Status of Georgia and Alabama Court Openings and Stays Due to COVID-19

05.27.2020

Georgia and Alabama courts at the federal and state level have modified their operations in response to COVID-19. The latest updates regarding deadlines, openings and stays are reflected in the guide below.

ALABAMA STATE COURTS

  • Courts are permitted to recommence in-person, non-jury court proceedings after May 15, 2020, but individual circuits may extend restriction of such proceedings up to Aug. 15, 2020, within their discretion.
  • Jury trials are suspended until Sept. 14, 2020.
  • All other deadlines set to expire beginning March 15, 2020, were extended to May 15, 2020.
  • Statutory periods of repose and statutes of limitations were not extended.

ALABAMA FEDERAL COURTS

Middle District of Alabama

  • Jury trials and trial-specific deadlines scheduled for the period from March 17-April 16, 2020 were extended for 30 days.
  • Any requirements for delivery of courtesy copies of filings to judges’ chambers are suspended until further order.
  • Deadlines for motions that can be resolved without oral argument were not altered.

Northern District of Alabama

  • Jury and bench trials are continued until further order.
  • Other in-person court proceedings are continued until further order.
  • Discovery deadlines and briefing schedules were stayed for 28 days from March 17-April 14, 2020.
  • Statutory periods of repose and statutes of limitations were not extended.

Southern District of Alabama

  • Telephone or video appearance for court proceedings is permitted from March 13, 2020, until 30 days after the termination of the national emergency declaration.

Click here to view county-specific court information from the Alabama State Bar.

GEORGIA STATE COURTS

  • Statewide judicial emergency is currently in effect and expires on June 12, 2020.
  • Jury trials are prohibited until further order.
  • Telephone or video appearance in court proceedings is permitted, but requires the consent of the parties.
  • Individual courts have discretion to conduct in-person court proceedings.
  • Deadlines, time schedules and filing requirements suspended, tolled and extended during judicial emergency (March 13-June 12, 2020).
  • As of May 11, 2020, courts may reimpose or establish deadlines (other than jury trials or grand juries) by written order in individual cases.
  • Effective May 28, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia has reinstated deadlines for appeals in its court.

GEORGIA FEDERAL COURTS

Middle District of Georgia

  • Jury trials are prohibited until July 13, 2020.
  • Telephone or video appearances in non-jury court proceedings is permitted until June 29, 2020.

Northern District of Georgia

  • Jury trials are prohibited until July 3, 2020, but summons may be issued to prospective jurors for proceedings scheduled to begin after July 3.
  • Grand jury proceedings may be held beginning June 1, 2020.
  • In-person, non-jury court proceedings are permitted.
  • All deadlines for motions not requiring oral argument remain in effect.

Southern District of Georgia

  • Access to courthouses is restricted by health guidelines, but jury trials and in-person hearings are not prohibited.

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT (APPELLATE COURT FOR FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS IN ALABAMA, FLORIDA AND GEORGIA)

  • Requirements for paper filings are suspended until further order.
  • Oral argument may be held by audio or teleconferencing until further order.

If you have any questions or wish to further discuss issues related to COVID-19, please contact a Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers attorney at 404.874.8800 or via our website, www.swiftcurrie.com.

The foregoing is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis of the full effect of these changes. Nothing in this notice should be construed as legal advice. This document is intended only to notify our clients and other interested parties about important recent developments. Every effort has been made to ascertain the accuracy of the information contained within this notice.

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