Even with some businesses reopening and the statewide shelter-at-home order lifted, the coronavirus outbreak continues to keep Georgia courts from returning to normal operations. In fact, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton on Monday, May 4th announced that he’s extending the statewide judicial emergency for the second time. The judicial emergency, which was last scheduled to end May 13, 2020, will now be in effect through 11:59 pm on Friday, June 12, 2020. That means civil and criminal jury trials will continue to be on hold and no jurors or grand jurors will be called to serve.
The extension provides chief judges of judicial circuits the authority to impose more restrictive judicial emergency orders if required by local conditions. “The courts are different from most private establishments and public places in that we compel people to attend court proceedings, and that requires us to be extra cautious,” Melton said in a news release.
As mentioned in our March blog, the judicial emergency means that statute of limitations will be tolled for the duration of the emergency. However, pursuant to a May 21, 2020 order by the Supreme Court, parties in pending cases, or cases that have already been filed with the courts, will have the same amount of time to submit their filings as they had remaining at the time the March 14th emergency went into effect. This new order has been issued in an attempt to keep the Court operating to the fullest extent possible during and after the judicial emergency that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this time, it is best for your personal injury case that you continue seeing your medical providers and/or telecommunicate in order to avoid treatment gaps, which can be used to diminish your personal injury case value.
We pray that you all are staying safe and well. With things “opening up” again, please continue to be cautious and do your best to remain healthy by consuming immune boosting foods, engaging in regular exercise, and practicing good hygiene including frequent hand washing and avoiding contact between unclean hands and with the eyes, nose and mouth. And most importantly, stay positive. There have been over one million cases of people recovering from the virus worldwide!