• Four Things You Need to Know about Virginia Courts During COVID-19

    Four Things You Need to Know about Virginia Courts During COVID-19

    The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) is wreaking havoc throughout the nation, forcing businesses, schools and even courts to close their doors.  Many individuals are left wondering what will happen to their cases.  Leary Law wants to ensure everyone that the courts are still hearing emergency orders and our law firm is still meeting with clients – albeit virtually for the time being.

    It is important to note that the dates listed in this article are accurate as of the date of publication however, as the situation further develops with COVID-19, the dates may in fact be extended.

    Why the Courts Are Closed

    In an effort to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of COVID-19, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on March 12th and further banned gatherings of more than 100 people on March 15th.  Just a day after banning gatherings of over 100 people, Governor Northam sent a request that the Virginia Supreme Court declare a judicial emergency – to which they complied.

    Effective March 16th through April 6th, the Virginia Supreme Court ordered that all non-essential, non-emergency court proceedings in both circuit and district courts be suspended and continued to a later date.

    What Happens to My Deadline if it’s During the Closure?

    Per the order from the Supreme Court of Virginia declaring a Judicial Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “all deadlines are hereby tolled and extended, pursuant to Virginia Code Section 17.1-330(D), for a period of twenty-one (21) days.”

    The Courts Are Still Hearing Emergency Cases

    Pursuant to Va. Code § 17.1-330(D), the courts are hearing emergency cases (defined below) despite being closed to the public.  If you are scheduled for an emergency hearing, only necessary persons are authorized to be in the courtroom.  Necessary persons include the parties, their counsel, any pertinent witnesses and members of the press.

    What is Deemed an Emergency

    Here are some examples of emergency cases that the courts are still hearing:

    • Emergency motions
    • Bond motions
    • Protective orders
    • Arraignment
    • Child protection
    • Civil commitment
    • Bail review

    For a complete listing, please visit the court’s website or contact us a call to find out if your case falls under an emergency situation.

    The Fairfax County website defines emergency motions as “those in which relief is necessary to prevent an imminent and substantial change in circumstances without court intervention.”

    Writs of Eviction and Writs of Possession will not be issued prior to April 20, 2020.  As the situation with COVID-19 progresses, the date may in fact be extended.

    For individuals who are incarcerated on the Fairfax City, Town of Herndon and Town of Vienna dockets, all motions, through April 17th, will be held in the Fairfax County courthouse vice the city and towns.

    Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fairfax, Virginia

    We understand how precarious the situation is and are on standby to answer any questions you may have relating to your case. Our offices are still meeting with clients via telephone and video conferencing services such as Zoom and Skype. We will continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and provide any updates regarding our operating status. To get in touch, please contact us via our website or by calling: 703-359-7111.

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