ATLANTA — A statewide “judicial emergency” that had been planned to end next week has been extended by a month.
The emergency, which shut down all but essential court functions statewide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was extended by Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton Monday, according to a court statement.
The shutdown, which would have ended April 13, will now last until May 13.
While under a statewide judicial emergency, courts were ordered to remain open to deal with matters that are critical or “essential” to protect the “health, safety and liberty of individuals.”
As an example, essential court functions include the issuance of search and arrest warrants and the granting of domestic abuse restraining orders. However, criminal trials and jury duty have been suspended statewide, and courts have been urged to use teleconferencing and videoconferencing where feasible when conducting hearings or other court matters.