Legal system still operating

Coffee County Bar Association President James Tarbox

“Here in Coffee County, our attorneys stand ready to answer the call, render service and ensure that the legal rights of all are protected in this unprecedented time.”

That is what Coffee County Bar Association President James Tarbox wants people to know as the courthouses in Enterprise and Elba join “closed to the public” list.

“I think it is important for people to know that even though there have been some changes to how things are operating during these unprecedented times, the court system is still open,” Tarbox said, speaking on behalf of fellow bar association members.

“This situation and the orders from the Supreme Court of Alabama have not altered filing deadlines and statutes of limitations,” Tarbox explained. “People’s legal rights could be adversely affected if they are not properly advised during this time.”

Tarbox said leaders of the Alabama State Bar are working in close coordination with the Supreme Court of Alabama, the Administrative Office of Courts, and the Circuit and District Judges Associations. Access to justice and the court system in Alabama has not changed as a result of the closure of courthouse facilities. Although the public has been prohibited from coming to the courtrooms, the business of the judicial branch continues in a variety of innovative ways.

Alabama State Bar President Christy Crow, in partnership with judicial leaders in Alabama, sent a letter to Governor Kay Ivey March 24, writing in part, “The ability of the courts to continue to provide justice during these uncertain and trying times is essential to public safety and the welfare of Alabama citizens and businesses.”

“We are working diligently to ensure lawyers in Alabama can continue to provide necessary legal services to Alabamians,” added Crow.

“The attorneys of Coffee County are still working and are prepared to assist clients the same as prior to this public health issue—while still following applicable Centers for Disease Control and Public Health guidelines and recommendations,” Tarbox added. “If someone has a legal issue or question, I recommend that they contact an attorney’s office via phone or email.”

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