As circumstances evolve in the COVID-19 public health threat, today Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued an
updated emergency order
that “all pleadings, motions, notices, and other documents and papers that were or are due to be filed in any county of this state on or after 16 March 2020 and before the close of business on 17 April 2020 in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings shall be deemed to be timely filed if they are filed before the close of business on 17 April 2020.” The order also grants a similar extension for “all other acts that were or are due to be done in any county . . . in civil actions, criminal actions, estates, and special proceedings.”
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE PRACTITIONER?
Any complaint, answer, motion, notice of appeal, or other court filing that is due between March 16, 2020, and April 17, 2020, shall be deemed timely filed if filed before the close of business on April 17, 2020.
Assuming that “other acts” include any deadlines for mediation, discovery, responding to subpoena, or the like, such acts will be deemed timely done if done before the close of business on April 17, 2020.
For now, courthouses remain open to accept filings for those who wish to file pleadings. In order to avoid a last minute rush on April 17, we encourage you to file or act before the last minute.
The extension does NOT apply to any documents and papers due to be filed or acts done in the appellate courts.
This order does not toll statutes of limitations or deadlines. Therefore, if a statute of limitations or deadline would otherwise expire between March 16, 2020, and April 17, 2020, you MUST file or complete the act by the close of the day on April 17, 2020.
This order has no effect on deadlines or statutes of limitations that are due to expire on or after April 18, 2020.