This morning, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an Order Modifying Suspension of In-Person Court Proceedings and Further Extension of Deadlines, which extends its suspension of most in-person hearings until May 31, 2020 and suspends all jury trials until after July 3, 2020. In addition to extending the suspension, here are our key takeaways from the Order:
- Each judicial district must submit a written plan to gradually begin conducting in-person hearings with appropriate measures designed to minimize "to the greatest extent possible the risk of the spread of COVID-19[,]" taking into account each district's particular circumstances and needs
- Normal court functions should continue to the greatest extent possible while minimizing in-person contact
- Most deadlines--including any statutes of limitation or repose, orders of protection, and temporary injunctions--that are set to expire between March 13, 2020 and May 31, 2020 are extended through Friday, June, 5, 2020 (subject to certain exceptions)
- Attorneys and judges are encouraged to use the Online Notary Public Act, remote notarization via Executive Order No. 26, and declarations under penalty of perjury during the suspension
- Attorneys and self-represented parties may use electronic signatures in court filings during the suspension period
- Court officials are still prohibited from assisting with any evictions for failure to pay rent during the suspension period and are encouraged to "severely limit or eliminate" any new garnishments
We will post any updates to the Supreme Court's order as they become available. Click here to read our previous coverage regarding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Tennessee court system.
Do you have questions about the Supreme Court's suspension of in-person proceedings and its effect on your case? Contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling (931) 398-5308.