John Amabile, David Pardue, and Todd Sprinkle wrote an article in the Daily Report analyzing Georgia’s extension of a judicial emergency in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Initially, the extension order does in fact toll and extend deadlines until the end of the day on May 13,” they wrote. “This includes, among other things, all deadlines imposed by court orders, all deadlines to file appeals, responses to discovery, and any statute of limitation. For all of these deadlines (and more), all parties will have after May 13 as much time to make appropriate filings as existed as of March 14. For example, if a deadline to respond to a motion was April 1, it is now June 1."
"But the extension order does seek to shift expectations related to nonessential judicial business,” they continued. “Whereas the original order was widely considered to be a stay on all nonessential judicial business, the extension order does not quite go so far. The extension order states that courts and litigants are ‘encouraged’ to proceed to the extent ‘feasible and consistent with public health guidance, for example through the use of teleconferences and videoconferences, to reduce backlogs when the judicial emergency ends.’ Whether this is a response to what courts were already doing or seeks to change litigants behavior may be open to debate. Nonetheless, courts are, for example, holding video hearings on emergency motions such as those for an interlocutory injunction. Some judges are also asking parties for status reports on pending motions and for scheduling orders to move cases forward as much as possible and as soon as possible after the judicial emergency is lifted.”
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