We have not completely shut off visitation at Warren County Jail yet. We have a new system now where visitors are able to communicate with inmates off-site. We still have the kiosk in the jail and visitors can come like they always have, but they can now speak with inmates at home from their cellphones or computers. Right now, it’s just business per usual, and we’re taking it one day at a time to see what to do with it. Right now, we’ve posted notes on the door to ask the public not to come to the jail unless they have to, but if problems arise, to contact us to let us know. If someone needs to talk to the commissioner, the lobby is open, and they can speak to them. We ask if you are sick, or think you might be, to please stay home. We have to protect our inmates and staff, and don’t need the illness inside of the jail.”Tommy Myers, Sheriff
Court will not be in session in Tennessee for the rest of the month due to the coronavirus pandemic plaguing the nation.
The Supreme Court of Tennessee released an order Friday to suspend all in-person court proceedings in the state through April 1. However, that date could be changed if the virus is contained or continues to spread.
Some court proceedings can still take place via video.
“It’s possible for that date to extend, but right now that’s the order we have,” says District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis. “Every court system in the state of Tennessee is going to be closed, except for essential matters. We’re taking proactive measures to make sure we keep people safe by trying to stay ahead of the curve.”
According to the order released by the Supreme Court of Tennessee in Nashville, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court has declared a state of emergency for the Judicial Branch of Tennessee government.
On Friday at 11 a.m., an executive order suspending in-person court meetings was filed and distributed to all judicial systems in Tennessee informing each district of the suspension which will end April 1.
During the suspension, judge’s offices and clerk’s offices shall remain accessible during regular business hours.
“April 1 is the tentative date to continue court proceedings as usual. However, everything is subject to change,” says Zavogiannis. “We have to be flexible and use common sense in order to keep people as safe as possible and to keep from spreading the virus.”
The Supreme Court of Tennessee states all in-person proceedings in all state and local courts in Tennessee, including but not limited to municipal, juvenile, general sessions, trial and appellate courts, are suspended from the close of business on Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 31, with a few exceptions.
A tentative schedule of upcoming court dates in Warren County has been established through March 31.
“I feel the COVID-19 virus is a valid concern, and we are taking the necessary precautions. We have worked very diligently to create a schedule that will get us through the in-person court proceeding suspension ordered by the Supreme Court of Tennessee,” says Circuit Court Clerk Casi Cantrell. “I’ve utilized email and social media to spread the word of the new schedule. I urge anyone with an upcoming court date to contact my office, their attorney or bondsman with any questions regarding the new schedule.”
Along with all in-person court proceedings, visits to Warren County Jail are being discouraged. The child support office will not be open physically to the public, but the office will be taking phone calls.
“We’re actively working together on ways to relieve the jail crowding and provide relief at this time and we’ll be doing most of the business at the child support office over the phone,” says Zavogiannis. “If we all do our part, we can make the correct and safest decisions. I believe that’s what we’re doing.”