COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s lives in more ways than we could have imagined. The virus is incredibly contagious and being in the same room can expose you to catching it. In order to contain the virus and flatten the curve of patients overwhelming our health care system schools, churches, retail stores, and many crowded areas, courthouses began to close as well. With the closure of courthouses many questions arise when it comes to what will happen with your case. While those specific answers arise in the type of issue you have and what jurisdiction your case is in.
What will happen to my hearing scheduled in court that is set for a date during a closing?
For most cases if your date was set during a closure it was cancelled and will be rescheduled after the pandemic settles down. While different court jurisdictions are handling this procedure differently, many are canceling or postponing hearings that are scheduled in the next few weeks. Many will need to be refiled with the courts and a new date will be set after the spread of the disease is slowed.
What about cases that are deemed an emergency?
Some courthouses are still hearing emergency cases. What they deem an emergency may vary by your location, but things such as a protection from abuse hearing may still take place. If the courts deem your issue you petition to the court an emergency, you may still be able to get a date in front of a judge. However, many issues are simply being postponed.
With the courthouses shut down and only handling emergency cases, what about issues that are an emergency to me or my assets but not deemed an emergency by the court?
Some courts have outlined which case types are deemed an emergency. If you have an issue that you feel needs to be resolved there is still hope for help. The courts can remedy the issue when they are back in session. You can also speak with an attorney about seeing if a special relief petition or emergency hearing can help you. With respect to your individual issues whether it be custody, a spouse liquidating assets during a divorce, or an issue involving another matter the best course of action is to talk to your attorney.
When it comes to handling cases during this outbreak there may be time to try and implement more technology into the courtrooms. We do not know how long this outbreak will last. Many criminal cases such as bond hearings already use video technology to have the inmate stand before the judge via live video. Phone conferences are used during some conferences in divorce cases as well. So now may be the time to introduce some of this technology into family affairs. It may be deemed necessary to use phone and video calls in the future because we do not know how long this will last and it will help negate the spread of the infection.
Again the best course of action if you have any questions about your specific case and the closure of courthouses, it is best to either call the court or speak with your attorney during these trying times. If you have any questions please contact The Law Offices Of Michael Kuldiner, P.C.