Court proceedings deemed non-essential, non-emergency will continue to be put on hold until the end of April.
Courts were originally set to reopen on Monday, but last Friday, Supreme Court Chief Justice Donalds Lemons signed a Declaration of Judicial Emergency extending the judicial emergency by the Supreme Court of Virginia from April 6 to April 26.
When the first declaration was announced, Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Q. Martin said they had continued all matters unless deemed essential and emergency.
It is recommended to contact the appropriate Clerk's office or counsel in order to determine if a court case will be heard.
Sanitation efforts of courtrooms and facilities will increase as necessary and building use dictates.
Courtroom attendance is being limited to attorneys, parties and necessary witnesses and members of the press in any matters that cannot be continued, per the order from the Supreme Court.
Summonses are to be issued in lieu of a capias failure to appear, the order states.
For jury trails that cannot be continued, the order says jurors can be excused or postponed if he or she is ill, caring for someone who is ill or in a high-risk category as defined by the Center of Disease Control.
New juror orientations also been suspended, and attorneys are being asked to use e-Filing if available.
The Clerk's Office has remained open for essential services only - Deeds, plats, judgments recordings, civil filings, payment of fines and costs. Call the Clerk's office for an appointment for probate, marriage licenses, gun permits, passports or payment plans. At this time no genealogy research will be accommodated, and staff will not be able to assist customers in the deed room. The public is encouraged utilize any online access to the clerk at this time, and for those without urgent needs for licenses or permits to delay visiting the clerk's office.
The Commonwealth's Attorney Office is closed to the public. Staff will be available by telephone, fax or email. Appointments for specific cases will be scheduled as the health crisis allows. Most communication with the public and court system will be done by electronic means.
The Adult probation and pre-trial services office has been limiting its interaction with clients to a minimum level. Clients are advised to call the office and their officer to determine if an alternate schedule is available for office visitation.