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. 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 May 26, 2020 Order extends some deadlines through June 5, 2020, but the Court made clear that it "anticipates that there will be no further extensions of these deadlines."     

As such, while the Court will consider further extension of case management deadlines for good cause shown, the Court otherwise expects that the parties will comply with deadlines not requiring court action.  These deadlines include those for providing notice to the Court and for filing certain motions. 

For example, a plea agreement notice deadline expiring on June 9, 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.