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Non-essential court hearings to be rescheduled

Last week, the Tennessee Supreme Court extended its order that state and local courts remain open subject to policies and procedures intended to address public health concerns related to COVID-19 (https://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/docs/order_-_2020-03-25t120936.486.pdf).

The order requires state and local courts to reschedule non-essential hearings until after April 30, with exceptions for certain cases. Courts will continue to hold constitutionally required proceedings for incarcerated defendants, including arraignments, bond related matters, and preliminary hearings. Courts will also continue to hear urgent matters related to domestic abuse, including orders of protection, emergency child custody proceedings and emergency matters related to petitions by the Department of Children’s Services. Judges in each court are responsible for the manner in which they will proceed under the new Supreme Court guidelines, so procedures will vary from court to court.

For criminal matters, defendants should contact their attorneys for information. Crime victims and witnesses should contact the office listed below for the county in which their case will be heard. Currently, all the District Attorneys General offices are operating under normal business hours, but the offices have currently suspended in-office visitation. Without exception, these offices will continue to ensure the rights of crime victims during this time.

Following is a list of the individual offices and their contact numbers:

CRIMINAL DIVISION

Campbell County (423)562-4991

Claiborne County (423)626-8002

Fentress County (931)400-8080

Scott County (423)663-2544

Union County (865)992-8826

Drug Task Force (423)566-5843

CHILD SUPPORT DIVISION

Jacksboro (423)563-7632

Huntsville (423)663-2532

FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER

Huntsville (423)663-6638