The Supreme Court of Virginia declared a judicial emergency
The Supreme Court of Virginia declared a judicial emergency Tuesday and suspended “all non-essential, non-emergency court proceedings,” including new eviction cases, for 21 days because of the covid-19 pandemic, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) said in a news release Tuesday.
The State Corporation Commission also ordered a 60-day halt to all disconnections by regulated utilities at Herring’s request, his office said.
Many Virginia courts had already taken steps to postpone or severely reduce court proceedings, and Arlington County had just suspended enforcement of all existing eviction writs. But now, all must follow suit.
Arraignments and bond hearings for those newly arrested will proceed, as will hearings for protective orders, emergency child custody cases and civil commitment hearings. “And to the extent possible,” Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons wrote, “the courts and clerks’ offices shall remain operational and provide essential services while balancing the health and safety needs of court visitors and personnel.”