Local lawyer weighs in on future of courts in SC

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – It’s been more than two months since the court system in South Carolina stopped operating in a normal capacity due to COVID-19.

Upstate attorney Ryan Beasley stopped by 7 on Main to talk about the state of courts on Carolina’s Family at 4.

Beasley said the courts are open and operating relatively normal but with a few exceptions.

He said in- person hearings have been shut down since March, but you can still meet with your attorney to discuss your cases.

A lot of non-violent offender cases have been moved quickly through the system using video conferencing only.

That has helped reduce the jail population.

As far as what’s happening with jury trials and defendants awaiting their hearing dates, Beasley said that is expected to be decided soon.

Beasley said there will be no jury trials until August.

“What they’re planning on doing in August is actually picking just one county in the state and it’s going to be sort of a test run to see what sort of issues will arise because of social distancing,” he said.

Beasley has some advice for people facing criminal charges or those involved in a civil case. He said to stay in contact with your attorney. If you don’t have one, they need to get one because that will help their cases keep moving.

Watch the video for even more of Beasley’s thoughts on the future of courts and how COVID-19 may be changing the way the system uses technology for some hearings and cases.

Click here for a list from the S.C. Judicial Branch detailing how courts around the state are handling operations.

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