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Monday March 30th, 2020 8:33AM

Hall County courts adjust caseload to deal with coronavirus

By AccessWDUN staff

The various courts in Hall County are all modifying the way they will conduct business to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

 The staff for the Superior Court of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, which includes Hall and Dawson counties, will be working remotely, Chief Judge Kathlene Gosselin said in a memo released Tuesday.

“You’re encouraged to conduct business over the phone, and, since courthouse staff will be limited, make an appointment before visiting the building,” Gosselin said.

Gosselin said these steps were being taken to implement the statewide judicial emergency issued last week by Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton.

In Superior Court, Gosselin said only one judge will be on call each day, regardless of which judge the case was assigned. She said the on-call judge will hear bond motions, pleas, revocations and other critical matters. Some of the proceedings may take place at the Hall County Jail. Gosselin will handle cases on Mondays and Tuesdays. Judge Bonnie Oliver will be on call Wednesdays. Judge Jason Deal will be on call Thursdays and Fridays. Judge Clint Bearden will handle Dawson County cases.

Hall County State Court judges will be available for jail pleas and other matters considered critical. The staff will also work remotely.

Hall County Magistrate Court will be closed to the public, but clerks will be on site to answer questions by telephone, process online filings and assist with video conferencing and electronic warrants.

The Hall County Clerk of Court office will be open with a reduced staff. The deed room is closed.

The Law Library will be closed to the public.

Hall County Probate Court will be accepting filings, but they prefer them to be sent through the mail. All hearings are continued to dates that will be set in the future. Emergency hearings or filings will be heard and hearings will be held as needed. No weapons carry licenses will be processed. Expiring licenses will all be extended for 30 days.

Hall County Juvenile Court will have a judge and limited staff in the office and remaining staff will work from home. The court will continue to have PPH and dependency hearings if the judge determines it to be essential. All citizen review panel hearings are canceled. Continued custody hearings will be scheduled as necessary, but truancy reviews are canceled. Delinquency hearings will be scheduled if essential. Traffic cases that have been scheduled are canceled and will be rescheduled later. All parent truancy cases are canceled.

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