely delay the court calendar for months. Jeff Hammerschmidt said, "If a trial needs to be continued it will likely be continued for at least three months because that's the next available court date for that judge."

The emergency order will be re-evaluated after seven days, and could be extended.


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