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Circuit Court COVID-19 Operating Schedule
In addition to the attached Supreme Court of Virginia Order declaring a Judicial Emergency in response
to COVID-19 and the continuing of all cases through April 26, 2020, other than those exempted in the Order, the Chesapeake Circuit Court will implement the following additional procedures:
The Supreme Court's emergency order identifies those hearings that are presumed essential and therefore not automatically continued. Discretion is left with the presiding judge of the Court to determine if a particular hearing is essential in other matters.
Therefore, bail reviews mean a first hearing in the Court where the case is returnable, following the hearing by the Magistrate, and bail appeals from the district courts. Counsel must certify in their notice that a bail hearing has not previously occurred in this Court.
All other requests will need to be submitted to the presiding judge via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax (757-382-3090) to determine if a court hearing is necessary in that particular case. The Clerk will not place a case on the court's docket on motion of a party without court approval or without the required certification stated above.
Defendants in custody will appear via video conference for all pre-trial hearings allowed by statute.
Attorneys will no longer be able to meet with inmates in courthouse lockup areas. The Sheriff will not transport inmates from the jail to the courthouse unless authorized by a judge.
Cases continued during this 21-day period that have not been scheduled for a specific date by order, will be continued pursuant to Local Rule 14 or as follows:
- All criminal and civil jury trials scheduled through May 4, 2020 will be continued. Priority will be given so that these cases can be re-scheduled as quickly as possible. Counsel in all criminal jury trials should contact the assigned Assistant Commonwealth Attorney to obtain a new trial date.
- All hearings in CIVIL cases scheduled through April 26, 2020 may obtain a new trial date by calling the Court's Docket Administrator at 757-382-3053. Wednesday Civil motion hearings must be rescheduled via www.cityofchesapeake.net/civilmotions or by calling 757-382-3074.
- With the exception of Protective Order Appeals, all cases docketed on the April 7, 2020 10:00 a.m. Civil Docket Call have been continued to the May 6, 2020 10:00 a.m. Civil Docket Call; therefore, the filing of a new praecipe is NOT required. Parties involved in a Protective Order Appeal should contact the Court's Docket Administrator at 757-382-3053 so the case can be set for trial as soon as possible.
- The Court will have a liberal continuance policy and all parties agreeing to a continuance of any civil case set to be tried through December 31, 2020 may submit a consent continuance order and obtain a new trial date by contacting the Court's Docket Administrator at 757-382-3053.
Chesapeake Sheriff's Weekender program is suspended until the weekend of May 9, 2020.
Effective March 17, 2020, contact with the Circuit Court Judges' chambers is preferred to be by telecommunication. All in-person requests should be made at the counter of our Jury Assembly Room located on the 4th floor of the courthouse.