Defendants worry about big backlog of court cases because of coronavirus

Court will be back in session in Contra Costa County on Monday after jury trials were paused due to the pandemic.

But there is now a big backlog of court cases, similar to the situation in other Bay Area counties.

For example, nearly 400 people are currently waiting for their day in court in Santa Clara County alone, due to courthouse closures in the south bay over the past year.

"So if there are 400 defendants waiting to go to trial, who are charged criminally, they're presumed to be innocent," said retired Santa Clara County Judge LaDoris Cordell. "There aren't enough courtrooms. There aren't enough judges, there aren't enough staff or jurors to really get these cases to trial."

It will likely take years for some Bay Area trials to get underway.

Some are concerned many people may get impatient and decide to settle their cases out of court, even if it's not in their best legal interest.