Mar. 16 2020

Chief Justice Beasley Issues Extended Order With 7 Emergency Directives

Directive #1 (Summary): All civil litigation proceedings must be scheduled/rescheduled for a date of June 1, 2020 or later.  There are very few exceptions—concerning due process and emergency relief—which rarely apply to civil litigation. Your local MGC attorney can advise whether it may be possible to conduct a remote proceeding with the Court under specific circumstances.

Directive # 2 (Summary): The following individuals shall not be allowed to enter a courthouse.  Someone who: has travelled internationally within the preceding 14 days; is experiencing fever, cough, or shortness of breath; has been directed to quarantine, isolate, or self-monitor; has a known exposure to COVID-19; has been diagnosed with COVID-19; or, resides with or has been in close contact with any person in the abovementioned categories.

Directive #3 (Summary): Judicial officials are authorized to conduct proceedings by remote audio and video, provided that each party has consented.  And, if the proceeding is required by law to maintain confidentiality, then confidentiality must be maintained in the remote proceeding.  If previously required by law to be recorded, then the remote proceeding must be recorded. Each represented party to a remote proceeding must be able to communicate fully and confidentially with his or her attorney.

Directive #4 (Summary): All filings are encouraged by mail—not in person filing.

Directive #5 (Summary): No exceptions have been applied to verifications, oaths or affidavits for wills, conveyances of property or documents which may be served, but not filed with the court.  Traditional verification and notary rules apply for now.  For all other filings, it is sufficient that the person who is verifying the document make the following statement without a notary:

“I (we) affirm, under the penalties for perjury, that the foregoing representation(s) is (are) true. (Signed)______________”

Directive 6 (Summary):  Parties may consent in writing to service by email.  The written consent must include the correct email address for the party granting consent or the correct email is on file in the Court’s record for the case.  The email must be time-stamped before 5 PM (eastern) to be considered timely served within a business day.  A certificate of service shall include the email contact information.

Directive 7 (Summary): Money owed by judgment or order in criminal or infraction cases have been extended by 90 days.  The order silent regarding money owed in a civil judgment or civil order for costs.  For now, clients should operate under traditional deadlines for money owed on civil judgments or civil orders and recognize that post-judgment interest is still accruing in the civil matter.

The full Order may be found here.

For local updates and information, visit the county’s pages or contact the courthouse.

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.