The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected various aspects of life. In response to social distancing recommendations, courts around the state are adjusting at a rapid pace. What is happening now? The Tennessee Supreme Court issued an emergency order on March 13, 2020, suspending in-person court proceedings until March 31, 2020. Since this initial Order, the Supreme Court has issued seven additional Orders related to court operations during the pandemic. On December 22nd, 2020, the Tennessee Supreme Court issued an additional order extending this state of emergency and reinstating the suspension of in-person court proceedings from December 28, 2020, to January 29, 2021.
A few types of processes are exempt from the emergency order, including:
- Bond reduction matters
- Domestic violence cases
- Orders of protection
- Plea bargain agreements
If you have a pending criminal matter, don't panic. We know that this is a stressful and confusing time. Everyone wants answers now, including defense lawyers. Unfortunately, there isn't a playbook for the current situation, and we will continue witnessing some growing pains as new policies and procedures unfold.
What About My Court Date?
If you are reading this, you aren't in jail, and your court date will probably be postponed. Be patient as the clerks work diligently to reset hundreds of cases. If you have a loved one in jail, you should know that Metro Nashville courts will not let you into the courtroom unless you are a vital witness for a hearing.
If you are a current client, we will be in touch with your new court date as soon as we have it.
If you are not a current client, please see below for how to check your court date:
- Click here to visit the Tennessee State Courts site. There is a page dedicated to coronavirus orders from many Tennessee courts on closures and procedures. It also has a link to the Nashville Davidson County General Sessions criminal court's proceedings.
- Davidson County Criminal Clerk Howard Gentry has an excellent website to check on your criminal case. Click here to access the site.
The Tennessee Supreme Court's order expires on Friday, January 29, 2021. We will post an update when available.
If you need legal advice and guidance from our skilled Nashville team at May McKinney, call us at (615) 265-6383 or submit an online contact form, and we will respond as soon as possible.