Judicial emergency extended

CHAMBERSBURG — Franklin County President Judge Shawn Meyers has issued an order extending the judicial emergency for the 39th Judicial District through Jan. 31,2021.

Meyers declared a judicial emergency for Franklin and Fulton counties in March, after Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Thomas Saylor issued an order authorizing the President Judges of each judicial district to within their discretion declare a judicial emergency and take such actions necessary to protect the public health and the health and safety of the employees of the judiciary and related offices.

Meyers’ action attempts to protect the public health and the health of court employees, attorneys and litigants against the spread of the COVID-19 virus by limiting access to the courts by large groups of people.

Under Meyers’ order, unless the matter has been deemed essential to be heard before the court in person, any and all court proceedings of any type or on any docket may be heard by the court, Magisterial District Judge or a hearing master/officer using video or audio technology; Magisterial District Judge or hearing master/officer may proceed to hear any matter via an in-person hearing, provided that there shall never be more than a total of 10 persons in any courtroom or hearing room. Videoconferencing and/or audio participation will be the preferred method of hearing.

The courthouses and court facilities including Magisterial District Offices in both Franklin and Fulton counties will remain open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, however most proceedings are canceled.

Parties who questions about the emergency or their hearings should contact their attorney or Court Administration at 717-261-3848 to determine how to proceed.

For more information, visit http://franklincountypa.gov or the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts at www.pacourts.us/ujs-coronavirus-information or the Franklin County Bar Association website at www.franklinbar.org.