Valeria Alvarez-VerdierStaff Editor

Hand-shaking has turned onto foot-to-foot greetings, “bless you” lost the meaning of health, and face-to-face is now in a virtual platform. The COVID-19 outbreak has and continues to turn our world upside down. But summer without beaches in Miami should not be our biggest concern. More than half of American jobs are at risk because of the Coronavirus, defendants are losing their right to a fair and speedy trial; and as Gerald Lefcourt, a criminal defense attorney in New York said:  “innocent people who want trials aren’t going to be happy.”

Effective March 17, 2020 the Honorable Bertilla Soro, Chief Judge of the Miami-Dade County Courts, issued an Administrative order cancelling all non-emergency court proceedings. It’s important to note that “Trials” are listed as “non-emergency court proceedings,” even though they are considered a vital part of America’s system. There are individuals currently being held in custody, who despite the unforeseeable circumstances, will not be entitled to exercise their right to have their motions to modify bond heard in front of a judge.

Criminal proceedings are not the only ones being postponed. Our entire justice system is being placed on hold. Parties to civil and Family cases are facing their own difficulties due to the Coronavirus. People are losing their jobs; which as a result means they can no longer pay for child support, spousal support, or any payment in accordance to a settlement agreement. Now what options do they have? Well, default, unless the court considers it a “mission-critical court matter.”

In other words, with our entire justice system on hold, Defendants will be held in jail longer than legally necessary, children will not receive their child support, and defaults will be the most common filing. Scariest part, this is all subject to extension based on guidance from health and government authorities.