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Chief issues statewide COVID-19 emergency order extending speedy trial deadlines in traffic infraction cases

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Chief Justice Charles CanadyChief Justice Charles Canady issued a new administrative order March 30 suspending speedy trial deadlines in noncriminal traffic infraction cases to reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus at in-person court proceedings.

Under the new order, speedy trial deadlines for traffic infractions will be suspended at least through Monday, April 20, subject to further extensions that may be needed by the public health emergency. However, Florida judges also are allowed to conduct traffic infraction cases during the emergency using remote electronic means if possible.

The new order supplements earlier directives issued starting March 13 suspending jury trials and some other in-person proceedings in Florida’s state courts. Canady’s orders help comply with guidelines by public health officials to use social distancing and avoid unnecessary in-person contact as the highly infectious virus continues to spread.

Courts throughout the nation are extending deadlines and moving to remote methods of conducting legal business due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court said the chief justice will review this and other COVID-19 orders as the emergency develops and will extend them more if needed. Other emergency orders and advisories are being linked on the Florida Supreme Court’s website: https://www.floridasupremecourt.org/Emergency

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