On March 14, 2020, Georgia’s Judiciary issued a Statewide Emergency, halting court proceedings due to COVID-19. The Judicial Statewide Emergency was extended fourteen times since the March 2020 declaration. Recently, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Harold Melton, announced the Statewide Emergency would end on June 30, 2021.
As part of the final extension, the Superior Court Chief Justices can issue emergency orders to “suspend legal deadlines and designate alternative court facilities, as needed.” The judges will also have the authority to issue orders relating to courtroom access, courthouse operations and can delegate in-person versus remote proceedings.
Hon. Melton said of the decision,
“As we have been advising for some time now, courts and litigants across the state need to prepare for how they will operate without a Statewide Judicial Emergency order in place. It will take hard work, creativity, and cooperation to get our courts back to full operations and to resolve the large backlogs of cases that have accumulated due to the restrictions the pandemic required.”
Due to the end of the statewide emergency, all tolled deadlines will be reimposed on 7/1/2021 unless tolled by a local judiciary order. The extension defines “deadline” as,
“… deadlines imposed by statutes and rules for courts to hold hearings, conduct other proceedings, decide motions and issue other orders, as well as statutory speedy trial and other requirements tied to grand jury proceedings and jury trials.”
For more information on Georgia’s Statewide Judicial Emergency, click here.
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