Though trials remain stalled for Hall County because of COVID-19, court officials said they will start summoning jurors for March 10 in hope trials might resume.
Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton extended the statewide judicial emergency for the 11th time Sunday, Feb. 7.
While Melton said the courts recognize that the coronavirus continues to spread, he wrote “the surge in COVID-19 cases that led to the suspension of jury trials appears now to be declining.”
“Assuming that conditions generally continue to improve, it is anticipated that the next extension order on March 9 will authorize Superior and State courts, in their discretion, to resume jury trials as local conditions allow,” Melton wrote in his order.
Melton’s order will expire at 11:59 p.m. March 9, and a parallel order filed by Hall County Chief Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin will end the following day.
Court officials said all trials in Hall County scheduled for March 1 have been canceled.
“In anticipation that this suspension will be permitted to expire in 30 days, Hall County Superior Court will also take steps this week to summons jurors for March 10,” courts coordinator Margie Reed-Payne wrote in an email. “A final determination to proceed will be made at the time of the next order, and prospective jurors will be notified via the Clerk of Court’s information line.”
Reed-Payne said grand jury sessions will also likely resume in March “assuming local conditions continue to improve.”