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Effective October 15, 2021, face coverings will no longer be mandatory in the Leon and Gadsden County courthouses.  In Franklin, Jefferson, Liberty, and Wakulla County courthouses, face coverings will no longer be mandatory effective October 8, 2021.

The Chief Judge and local court staff carefully monitor public health data and local conditions each week prior to making decisions concerning court operations, consistent with the directives of the Florida Supreme Court and guided by the recommendations of the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The Supreme Court’s most recent directives may be found at: https://www.floridasupremecourt.org/content/download/761074/file/AOSC21-17-Amendment-1.pdf

Second Circuit comprises circuit and county trial courts in Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, and Wakulla Counties.

The Second Circuit’s administrative orders addressing pandemic precautions and directives may be found at: 

Although face masks will not be required in Second Circuit courthouses after these dates, participants and/or observers may still choose to wear face masks.  Participants may also request presiding judges to accommodate physical distancing. 

The Florida Supreme Court permits a party to request remote proceedings in many circumstances and the request must be granted “unless the chief judge or presiding judge determines that the interests of justice require the proceeding to be conducted in person.” 

If you are summoned for jury duty, you have specific rights.

    • Section 40.23(2), Florida Statutes, allows persons who have been summoned for jury duty to request a one-time deferral. Procedures vary by county, so please contact your local Clerk of Court to coordinate a request to defer your jury service.  
    • Jurors who have used this deferment or wish to be excused altogether may request an excusal for “hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity” under section 40.013(6), Florida Statues.  Again, please contact your local the Clerk of Court to coordinate this request.
    • Public health data indicates that senior citizens may be particularly vulnerable to COVID infection.  Section 40.013(8), Florida Statutes authorizes persons 70 years of age or older to be excused from jury service upon request.

Many court proceedings are being conducted remotely, using Zoom and telephonic hearings.  Please check with your attorney or summons to determine whether your court proceeding is in-person or remote.  If in doubt, please contact your local Clerk of Court.

Although courthouse visitors are not screened for exposure to COVID, we ask that you do not attend court if have COVID; have a fever of 100.4° or higher; are awaiting COVID test results; have been told to isolate or quarantine; had close contact with someone who may have COVID; or have any unexplained COVID-like symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, or congestion. If you think you have these symptoms and should not come to court, please contact your local Clerk of Court and let your attorney know.

Finally, effective, safe vaccines are available and in wide use that protect against infection and especially against severe illness.  We strongly encourage all persons involved in court proceedings to vaccinate immediately.