There is, understandably, a lot of confusion in the sate of Georgia right now when it comes to issues with the courts. The Coronavirus has disrupted everything, with some businesses remaining closed while others struggle to operate in some sort of limited capacity. The courts are no different, with various services and proceedings delayed or offered in some alternate format. For instance, the GA Supreme Court recently extended for the fourth time their declaration of a judicial emergency, prohibiting most in-person court assemblies like jury trials and grand jury proceedings until at least August 11th.

Still, this should not be taken to mean that all business before the court has been put on hold, or that certain deadlines can be ignored. Here are a few things to keep in mind, as well as some actions that are still very much available to you if you require legal service that can’t wait.

Deadlines Extended but Reimposed

If you had business before the court, or were required to file certain documents around the time Coronavirus hit you probably had your deadline to file suspended, tolled, or extended as of March. That clock has started ticking again, however, as of the most recent order by the Georgia Supreme Court. Starting July 14 those deadlines have been reimposed, so if you owed the court paperwork you’ll definitely want to check on your new deadline. (Need help finding out about that? Give us a call {link: Contact Us} and we can help make sure you’ve remained compliant with the court’s orders.)

On-Camera Proceedings Available

While in-person proceedings have been suspended, many counties have found success with conducting hearings via videoconferencing/teleconferencing. Earlier this month, for example, Camden County inked a deal to have an all-in-one conferencing and collaboration system installed in their courthouse in order to open back up while adhering to the Georgia Supreme Court’s social distancing guidelines. Long story short – if you’ve got a case pending in the State of Georgia you’ll want to keep up to date with developments in your area because alternatives to in-person proceedings may now be available.

Mediation Available for Many Services

If you’re a client of Debranski & Associates then you’re probably well aware: just because Georgia courts have been closed doesn’t mean that the Georgia legal system has come to a standstill. Throughout all the closures related to Covid-19 we have been resolving cases through mediation without having to rely on in-person court proceedings.

Services available via video/teleconference mediation include:

  • Child support and custody cases
  • Personal injury cases
  • Simple probate cases (though more complicated situations may require court intervention)
  • Preparation and filing of documents in order to get a hearing date on the court’s docket

These are the sorts of negotiations that often take place outside of the courts, anyway, and can now be finalized by electronic submissions. The best part is that this allows us to conduct our business without potentially exposing any of the involved parties to the Coronavirus. We recently settled an out-of-state probate case without a single in-person meeting with any of the parties involved, including our client!

Ready to take your business back before the Georgia court system? Reach out to us today and we can advise you on any of the above options and more to make sure you’re taken care of and get every penny you deserve.