As a result of the Coronavirus most Courts across the state of Georgia have suspended jury trials and Grand Jury proceedings for the month of March and part of April. This will have the biggest impact on criminal cases since the defendant’s liberty has to be decided by a jury of his or her peers. Civil proceedings such as child custody, child support, uncontested divorces and modifications are very rarely decided by a jury. The fact of the matter is that but for jury trials Courts are very much still open and are actually conducting business during this pandemic, although not necessarily in person. The advances in video streaming technology are to be credited for this. Especially true in the larger jurisdictions such as the Fulton and DeKalb County Judicial System, Courts are now beginning to schedule video conferencing to conduct hearings and decide most matters that don’t actually require the party’s physical presence. This is true for mediation as well. Another procedural aspect of the judicial system that has allowed divorce related matters to continue to move forward is that all Courts throughout the State of Georgia now accept filings of documents electronically. This means that the filing of divorce paperwork, modifications of an existing divorce decree, child support or custody and requests for protective orders can all be submitted to the Court and processed without physical delivery.
In addition to providing access for the Court to continue it’s business during the pandemic, video conferencing technology has been very beneficial to our clients in conducting consultations as we move forward with their cases. During these trying times it is important to have access to experienced attorneys that specialize in all aspects of divorce and custody related matters. Contact the Faucette Law Firm to set up a phone or video conference regarding your case.