COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Case Management During the Limited Suspension Period

Please see below for general information about the scheduling and management of cases, including how the limited suspension order impacts case deadlines. 

To see the specific Criminal Court protocols, please click here

Case Management

My case is scheduled during the Suspension Period. When will it be heard?

No “in-person” case will be heard during the Suspension Period unless it is specially scheduled by the Court. The Court asks that neither counsel nor other parties appear for a matter unless that matter has been specially scheduled by the Court.

The Court has reviewed its dockets during the Suspension Period, and it has rescheduled all matters requiring “in-person” proceedings. The Court will send notification of the rescheduled dates to the parties specifically, and the information will also be available here

For those cases that the Court has identified as being “necessary to protect constitutional rights of criminal defendants,” the Court has already scheduled special proceedings. 

Parties who believe that a hearing is required during the Suspension Period may also submit a request for a hearing by contacting the Court at 423-209-7560 or by clicking here.

Until further notice, the Court is not holding any Monday discussion dockets, even after the Suspension Period ends. Instead, the Court will enter scheduling orders on all cases, and it will send copies of the scheduling orders to counsel. 

My case has deadlines that fall during the Suspension Period. What will happen to these deadlines?

The Supreme Court’s Supplemental Suspension Order extends all deadlines imposed by court order to May 6, 2020.   

The Court has reviewed its dockets and will be entering modified orders that extend all expiring deadlines to a time after May 6, 2020.  These deadlines include discovery deadlines, motion-filing deadlines, and plea agreement notice deadlines.  These deadlines also include deadlines established by a pretrial order. 

Importantly, if any deadlines would expire naturally after May 6, 2020, the Court will not extend those deadlines as a matter of course, but it may do so upon good cause shown. 

For example, a plea agreement notice deadline expiring on May 7, 2020 will not be extended simply because the parties did not meet.  However, the Court will extend the deadline where discussions were simply not possible through telephone, email, or videoconferencing capabilities or where other “good cause” exists.