On March 25, 2020, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an Order Continuing Suspension of In-Court Proceedings and Extension of Deadlines amid ongoing efforts to stall the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The suspension, which was originally set to expire on April 1st, now applies to all hearings scheduled in Tennessee courts through April 30th, except as necessary to preserve constitutional rights and provide emergency relief. All deadlines set to expire between March 13th and May 5th are extended through May 6, 2020.
Recognizing the increasing toll the suspension will take on Tennessee’s judicial system, the Order emphasizes that Tennessee courts should utilize videoconferencing and other technologies as much as possible to move their dockets, while suspending all state or local rules that prohibit or interfere with using such technologies. The Supreme Court further encourages judges and attorneys to use the Online Notary Public Act and related rules to avoid physical contact with parties who need to execute formal legal documents.
The Order also provides relief for both non-violent prisoners and financially distressed individuals by directing officials to reduce the numbers of incarcerated nonviolent offenders and prohibiting officials from taking any steps to evict tenants unable to pay their rent. The Supreme Court also encouraged court clerks to work with law enforcement to severely limit or eliminate new garnishments during the suspension period.
Click here to view the Order Continuing Suspension of In-Court Proceedings and Extension of Deadlines.
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.