Courts and Trials
Courts and Trials
Courts and Trials
On Sunday, February 7, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton of the Supreme Court of Georgia extended the statewide judicial emergency declaration through March 9.
Because of the escalating danger presented by the significant increase in COVID-19 cases late in 2020, the December 9 order was modified on December 23 to prohibit jury trials not already in progress. That prohibition was continued in the January 8 order and is continued in this order. However, the surge in COVID-19 cases that led to the suspension of jury trials appears now to be declining. Assuming that conditions generally continue to improve, it is anticipated that the next extension order on March 9 will authorize superior and state courts, in their discretion, to resume jury trials as local conditions allow.
The order includes guidance that courts should continue to use and increase the use of technology to conduct remote judicial proceedings as a safer alternative to in-person proceedings, unless required by law to be in person or unless it is not practicable for technical or other reasons.
As a result of this extension, the March 30, 2020, order signed by Chief Judge George Hutchinson III of the Gwinnett County Superior Court is also extended through March 9.Previous orders:
January 8 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
Modified Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
December 9 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
November 10 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
October 10 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
September 10 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
August 11 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
July 10 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
June 12 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
May 11 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
April 6 Order Extending Statewide Judicial Emergency
March 30 Order Extending Judicial Emergency
March 14 Order Declaring Statewide Judicial Emergency
March 13 Order Declaring Judicial Emergency
Guidelines in place for in-court judicial proceedings
The Gwinnett Judicial Circuit has established a set of guidelines to follow to enhance safety for in-court proceedings. The guidelines cover general infection control measures, increased health and safety measures, healthy and safe access to the courtroom, maintaining a healthy and safe courtroom, and healthy and safe court employees, jurors, and inmates.
Electronic filing of documents in criminal cases available
The Gwinnett County Clerk of Superior and State Courts has announced that e-filing for criminal cases is available through Tyler Technologies’ Odyssey eFileGA. Attorneys and self-represented parties will be able to electronically file into existing criminal cases starting that day. Find FAQs, filing instructions, and training opportunities at odysseyefilega.com.
While still under the guidelines of the Order, the Gwinnett County Probate Court started to safely re-open its offices beginning Monday, June 15. Most services will be provided in person, with the exception of requests for birth, death, and marriage certificates that will be received by mail or by using the Probate Court’s drop box.
Marriage license applications and weapons carry license applications will be accepted by appointment only. Please visit GwinnettCourts.com/probate to download the application and schedule your appointment. Other Probate Court services should be handled by mail or online. For more information, visit GwinnettCourts.com/probate or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to rising COVID concerns, the Recorder’s Court of Gwinnett County is not conducting in-person court appearances for the month of January. Cases scheduled for January are cancelled and will be re-set for a later date. Recorder’s Court will continue to utilize virtual meeting platforms to dispose of negotiated cases and other matters agreed to by all parties. If you are represented by counsel, please contact your attorney with questions. Attorneys and defendants not represented by counsel may contact the Solicitor’s Office to discuss your cases.
Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court reopened June 15 with efforts in place to reduce the number of people who will be in the building at the same time. The following measures have been put in place to ensure a safe environment in keeping with CDC guidelines:
- Dedicated entry and exit doorways, queue lines, and floor markings to encourage 6-foot distancing
- All areas will be sanitized after each court session
- Hand sanitizing stations have been placed in several places around the courthouse
- Writing pens are sanitized after each use
- Glass barriers have been installed at the payment windows
- Face masks are encouraged to be used while inside the courthouse
- Traditionally, the court has two arraignment calendars each day, but it has expanded that to four arraignment calendars to reduce the number of people in the courthouse
If you or a family member have recently been exposed to COVID-19 or you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not enter the courthouse. Recorder’s Court encourages residents to handle cases by phone at 1.877.794.0988, by emailing email@example.com, or by visiting GwinnettRC.com.