The Georgia Supreme Court this weekend issued an Order Declaring a Statewide Judicial Emergency, suspending all non-essential court functions until April 14, 2020. You can read the full amended order here. The Honorable Chief Justice Harold D. Melton declared the judicial emergency in response to Governor Kemps statewide State of Emergency regarding Covid-19, more aptly known as the Coronavirus.
The order applies to all courts and clerk’s offices in the state as it relates to all judicial proceedings. While the order effectively cancels existing civil court functions during this time, certain essential functions will go on as scheduled. See an excerpt from Chief Justice Melton’s order below regarding what he defines as essential functions:
“To the extent feasible, courts should remain open to address essential functions, and in particular courts should give priority to matters necessary to protect health, safety, and liberty of individuals. Essential functions are subject to interpretation; however, some matters that fall into the essential function category are: (1) where an immediate liberty or safety concern is present requiring the attention of the court as soon as the court is available; (2) criminal court search warrants, arrest warrants, initial appearances, and bond reviews; (3) domestic abuse temporary protective orders and restraining orders; (4) juvenile court delinquency detention hearings and emergency removal matters; and (5) mental health commitment hearings.”
Due to the expansive nature of these court closures, the Georgia Supreme Court has suspended deadlines for the Statute of Limitations, Discovery, Service of Process, and other related time sensitive legal proceedings. For those concerned about their legal proceedings and whether or not they have been cancelled, many clerk’s offices remain open to answer any questions that may arise.
Here at Thrift McLemore, we are committed to keeping you informed of all material updates as they occur, and we will be working diligently with all of our clients to keep their legal proceedings moving forward in an organized and expedient manner. If you have any questions about the Georgia Supreme Court’s Judicial Emergency Order, feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 678-784-4150.