The busiest eviction court in Georgia won’t hear cases in person until at least November.
Fulton County’s Magistrate Court said it was in the interest of public health and safety.
In the meantime, the court will only offer virtual hearings for landlords and tenants–and not until later this summer.
Both will also have to agree to the virtual hearing. If either party declines, the court won’t hear the case until November.
Fulton County has halted hearings since the middle of March when the Georgia Supreme Court issued a statewide judicial emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Hearings are a key step in the eviction process. Landlords can’t get tenants removed from their properties without a judge’s approval.
Even so, landlords have continued to file for evictions against tenants. Since the pandemic started, the court has received more 2,600 new cases.
Given the backlog, Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk had worked to reopen with new safeguards like temperature checks and mandated masks.
But with the recent rise in COVID-19 cases statewide, she said in her order that the court decided to reverse course.
Fulton County typically handles more than 40,000 eviction cases every year.