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Chief Justice Canady issues new and amended pandemic administrative order

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Supreme Court Justice Charles T. CanadyChief Justice Charles Canady issued two new and two amended administrative orders late on November 23 addressing court operations during the pandemic.

They extend the term of the court COVID-19 Workgroup to July 2, 2021, and update requirements, benchmarks, and guidelines for the four phases of a return to normal statewide court operations as a vaccine is deployed.

The new orders are AOSC20-109 on appellate courts and AOSC20-110 on the workgroup’s term. The amended orders are AOSC20-23 on trial courts and AOSC20-32 on updates to the four phases. Previously, a single order governed both appellate and trial courts, but the two have been separated now for clarity, according to the court.

The four phases were established in prior orders issued since the state courts began pandemic operations in March. All are based on recommendations of the workgroup and general public health guidelines.

The workgroup’s mission is to find ways for courts to operate as fully as possible during each phase of the pandemic, leading to an eventual return to normal operations. The workgroup is chaired by Circuit Judge Lisa Taylor Munyon from the Orlando area.

Florida’s courts have been operating under emergency procedures since a March 13 order in which Canady suspended jury trials and took other actions restricting potential disease-spreading activities in the state courts. Limited jury trials have resumed in parts of the state using health precautions.

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