Current through 2023-2024 Legislative Session Chapter 353
Section 17-8-26 - Party or party's attorney in attendance at General Assembly as grounds for granting continuance(a) A member of the General Assembly who is a party to or the attorney for a party to a case; any member of the Office of Legislative Counsel, including the legislative counsel and persons provided for under subsection (d) of Code Section 28-4-3, appearing on behalf of the General Assembly in a case; or any member of the staff of the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, or the chairperson of the Judiciary Committee or Special Judiciary Committee of the Senate or of the Judiciary Committee or Judiciary, Non-civil Committee of the House of Representatives who is the lead counsel for a party to a case pending in any trial or appellate court or before any administrative agency of this state shall be granted a continuance and stay of the case. The continuance and stay shall apply to all aspects of the case, including, but not limited to, the filing and serving of an answer to a complaint, the making of any discovery or motion, or of any response to any subpoena, discovery, or motion, and appearance at any hearing, trial, or argument. Unless a shorter length of time is requested by the member, the continuance and stay shall last for the seven days prior to the regular or extraordinary session of the General Assembly; the length of any regular or extraordinary session of the General Assembly; during the first three weeks following any recess or adjournment, including an adjournment sine die of any regular or extraordinary session; and the entirety of any day during the calendar year on which a legislative committee for which the member serves or is staff holds a scheduled meeting. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule of court, or administrative rule or regulation, and to the extent permitted by the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Georgia, the time for doing any act in the case which is delayed by the continuance or stay provided by this Code section shall be automatically extended by the same length of time as the continuance or stay covered.(b)(1) For such other times not provided for in subsection (a) of this Code section, a member of the General Assembly who is a party to a case or the lead counsel for a party to a case may request a continuance and stay for such other times as the member of the General Assembly certifies to the court that his or her presence elsewhere is required by his or her duties with the General Assembly. The certification by the member of the General Assembly shall be in writing and shall state with particularity the nature of the General Assembly duties that require the continuance or stay. Opposing counsel, any person who is alleged in the case by the state to be a victim, or the court on its own motion shall have ten days from receipt of the request for a continuance or stay to object to the request by stating with particularity the grounds upon which it is determined that such stay or continuance will cause significant harm to the rights of a party or would otherwise be detrimental to the interest of justice. The court upon receipt of the objection, or on its own motion, shall consider the following in determining whether to grant or deny the continuance or stay: (A) The length of time that the case has been pending;(B) The length of delay that such stay or continuance will cause in the resolution of the case;(C) The nature of the General Assembly duties that require the continuance or stay; and(D) Such other factors that the court determines to be relevant in determining the harm to the rights of the parties or the interest of justice in the granting or denial of the request for a continuance or stay.(2) Absent a ruling by the court denying the continuance or stay certified by the member under paragraph (1) of this subsection, such continuance or stay shall be considered granted as a matter of law.Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 253,§ 3, eff. 5/7/2019.Amended by 2006 Ga. Laws 749,§ 3, eff. 5/3/2006.Amended by 2002 Ga. Laws 459, § 2, eff. 4/15/2002.