IN THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE AT NASHVILLE
IN RE: COVID-19 PANDEMIC
ORDER EXTENDING STATE OF EMERGENCY, SUSPENSION OF JURY
TRIALS, AND SUSPENSION OF IN-PERSON COURT PROCEEDINGS
On December 22, 2020, the Court extended the State of Emergency and the
suspension of jury trials and reinstated the suspension of in-person court proceedings. In light of the continued record number of COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations and deaths in Tennessee and the Governor’s issuance of Executive Order 73 on December 22, 2020, and under the constitutional, statutory, and inherent authority of the Tennessee
Supreme Court, the Court adopts the following provisions:
- The suspension of all jury trials is extended through the close of business on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, subject only to exceptions which may be granted by the Chief Justice on a case-by-case basis.
- The suspension of all in-person proceedings in all state and local courts in Tennessee, including but not limited to municipal, juvenile, general sessions, trial, and appellate courts, is extended through the close of business on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, subject to the
exceptions enumerated in the paragraph 3 of the Court’s December 22, 2020 order.
- All other provisions of the Court’s December 22, 2020 order shall remain in full force and effect. Provisions can be found here.
This order applies statewide to all courts and court clerks’ offices except administrative courts within the Executive Branch and federal courts and federal court clerks’ offices located in Tennessee.
Under the terms of this order, the courts of Tennessee remain open, consistent with the Judicial Branch’s obligation to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19. Judges should work with local law enforcement and other county officials to ensure that, to the extent possible, courthouses remain accessible to carry out essential constitutional functions and time-sensitive proceedings.
This order is intended to be interpreted broadly for protection of the public from risks associated with COVID-19.
Unless otherwise noted herein, the provisions of this order shall remain in place until further order of this Court.
It is so ORDERED.
FOR THE COURT:
Jeffrey S. Bivins, Chief Justice
Cornelia A. Clark, Justice
Sharon G. Lee, Justice
Holly Kirby, Justice
Roger A. Page, Justice