Chief Justice Harold Melton enacted the Statewide Judicial Emergency on March 14, 2020, and it was set to expire on April 13, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this Statewide Judicial Emergency has been extended for the second time, and is set to expire on June 12, 2020, at 11:59pm. The courts continue to process cases carefully and safely in the courtroom and via teleconference when applicable.
Allow us to answer several frequently asked questions about this Statewide Judicial Emergency:
What is the purpose of the Statewide Judicial Emergency?
The Statewide Judicial Emergency was enacted on March 14 to increase the health and safety of people in the courtroom. This Emergency allows for critical and essential cases to continue being tried, but non-essential cases must wait until it is safe to do so.
“The threat of this virus is difficult for everyone,” Chief Justice Melton said. “Court personnel are no exception. We have to ensure that they can safely fulfill their mission.”
What is considered an essential case?
Cases such as bond hearings, arrest warrants, and restraining orders have been deemed essential. Other cases that require a jury such as criminal and civil cases have been suspended until further notice. This has been enacted to ensure social distancing is taking place among jurors and other people in the courtroom.
What does this mean for my case?
If your case falls under the criminal or civil categories, it cannot be tried at this time. If your case has been deemed essential, it will continue.
Why are the courts enacting the use of teleconferencing?
Teleconferencing accomplishes two things – the parties involved can practice social distancing while moving forward with their case and a backlog in cases will be avoided once social distancing is not as pertinent.
The Kicklighter Law Team is Here for You
Kicklighter Law has been deemed critical infrastructure in this unprecedented pandemic. We are continuing to take new cases and devote time to our current clients to ensure your legal needs are adequately represented. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Mickey Kicklighter: 912-754-6003.