Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 17, 2020

Supreme Court issues order requiring facial coverings in TN courthouses

The Tennessee Supreme Court is requiring all persons entering a courthouse for the purpose of court-related business to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth. The face covering must be worn at all times while in the building.

Chief Justice Jeff Bivins first issued an order declaring a judicial emergency in the state March 13. The court has extended the emergency multiple times through additional orders.

The May 26 order eased restrictions on in-person hearings, allowed for jury trials to begin after July 3 and allowed judicial districts to continue to operate under their approved plans.

The new order does not change those provisions and only adds a statewide face covering requirement. The face covering requirement became effective July 14 and will continue until further notice.

“The recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths required the court to reconsider how to best keep the public, court staff and judiciary safe while keeping courts as open and accessible as possible,” Bivins says.

The face covering requirement is consistent with directives from the Centers for Disease Control, the Tennessee Department of Health and several Tennessee county mayors.

The order provides several exceptions, including for those younger than 12 and individuals with a “bona fide” medical reason.

Face coverings are available for free or low cost at tnmasksupply.com. Courthouses are also coordinating with local Tennessee Emergency Management Agency offices to make masks available.


Source: Tennessee Supreme Court