Montgomery County, TN – The Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court decision to suspend in-person proceedings in all state and local courts in Tennessee, including but not limited to municipal, juvenile, general sessions, trial, and appellate courts, through March 31st, 2020 has been extended through April 30th, 2020.
To clarify, local and state courts of the State of Tennessee are open and will remain open subject to the provisions of Continuity of Operations Plan for the courts of Tennessee.
See Tenn. Const. Art. VI, § 1; Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 16-3-501 to 16-3-504 (2009); Moore-Pennoyer v. State, 515 S.W.3d 271, 276-77 (Tenn. 2017); Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 49.
Under these provisions, 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, shall be suspended through April 30th, 2020, subject to the exceptions below.
Exceptions to the suspension of in-person court proceedings include, but are not limited to:
- Proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights of criminal defendants, including bond-related matters, preliminary hearings for incarcerated individuals, and plea agreements for incarcerated individuals
- Proceedings related to relief from abuse, including but not limited to orders of protection
- Proceedings related to statutory order of protection hearings after entry of an ex parte order as necessary to satisfy any due process concerns
- Proceedings related to emergency child custody or visitation orders
- Proceedings related to the voluntary surrender of parental rights
- Settlements involving a minor or a person with a disability
- Department of Children’s Services emergency matters related to child safety, placement, permanency, or federal funding for children in foster care
- Proceedings related to petitions for temporary injunctive relief
- Proceedings related to emergency mental health orders
- Proceedings related to emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable persons
- Proceedings directly related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency
- Other exceptions as approved by the Chief Justice
The presiding judge or designee of the presiding judge of each judicial district is authorized to determine how in-person court proceedings for the exceptions listed above are to be conducted.
Deadlines set forth in court rules, statutes, ordinances, administrative rules, or otherwise set to expire between March 13th to May 5th, 2020 are extended through May 6th, 2020. Statutes of limitations and statutes of repose set to expire between March 13th to May 5th, 2020 are extended through May 6th, 2020.
The order is intended to be interpreted broadly for protection of the public from risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Read the full Tennessee Supreme Court Order here. For more information about the current modified services offered the Montgomery County Government Court System, visit the Montgomery County Government web site. You can also find information related to COVID-19 at the county web site.