As amended through April 27, 2023
Rule 9.1 - Virtual Events; Court Proceedings(A)Definitions. "Virtual event" means a meeting or conference conducted by telephone; or any meeting, conference, or court proceeding conducted by video; and shall include any such meeting, conference, or proceeding that includes all participants appearing virtually; as well as hybrid events where there is a mix of live and virtual participation. (B)Consent. Any event in any civil or criminal court proceeding may be conducted pursuant to U SCR9.2 as a virtual event if it is done with the consent of the parties and by agreement of the court. Absent consent, the following provisions apply. (C)Criminal Proceedings. All matters in criminal cases, excluding trials, may be conducted pursuant to U SCR9.2 except those for which the Constitution or other law requires in-person proceedings. Permissible matters include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: (1) Determinations of indigence and appointments of counsel; (2) Hearings on appearance and appeal bonds; (3) Initial appearance hearings; (4) Probable cause hearings; (5) Applications for arrest warrants; (6) Applications for search warrants; (7) Arraignments or waivers of arraignment; (8) Pre-trial diversion and post-sentencing compliance hearings; (9) Entry or change of pleas in criminal cases; (10) Impositions of sentences upon pleas of guilty or nolo contendere; (11) Probation revocation hearings in cases in which the probationer admits the violation; (12) Post-sentencing proceedings in criminal cases; (13) Acceptance of special pleas of insanity (incompetency to stand trial); (14) Situations involving inmates with highly sensitive medical problems or who pose a high security risk upon the court making findings as may be required by law; (15) Testimony of youthful witnesses upon the court making findings as may be required by law; (16) Appearances of interpreters; and (17) Status hearings or docket calls.
This rule does not abrogate any constitutional right that requires in- person proceedings. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this rule, a judge may order a defendant's personal appearance in court for any hearing. (D)Civil Proceedings. All matters in civil cases may be conducted pursuant to U SCR9.2, except trials. These matters include but are not necessarily limited to, the following: (4) Pre-trial conferences; (5) Show cause (rule nisi) dockets; (7) Appeal bond and supersedeas proceedings; (9) Foreign judgments proceedings; (10) Enforcement and revival of judgments proceedings; (11) Notwithstanding the prohibition on virtual proceedings for trials, the following proceedings related to trials may be conducted pursuant to U SCR9.2: (b) Motions for directed verdict; (c) Proposed jury charge conferences; (d) Post-trial motions; and 4 (e) Any other proceedings with the consent of all parties; (12) Primary and election day proceedings pursuant to OCGA § 21-2-412; (13) Ex-parte applications for Temporary Protective Orders under the Family Violence Act and the Stalking Statute, and subsequent proceedings; and(14) Appearances of interpreters. (E)Effective Date. This rule shall be effective for any virtual event taking place on or after March 1, 2023.Amended January 5, 2023, effective March 1, 2023.