COVID-19 Court Updates


The Tennessee Supreme Court has updated the restrictions that apply to court appearances. The Supreme Court is the highest authority in our state on how the courts all over the state operate.

Originally, the Court radically changed the procedures on March 25, 2020, by suspending all jury trials through the end of April. Yesterday, they issued a new order that extends the date of returning to jury trials to July 3, 2020. A trial can still take place but only under extraordinary circumstances and with the permission of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. If you had a trial set between now and then, contact your lawyer about getting a new trial date.

The new order extends statutes of limitations that would have occurred between March 13, 2020, and May 31, 2020. The new deadline is June 5, 2020. If your lawsuit had to be filed on, say, April 30, 2020, your lawyer now has until June 5 to file. With electronic filing available in certain parts of the state, though, many lawyers are ignoring this and filing suit within the original statute of limitations. Check with your lawyer if you are worried about missing a deadline under these circumstances.

The Court also prohibited any evictions from a person’s residence for failure to make mortgage or rent payments. Although garnishments are not strictly prohibited, the justices of the Supreme Court are ordering local officials to develop policies that limit them during the crisis. Finally, protection orders that would have expired between March 13, 2020, and May 31, 2020, are extended automatically through Friday, June 5, 2020.