Miss. Chief Justice issues emergency order extending time for COVID-19 safeguards

Published 1:34 pm Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph issued an emergency order on Wednesday, Oct. 13, extending the time for COVID-19 safeguards in all courts.

Emergency Administrative Order 23 gives individual judges discretion to postpone jury trials scheduled through Nov. 12. It is the third emergency order issued since August which allows judges to postpone jury trials. Judges who preside over drug intervention courts also are authorized to modify scheduling of drug testing and home supervision of participants.

The Oct. 13 order leaves in effect other safety provisions reimplemented Aug. 5, including using teleconferencing, videoconferencing and electronic filing to limit in-person contact in courts, and allowing felony plea hearings, felony sentencing hearings and probation violation hearings to be conducted remotely by way of interactive audiovisual equipment.

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 Chief Justice Randolph said in the order, “From the onset of the national and state emergencies created by Coronavirus (COVID-19) in March 2020, the Court has issued a series of Emergency Administrative Orders to address the changing circumstances and the evolving guidance provided by health authorities. In these Orders, the Court has sought to properly balance individual rights, public health and safety, and the constitutional requirement that Mississippi state courts remain open and accessible.”

A copy of the Oct. 13 order is at this link:  https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=700_561691.pdf&c=92966&a=N&s=2.