COVID Court Opening and In-Person Appearance Announcements in Alabama


In Alabama, restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are slowly being lifted. On May 8, 2020, Governor Ivey issued an amended Safer at Home Order (effective May 11, 2020) The order provides updated social distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines that must be followed as operations start to transition back to normal.

In response, on May 13, 2020, the Alabama Supreme Court issued Administrative Order No. 7, concerning courthouse reopening and in-person court appearances. This order authorizes each county to take appropriate action based on local conditions. For further updates, local court information, and resources, check the Alabama State Bar website.

At Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant & Knight, P.C., we are keeping abreast of the updates and changes to judicial processes. As we get more information about court reopenings in the various counties, we will provide it here. We are working to ensure our clients are up-to-date and remain informed about the impact the revised processes may have on their cases.

If you or a loved one is involved in a criminal matter and need more information about court reopenings and the status of your case, contact us at (205) 900-7714.

On May 13, 2020, the presiding judge in Shelby County issued an Administrative Order concerning the reopening of the Shelby County Courthouse. The order outlines procedures for in-person judicial proceedings during Phase Two of reopening. Beginning June 2, 2020, courthouses will open to the public with restricted access. Those seeking to enter the courthouses will be screened for fever, and face masks are encouraged to be worn. Additionally, the number of people allowed into courtrooms will be limited to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Jury trials will remain suspended until September 14, 2020.

On May 15, 2020, Jefferson County also issued an Administrative Order regarding measures that will be taken to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on all individuals interacting with the courts. Social distancing must be practiced at all times, and those entering the courthouses must wear face coverings. This order also extends the suspension of non-emergency hearings until June 15, 2020.

On June 11, 2020, Jefferson County issued an Administrative Order that continues the restrictions on in-person court appearances until July 15, 2020, except for those limited exceptions provided in the prior order – bond hearings, preliminary hearing, in custody defendant guilty pleas, etc.

On August 12, 2020, Jefferson County issued an additional Administrative Order that outlines further safety guidelines for court proceedings, including the continued suspension of jury trials until November 16, 2020.

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