A new rule now requires anyone entering the Rutherford County Judicial building to wear a face covering. This new rule is for everyone, regardless of if they have a court appearance or if they are at the courts to observe a court proceeding.
The Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court first issued an Order declaring a judicial emergency in the state on March 13, 2020. The emergency has been extended 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 latest Order does not change those provisions and only adds a state-wide face covering requirement. The face covering requirement is effective as of Monday, July 13, and continues until further order of the Court.
“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,” Chief Justice Jeff Bivins said.
Where to Obtain Facemask:
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 under age 12 and individuals with a bona fide medical reason. Face coverings are available for free or low cost at https://tnmasksupply.com. Courthouses are also coordinating with local Tennessee Emergency Management Agency offices to have masks available.