The statewide judicial emergency put in place due to the Coronavirus will be extended a second time, this time through June 12th.
Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton made the announcement Monday morning as the expiration date of the current declaration – May 13 – approached.
Last week, Governor Brian Kemp extended the state of emergency declaration for the state through June 13th, but simultaneously began implementing a plan to reopen operations across the state. The shelter in place order expired April 30, but was also extended for the medically fragile, the elderly, and a number of others.
According to Law.com:
Melton’s new order will continue the suspension of all criminal and civil jury trials through June 12 and also bars courts from summoning and impaneling new trial and grand juries. He said the suspensions are necessary because of the need for recommended social distancing and to protect the health of large groups of people who are typically assembled in response to jury summonses.
Melton said he was extending the state judicial emergency because, “The courts are different from most private establishments and public places in that we compel people to attend court proceedings, and that requires us to be extra cautious.”
Melton will sign the official order later this week, but in the mean time, courts will continue to conduct essential services and use technology to conduct remote proceedings.
GeorgiaCarry.org, a pro-Second Amendment group, took to social media after the announcement by Melton Monday, blasting Governor Kemp for the continued refusal to deem Weapons Carry Licenses ‘essential services’ in the state. The group lost a lawsuit last month after a judge refused to suspend a Georgia law that requires people to have a license to carry a handgun.