We are updating frequently.

While courts may be limited, our team here at Goodman McGuffey is still available and have full contingency plans in place to ensure our clients and cases are being taken care of. We are taking the precautionary measures as a firm in regard to the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19. However, we understand the need to provide our clients with steady and undisturbed legal services, communication, and trust, so we wanted to update you on our plan to function throughout the ever-changing situation with COVID-19.

We have always stayed abreast of the latest technology which provides us the ability to support our clients throughout this critical time.

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton issued an order declaring a statewide judicial emergency this past Saturday, March 14th. It can be found here: https://www.gasupreme.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/CJ-Melton-amended-Statewide-Jud-Emergency-order.pdf.

Our team here at Goodman McGuffey has compiled a short series of relevant Judicial Orders for the state of Georgia pertaining to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We will be continuously updating as we learn more information. They are available here:

  1. Chief Justice Melton’s Order Declaring Statewide Judicial Emergency;
  2. Chief Judge Bagley’s Amended Order Declaring Judicial Emergency;
  3. Forsyth County State Court Administrative Order No. 20-4;
  4. United States District Court Northern District of Georgia’s General Order 20-01
  5. United States District Court Northern District of Georgia’s General Order 20-02

The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation posted a notice on its website that all hearings for the period March 16, 2020 through March 27, 2020, are being postponed. All in-person mediations during the same time period were also suspended, although telephonic mediations are available. https://sbwc.georgia.gov/

Here are the current extensions of time for North Carolina courts (subject to change):

District and Superior Courts: All pleadings, motions, notices, and other documents and papers that were or are due to be filed in any county of this state on or after 16 March 2020 and before the close of business on 17 April 2020 in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings shall be deemed to be timely filed if they are filed before the close of business on 17 April 2020.

All other acts that were or are due to be done in any county of this state on or after 16 March 2020 and before the close of business on 17 April 2020 in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings shall be deemed to be timely done if they are done before the close of business on 17 April 2020.
 
Read Chief Justice Beasley’s March 19 Order for more information.
 
Business Court: The Chief Justice’s Order applies to all actions now pending in the North Carolina Business Court. Read Chief Business Court Judge Bledsoe’s March 23 Order for more information. 
 
Appellate Courts: No current extensions
 
Important note: The extension of time order does not extend deadlines (filings or statutes of limitation) for administrative proceedings (e.g., Industrial Commission).

North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an order on Friday, March 13, stating that all superior and district court proceedings be postponed for at least 30 days, with some exceptions. The Supreme Court order can be found here, https://www.nccourts.gov/assets/news-uploads/COVID-19-13-March-2020-7A-39%28b%29%282%29-Order_0.pdf?sCe0Me_YaLJBPjYl4doVvi4r_4Sm1Zbn=.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission, citing Chief Justice Beasley’s order, continued all Deputy Commissioner hearings scheduled to be heard in March or April of 2020 and to be reset to the next available docket except for medical motions which are addressed separately. All Full Commission oral arguments are to be conducted by conference call as are all informal telephonic hearing conducted by the Executive Secretary’s Office.

Florida Chief Justice Charles Canady has issued an order on Wednesday, March 11th outlining a first set of guidelines within the state courts system as it confronts COVID-19, which can be found here: https://www.floridasupremecourt.org/News-Media/Court-News/COVID-19-Administrative-Order-March-11

In Florida, Judge Langham and The Florida Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims has ordered all state workers’ compensation mediators to conduct mediations telephonically through March 27, 2020 while the conduct of hearings remains at the discretion of the assigned judge.  Accommodation for telephonic appearance or continuance must be sought from the assigned judge. Rule 60Q6.115. More information is available here: https://e-jccupgrade.blogspot.com/2020/03/covid-19-all-ojcc-mediations.html

The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued Orders so far postponing all jury trials in Richland County and putting limitations on attendance at hearings. The Supreme Court has postponed all trials. Hearings may still be held.  There is not a time limitation stated in the order. The SC Workers’ Compensation Commission issued this Notice today.  All hearings remain on. More SC court information can be found here: https://www.scbar.org/bar-news/covid-19-information-and-resources/

We are keeping a close eye out for any upcoming announcements from the Supreme Court on possible statewide court closures or limitations.

We are continuously monitoring the decisions of the courts and the CDC’s Guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff and clients across all offices and states.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. Stay safe and stay well.