Georgia’s statewide judicial emergency order is being extended for the 11th time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an order signed Sunday by Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton.

 

GEORGIA CHIEF JUSTICE HAROLD MELTON

 

The most recent extension, which will expire on March 9, is “nearly identical” to an order signed on Jan. 8 that once again suspended jury trials. However, it said those trials may begin again next month.

Chief justice extends COVID-19 judicial emergency,  Melton first suspended jury trials in the emergency order signed on March 14, 2020. The chief justice in October 2020 signed an order that ended the suspension after a backlog of untried cases began to grow.

“Our judicial system, and the criminal justice system in particular, must have some capacity to resolve cases by trial, and our trial courts have accumulated many cases that are awaiting trial,” he said.