More filings to resume in Georgia courts, but trials on hold

More filings to resume in Georgia courts, but trials on hold
This Jan. 14, 2013 file photo shows a gavel sitting on a desk inside the Court of Appeals at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver. The coronavirus pandemic has crippled the U.S. legal system, creating constitutional dilemmas as the accused miss their days in court. Judges from California to Maine have postponed trials and nearly all in-person hearings to keep crowds from packing courthouses. (Source: AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s state court system is beginning to resume business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s chief justice says there are unlikely to be any jury trials until September or later. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton on Friday extended a state of judicial emergency until Aug. 11, also warning against crowded pretrial hearings. The new emergency order reinstates deadlines for litigants to file papers beginning Tuesday, in an effort to move some cases ahead.

Melton is urging judges to do what they can to advance cases that have been piling up since court operations shut down. But he’s forbidding jury trials and warning judges not to summon lots of people for in-person hearings.

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