June 16, 2020

COVID-19: Georgia Supreme Court Extends Judicial Emergency Order through July 12, 2020

On June 12, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia extended its Judicial Emergency Order a third time through and including July 12, 2020. However, the latest Emergency Order contains significant modifications from the previous orders.

In the new order, jury trials continue to be suspended and the Court indicates “it is unlikely that any jury proceedings will begin until August or later.” All other deadlines are to be reinstated as of July 14, 2020, unless a local judicial emergency order or case-specific order states otherwise. The Court also clarified that any statute of limitations that ran between March 14 and July 14, 2020 is extended by excluding those dates from the calculation of the deadline.

Under the Second Judicial Emergency Order from May 11, 2020, judges in State and Superior Courts were given authority to enter orders re-imposing deadlines in specific cases. However, in practice this seems to have been the exception rather than the rule as judges have only done so in a limited number of our pending cases. The latest Emergency Order continues to authorize local courts to enter their own deadlines, and we anticipate this will become more commonplace over the next 30 days.

Finally, the Supreme Court continues to encourage the use of remote judicial proceedings through technology. We have attended several remote hearings during this pandemic, and we see courts continuing to use video-conferencing technology for the foreseeable future for status conferences, pre-trial hearings, and hearings limited to oral argument.

You can read the full text of the Georgia Supreme Court’s Third Judicial Emergency Order here:

If you have any questions, please contact one of the attorneys in our Atlanta office at (470) 740-4100.