WHEREAS, the Governor has determined that a Public Health State of Emergency exists in the State of Georgia due to the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19, and whereas that state of emergency constitutes a “judicial emergency” pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 38-3-60 et seq., see O.C.G.A. § 38-3-60 (2).
WHEREAS, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 38-3-61, the Honorable Harold D. Melton, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, has ORDERED AND DECLARED a Statewide Judicial Emergency in the State of Georgia. The nature of this emergency is the continued transmission of Coronavirus/COVID-19 throughout the State and the potential infection of those who work in or are required to appear in our courts.
WHEREAS, the Judicial Emergency substantially endangers or infringes upon the normal functioning of the judicial system as it relates to jury service, including grand jury service, and any non-essential matters, unless they can be conducted via video or teleconferencing.
NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 38-3-61, The Honorable Chief Judge H. Luke Mayes IV of the Municipal Court of Kennesaw, Cobb County Georgia, DOES HEREBY ORDER AND DECLARE the existence of a Judicial Emergency in the City of Kennesaw. The nature of this emergency is the continued transmission of Coronavirus/COVID-19 throughout Cobb County and the potential infection of those who are required to appear in our courts and interact with large groups due to jury service, including grand jury service, or other large, non-essential calendars.
Thus, the undersigned hereby makes this declaration of a judicial emergency affecting all courts and clerk’s offices in the City of Kennesaw as it relates to any nonessential matters, unless they can be conducted via video or teleconferencing.
To the extent feasible, The Municipal Court of the City of Kennesaw shall remain open to address essential functions, and in particular shall give priority to matters necessary to protect health, safety, and liberty of individuals. Essential functions are subject to interpretation; however, some matters that fall into the essential function category are: (1) where an immediate liberty or safety concern is present requiring the attention of the court as soon as the court is available; (2) criminal court search warrants, arrest warrants, initial appearances, and bond reviews; (3) in custody probation revocation hearings; and (4) in custody criminal pleas. To the extent court proceedings are held, they should be done in a manner to limit the risk of exposure, such as by videoconferencing, where possible.
Pursuant to OCGA § 38-3-62, during the period of this Order, the undersigned hereby suspends, tolls, extends, and otherwise grants relief from any deadlines or other time schedules or filing requirements imposed by otherwise applicable statutes, rules, regulations, or court orders, whether in civil or criminal cases or administrative matters, including, but not limited to any: (1) statute of limitation; (2) time within which to issue a warrant; (3) time within which to try a case for which a demand for speedy trial has been filed; (4) time within which to hold a commitment hearing; (5) deadline or other schedule regarding the detention of a juvenile; (6) time within which to return a bill of indictment or an accusation or to bring a matter before a grand jury; (7) time within which to file a writ of habeas corpus; (8) time within which discovery or any aspect thereof is to be completed; (9) time within which to serve a party; (10) time within which to appeal or to seek the right to appeal any order, ruling, or other determination; and (11) such other legal proceedings as determined to be necessary by the authorized judicial official.
This Judicial Emergency shall terminate on April 13, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., unless otherwise amended.
Should the state of emergency extend beyond the period indicated above or should the nature of the emergency otherwise require modification, a determination of available alternative remedies for the conduct of court business will be made as necessary, and a corresponding order will be entered and distributed in accordance with Georgia law.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 38-3-63: IT IS ORDERED that the Sheriff of Cobb County and Chief of Police for the City of Kennesaw shall post this Order on his public notification site and in the courthouse;
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the undersigned shall immediately notify and serve Chief Justice Harold D. Melton of the Supreme Court with a copy of this Order, such service to be accomplished via email to Therese Barnes, the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Georgia, at firstname.lastname@example.org;
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the undersigned shall immediately notify and serve a copy of the order on the judges and clerks of all courts sitting within the jurisdictions affected and on the clerks of the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court, such service to be accomplished through reasonable means to assure expeditious receipt; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the undersigned shall give notice of the issuance of this Order to the affected parties, counsel for the affected parties, and the public.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 16th day of March, 2020.
Luke Mayes IV, Chief Judge
City of Kennesaw Municipal Court