As COVID-19 sweeps across the United States, it continues to leave fear, uncertainty and disruption in its wake. Needless to say, U.S. courts have not been immune to these forces. Courthouse closures throughout the country have forced the postponement of countless criminal and civil matters that cannot be handled remotely.
This begs a question. Should you be concerned if your hearings are postponed? The answer is, not necessarily.
Like millions of Americans, many lawyers are still working. Most lawyers are just doing so from home or with limited office staff. If you have a lawyer, he or she may have encouraged you to keep in touch by phone or email. Ideally, he or she will keep you apprised of any developments involving your case, including scheduling changes.
Of course, at all times, we keep our clients updated as we are still working and are available to you 24/7.
If you do not have an attorney or you have had trouble getting in touch with him or her, all is not lost. While your lawyer should always be in contact to answer your questions, one of the best sources of relevant information may be the postponement letter you received from the court. This could include important details such as a tentative hearing date or other facts about your case going forward. If you have received a letter like this, immediately tell us.
In a worst-case scenario, you may not have received an official postponement letter, or you may have mislaid it. Do you have other questions or concerns? Are you aware you might be able to get the information you need from the applicable court clerk, in addition to your attorney?
In Florida, for instance, the Clerks of the Court and Comptrollers have a webpage providing COVID-19 updates and resources. It also contains a link to websites for local Clerks of the Court. Those pages also have information about COVID-19, online services and services available by appointment, if any apply. You can also find information about changes in access to courts throughout the United States, here.
Most importantly, we are here for you. We are also monitoring changes that may impact pending court hearings. If you are an existing client, you are welcome to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. If you have a pending court matter but you have not yet retained an attorney, we may also be able to help. Please contact us to schedule a free case evaluation to learn how.