The Supreme Court of Virginia announced today that they were extending the judicial emergency yet again.
Judicial Emergency Timeline
- First Order – The Supreme Court of Virginia first declared a judicial emergency on March 16th at the request of the Governor. The declaration was for a period of 21 days which was slated to end on April 6th.
- Second Order – On March 27, the Supreme Court of Virginia extended the judicial emergency for a second 21-day period which would have ended next Sunday, April 26th.
- Third Order – Today (April 22nd), the Supreme Court of Virginia extended the judicial emergency for a third 21-day period, extending the termination date to May 17th.
For those clients who are anxiously awaiting the ability to schedule (or reschedule) their matters, I would not put any confidence in May 17th being the actual end of the judicial emergency. I think there is a very real chance that it will be extended yet again.
I base this belief on the fact that, in today’s order extending the emergency (see below), the Supreme Court of Virginia specifically noted that the Governor has issued a ‘stay at home‘ order that does not end until June 10th. I do not think that the mention of June 10th in today’s order was mere happenstance. A fourth 21-day period would effectively end with court restarting on Monday June 8th and that would roughly coincide with the end of the governor’s ‘stay at home‘ order.
I hope that I am wrong and the Commonwealth is able to safely resume the operation of our courts before June, but until we know more, we should prepare for that eventuality. I will keep all my clients informed as the situation changes.