The Effect of COVID-19 on Court Cases

What You Need To Know About Court Cases During a Pandemic

The right to a fair and fast legal trial doesn’t disappear with a pandemic.

COVID-19 has led to many disruptions in all areas of life, including the legal system, and it’s important to understand how cases are proceeding — especially in terms of maintaining your basic rights. 

Here’s what to know about new approaches, which cases are being prioritized and more.

How are courts adapting to COVID-19?

Just like the rest of the country, courts in the U.S. are limiting day-to-day operations and proceeding virtually as much as possible. Common steps being taken include the general suspension of in-person proceedings, extensions of filing and fee deadlines, and restricted access to courthouses.

What types of cases are proceeding?

To limit the flow of cases in the system, most courts are restricting procedures solely to critical cases, such as those that are essential to public health or the current state of emergency or those cases where postponement would violate a defendant’s constitutional rights. Generally, cases not deemed critical are being postponed for the time being.

Are jury trials still taking place?

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus, most courts throughout the U.S. have postponed or restricted jury trials.

How is technology being used to promote fair proceedings?

Technology is playing a significant role in allowing court cases to proceed, with many states and cities relying on teleconferencing and videoconferencing tools to move cases forward with hearings. 

Reach out if you have any questions or need help navigating court proceedings during these challenging times.

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