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With COVID cases surging, TN Supreme Court Again Suspends In-Person Proceedings

Protecting Your Freedom

On December 22, 2020, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an Order Extending State of Emergency and Reinstating Suspension of In-Person Proceedings. The Supreme Court’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic began earlier this year with an initial suspension on in-person proceedings that extended from March 13th until May 1st, and it has continued to extend and modify its general orders as conditions change. With the number of COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations continuing to rise to record numbers in Tennessee, the Supreme Court has responded with a new order that returns Tennessee courts to an outright suspension of most in-person proceedings.

All jury trials will be suspended through Friday, February 26, 2021, with rare exceptions being made on a case-by-case basis. All other in-person proceedings in state and local courts are suspended through Friday, January 29, 2021, including all municipal, juvenile, general sessions, trial, and appellate court proceedings. Exceptions to this include, but not limited to:

  • Proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights;

  • Proceedings necessary to provide relief from abuse;

  • Proceedings related to emergency child custody orders; and

  • Settlements involving a minor or a person with a disability.

To read the full list of exceptions to in person-court proceedings, the full order can be found here.

The presiding judge will determine if and in what manner any in-person court proceeding will proceed. Additionally, the Supreme Court continues to encourage the use of teleconferencing, email, and video conferencing as an alternative to in-person appearances. If it becomes necessary to close any judge’s or court clerk’s physical office, they will still be accessible via telephone, email, and fax.

Do you have questions about how the Supreme Court’s suspension may impact you or your case? Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (931) 398-5308.

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