Modified Dates and Processes due to the COVID -19 Judical Emergency
Like the rest of society, the court system is taking steps to protect our community from exposure to COVID-19, while we also protect the rights of our citizens. The State Court of Bibb County remains open, but we are limiting the activities which require people to be present in person. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Chief Judge of the Macon Judicial Circuit have entered orders declaring a state of Judicial Emergency. The orders extend the Judicial Emergency May 13, 2020. Based on medical recommendations, on guidelines from the State and Federal governments, and on the state of Judicial Emergency, the State Court of Bibb County is making changes and taking actions, as follows:
- All in-person proceedings in the State Court of Bibb County are subject to the “Guidelines for Court Proceedings for Courts in the Macon Judicial Circuit.”
- In-person criminal arraignments resume on Friday, May 22, 2020 with significant modifications. See the Court’s Press Release. Arrangements can be made for arraignment by video, if the Solicitor General’s Office is contacted at least seventy-two (72) hours before the scheduled court date.
- Criminal arraignments set for March 20, March 27, April 3, and April 10, are reset to June 1, 2, 3, and 4. Nonjury trials set for these dates are also being reset. Defendants should contact their lawyer about the new nonjury trial dates.
- Criminal arraignments and non-jury trials set for April 17, April 24, May 1, and May 8, are reset to June 29, June 30, July 1, and July 2. Nonjury trials set for these dates are also being reset. Defendants should contact their lawyer about the new nonjury trial dates.
- Civil and Criminal Jury Trials for the weeks of June 15 and June 22 have been cancelled.
- Civil hearings may be held in person or by teleconference or video conference. Civil hearings may be conducted by telephone or by video conferencing. If by video conference, the Judge will be present in the courtroom, just as if the hearing were occurring in the courtroom, and the video will be available for viewing on a monitor in the courtroom.
- Probation Violation Hearings and Probation Report Backs set from April 2 and May 7 are reset to 2:00 PM on June 11, 2020.
- The Court is presently handling all inmate cases (arraignments, pleas, probation revocations) by video on Tuesdays and Fridays at 8:15 AM. These may be observed in the courtroom on the 5th Floor of the J. Taylor Phillips Courthouse.
- Criminal case e-filing is now available. Pleadings may be filed through PeachCourt. (Click on the link on the website to register and file. There is presently no cost to e-file in criminal cases.) All lawyers and parties are encouraged to file pleadings electronically rather than in person; however, e-filing is not mandatory in criminal cases. If you have questions or issues related to PeachCourt, go to https://peachcourt.com. There is a “Need Help” prompt for you to click on their website.
- Civil case e-filing is mandatory in most civil cases. Even in older cases in which e-filing may not be mandatory, lawyers and parties are encouraged to file pleadings electronically rather than in person. Pleadings may be filed through PeachCourt. (Click on the link on the website to register and file. There is a cost for civil e-filing.) If you have questions or issues related to PeachCourt, go to https://peachcourt.com. There is a “Need Help” prompt for you to click on their website.
We regret any confusion or complications which may result from these actions. We thank you in advance for your flexibility and cooperation in the present circumstances. If you have questions, you may email the Clerk of Court, Patti Graves (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the Chief Judge, Jeff Hanson (email@example.com).
Chief Judge, State Court of Bibb County
May 19, 2020
J. Taylor Phillips Courthouse
601 Mulberry Street, Room 500
Macon, GA 31201
PO Box 5086
Macon, GA 31213-7199
Telephone: (478) 621-6200
Fax: (478) 621-6008
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Jeff Hanson, Chief Judge, State Court of Bibb County
Sharell F. Lewis, Judge, State Court of Bibb County
Patti Graves, State Court Clerk (478) 621-6200
Amy Hartley, Chief Probation Officer (478) 621-6679
Pam Forbes, Administrative Assistant to Judge Hanson (478) 621-6189
Savannah Camp, Administrative Assistant to Judge Lewis (478) 621-6183