COVID-19 Special Coverage
Pennsylvania Supreme Court declares general statewide judicial emergency due to COVID-19
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Pennsylvania Supreme Court declares general statewide judicial emergency due to COVID-19

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared a statewide judicial emergency on Monday due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

County president judges are now able to declare judicial emergencies in their counties, which allows them to use technology to conduct court proceedings or temporarily close their doors.

The Court deems it necessary for the Pennsylvania Judiciary to consider—on a district-by-district basis—the appropriate measures to be taken to safeguard the health and safety of court personnel, court users, and members of the public.

Further, judiciaries are now able to suspend time calculations and deadlines, subject to constitutional restrictions.

Nothing in this Order or its local implementation shall affect a criminal defendant’s right to a speedy trial under the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions, albeit that the circumstances giving rise to this Order and the suspension may be relevant to the constitutional analysis.

The state of emergency will remain in effect through Tuesday, April 14.

For more on COVID-19, see our special coverage.