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In-Person Court Hearings Limited Again Due to COVID-19

In-Person Court Hearings Limited Again Due to COVID-19

On January 7, 2021, Chief Justice Donald Beatty of the South Carolina Supreme Court announced that all in-person hearings scheduled in the Summerville Municipal Court are suspended – effective January 11. The highest court made the order out of an abundance of caution to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.  

While emergency hearings and bond hearings will proceed, criminal and traffic cases will be rescheduled when the order is lifted. In fact, courts statewide have also followed suit with suspending certain court proceedings, mainly jury trials, since last year. 

On December 3, 2020, Chief Justice Beatty ordered the circuit courts throughout South Carolina to not hold any jury trials after December 4, 2020. The order will stay in effect until rescinded or amended. 

In addition, the selection of new grand jury members has been suspended since December 9, 2020. The order made on that day not only applies to the State Grand Jury, but also county grand juries across the state and supersedes all previous local orders related to grand juries. 

Unfortunately, the continued delay has been extremely harmful to individuals accused of crimes who are yearning for closure and justice. Many people have been left in limbo within the state’s court system. Many attorneys worry about their clients who are in this situation and that the suspension has resulted in a significant backlog of cases. 

If you have recently been arrested for or charged with a criminal offense in Lexington, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today at (803) 359-3301 for a free initial consultation. 


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