Mar. 17 2020

Mississippi State and Federal Courts Issue Emergency Administrative Orders

On March 15, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court ordered that, effective Sunday, March 15, 2020, all in-person proceedings in all state and local courts in Mississippi, shall not permit gatherings of more than 50 people beyond the persons involved in the day-to-day operations of the courts. Courts shall not conduct any proceedings that require witnesses or parties to travel from an infected area or that involve vulnerable persons, increasing the chances of transmission of the disease. While all courts will remain open during this time, individual judges have the discretion to postpone any trials on their own docket scheduled through May 15, 2020. Further, they are authorized to instruct their clerks that jury summonses may not be sent to jurors which would be returnable to any date prior to May 18, 2020.

The order does not prohibit court proceedings by telephone, video, teleconferencing, email, or other means that do not involve in-person contact. The order does not affect courts’ consideration of matters that can be resolved without in-person proceedings.

Per the Order, trial courts are authorized to exercise discretion in extending deadlines, rescheduling hearings and trials and any other matters by case specific actions or by general orders.

Adopting a similar stance, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi ordered that all non-essential proceedings scheduled or typically undertaken in-person should be continued or conducted by videoconference or telephone if available.

Mediations, depositions and other discovery are not automatically postponed by the Order.

A copy of the Supreme Court Order may be found here.

A copy of the Northern District Court Order may be found here.

A copy of the Southern District Court Order may be found here.

Courthouse closing information may be found here.

Questions? Contact one of MGC’s litigation attorneys.

This legal update is published as a service to our clients and friends. It is intended to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation. Past success does not indicate likelihood of success in any future legal representation.