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U.S. Court Closings, Restrictions, and Re-Openings Due to COVID-19

May 07, 2021

By Bruce M Wexler and Yar Chaikovsky

Paul Hastings created this webpage to provide publicly available information on modifications to access and scheduling by courts and administrative agencies important to our clients.

This content is organized into 5 sections as follows:

United States District Courts

United States Courts of Appeals

United States Supreme Court

Other Courts and Administrative Agencies

Various State Courts

Other Courts and Administrative Agencies

The Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission issued a joint statement detailing an expedited antitrust procedure and providing guidance for collaborations of businesses working to protect the health and public safety of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per the Division’s update on March 24, 2021, in terms of internal procedural changes for public health and safety, the Division now permits the electronic filing of Hart-Scott-Rodino submissions and conducts all meetings by phone or video conference, absent extenuating circumstances.

On June 1, The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), Chief Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) issued an Administrative Order and Notice, 2020-MIS-00008, extending indefinitely the moratorium on in-person hearings scheduled to expire on July 24, 2020.

Per Administrative Order and Notice 2020-MIS-00008, until further notice, OALJ hearings will be conducted by telephone or video, unless the presiding ALJ grants, based on compelling reasons, a party’s motion for a hearing where persons are in the same physical location. All previously scheduled hearings are automatically converted to a telephone or video hearing and will convene on the same time and date as originally scheduled, unless ordered otherwise by the presiding ALJ. The parties will be notified of the type of hearing and the appropriate dial-in information by separate order issued by the presiding ALJ, as well as the procedures for filing pre-hearing submissions and exhibits. When the parties agree that an evidentiary hearing is not needed, they may move for a decision based on stipulations of fact or a stipulated record.

Beginning April 29, 2020, the Office of Administrative Law Judges piloted a streamlined procedure for processing subpoena requests in Longshore and Defense Base Act cases entirely via email. Effective September 1, 2020, this streamlined procedure will be the default process for requesting subpoenas for all case types. The OALJ website asks to refer to the Subpoenas page for instructions and updated forms.

The Chief ALJ's Administrative Order and Notice tolling and suspending procedural deadlines lapsed at the close of business on Monday, June 1, 2020. Beginning Tuesday, June 2, 2020, procedural deadlines will be applied based on applicable regulation or order of the presiding ALJ.

Per Supplemental Administrative Order and Notice 2020-MIS-00006, until further notice, OALJ will continue to accept filings via email at the email box of the district office at which the case is pending. Instructions and requirements for filing via email are found on the OALJ website.

On April 16, 2020, the Chief ALJ issued Administrative Notice 2020-MIS-00007, which provided information on how OALJ will resume service of orders and decisions. Where email addresses are available, OALJ will use electronic service on the parties, attorneys and/or non-attorney representative.

Receipt of U.S. Postal Service mail and UPS deliveries is limited in OALJ’s offices in Cincinnati, OH, Covington, LA, Newport News, VA, and Pittsburgh, PA. Receipt of mail in OALJ’s Boston, MA, Cherry Hill, NJ, San Francisco, CA, and Washington, DC offices may be delayed. In order to ensure timely receipt of filings, the OALJ’s site encourages parties to file by email.

Per Administrative Notice 2021- MIS-00001, on Monday, December 7, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor is launching its new eFile/eServe System (“EFS”) for use by the public in adjudications before the OALJ and the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”), and before the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”), the Benefits Review Board (“BRB”), and the Employee Compensation Appeals Board (“ECAB”). This is a “soft-launch,” meaning that using EFS will be voluntary. It provides a new and improved method for e-filing and e-service during the pandemic, and going forward. OALJ encourages parties to use EFS for e-filing and e-service.

 

Until further notice, parties will be permitted to e-file with OALJ and with BALCA using either EFS; the e-mail system stood up by OALJ in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; or conventional means, such as regular or express mail, courier service, hand delivery, or facsimile transmission. Parties should consult with the ARB, BRB and ECAB on requirements for filing with those agencies.

The EPA issued a temporary policy regarding EPA enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The EPA selected August 31, 2020, as the termination date for the temporary enforcement policy.

The EPA’s website for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance Documents for Field Activities includes documents designed to supplement existing guidance to help analyze COVID-19 risk and determine necessary actions to minimize COVID-19 risk. The Interim EPA COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for Field Activities represent an integrated set of safety and health guidance that provide timely and consistent information for employees conducting field activities. The Job Hazard Analysis (“JHA”) for COVID-19 is a supplement to the standard JHA that has been previously completed for typical work activities and is to be used to establish the level of COVID-19 risk.

The FCC is not allowing visitors into its facilities, absent special permission from the Office of Managing Director.

Per Order DA-20-562, effective upon publication in the Federal Register, hand-carried documents are to be filed at the Commission’s office located at 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. After COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, this will be the only location where hand-carried paper filings for the Commission will be accepted. At that time, the filing window for hand-carried documents will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Commission will not accept hand-carried filings outside of those hours.

The Commission issued the public notice, Procedures for Filing Requests for Waiver, Reduction, Deferral and Installment Payment of FY 2020 Regulatory Fees, to streamline the waiver process procedures to make it easier for licensees to file waivers.

On January 22, 2021, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) extended through and including July 30, 2021, a waiver of regulations requiring that filings with the Commission be notarized or supported by sworn declarations, which was set to expire January 29, 2021. The Secretary originally extended this waiver on May 8, 2020, and again on August 20, 2020. On January 25, 2021, the Commission also extended the waiver of notarization and in-person meeting requirements in open access tariffs through and including July 30, 2021. This extends the blanket waivers the Commission approved April 2, 2020, and extended on August 20, 2020.

Per the FERC’s News Release on May 8, the headquarters building remains closed to the public and is now closed to all FERC staff and contractors until further notice. The FERC is not able to accept deliveries by mail, to include hard copies of filings, until further notice. The process for submitting electronic filings with the Commission is unchanged. The public is strongly encouraged to continue to submit filings and submissions electronically, through the Commission’s eFiling application.

The Commission issued an order on April 17 granting the NERC’s motion to defer the implementation dates of certain Reliability Standards.

On May 20, the FERC issued a notice extending the effective date of Order No. 860.

The Commission is operating and will continue to fulfill all statutory obligations. FERC offices at 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC, are closed to the public; minimal staff are on site. All Commission employees are authorized to telework and are available via email and phone. Staff are teleconferencing, and are canceling or postponing in-person meetings.

Hearings are now being held remotely pursuant to the Notice of Remote Hearings issued by Chief Judge Cintron on April 23. Settlement conferences are being conducted by telephone and oral arguments are being heard via WebEx.

The Federal Trade Commission staff issued a report highlighting the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report addresses challenges consumers face during the pandemic and details the Commission’s strategy to combat COVID-related fraud and other consumer issues using sophisticated targeting, aggressive law enforcement, and ongoing partnership and outreach.

As described in a press release, dated April 15, 2021, in the first action under the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, the FTC is seeking monetary penalties for deceptive marketing of purported coronavirus treatments.

As of July 6, The Federal Trade Commission has issued orders in four administrative litigation proceedings that will allow the public to access the proceedings via telephone or live streaming. The four proceedings are Axon Enterprise and Safariland; Peabody Energy-Arch Coal; Thomas Jefferson University; and Altria Group/JUUL Labs.

The Premerger Notification Office has stopped accepting hard copy and DVD submission and have put into place a temporary e-filing system. While the system is in place, early termination will not be granted for any filing. Unplanned visitor access to FTC facilities is suspended. Parties should assume that meetings will be held remotely, rather than in-person, until further notice.

The Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission issued a joint statement detailing an expedited antitrust procedure and providing guidance for collaborations of businesses working to protect the health and public safety of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced the formation of an internal, cross-divisional COVID-19 Market Monitoring Group. This temporary, senior-level group will assist the Commission and its various divisions and offices in (1) Commission and staff actions and analysis related to the effects of COVID-19 on markets, issuers, and investors—including its Main Street investors, and (2) responding to requests for information, analysis and assistance from fellow regulators and other public sector partners.

Pursuant to the Updated Division of Trading and Markets Staff Statement Regarding Requirements for Certain Paper Submissions in Light of COVID-19 Concerns dated June 18, 2020, staff will not recommend the Commission take enforcement action with respect to any failure to comply with the paper format submission requirement or manual signature requirement of the Impacted Paper Submissions under the circumstances listed in the staff statement. Further pursuant to the staff statement, staff will also not recommend that the Commission take enforcement action with respect to any failure to comply with notarization requirements applicable to the Impacted Paper Submissions or in the electronic filings of, as updated, Form BD (and any amendments to such form) and broker-dealer annual reports required under paragraph (d) of Rule 17a-5, under the conditions listed in the staff statement.

Per Release No. 10767, the SEC ordered that pursuant to Rule of Practice 100(c)1 and pending further order of the Commission, all parties in proceedings initiated by an order instituting proceedings, the filing of a petition for review of an initial decision by a hearing officer, the filing of an application for review of a self-regulatory organization determination, or the filing of an application for review of a determination by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, shall to the extent possible submit all filings to the Commission by sending them to the Commission electronically.

The SEC’s website states that the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) remains fully operational nationwide. The OCIE has moved to conducting examinations off-site through correspondence, unless it is absolutely necessary to be on-site. The OCIE is working with registrants to address the timing of its requests, availability of registrant personnel, and other matters to minimize disruption.

The agency has now transitioned to a full telework posture with limited exceptions. A majority of SEC staff began teleworking on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, and the agency has remained fully operational during this transition, which is expected to last at least through September 7, 2021. Several Divisions and Offices have released statements to inform market participants and others about their operating status and how best to engage with staff during this time.

On April 14, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will soon accept petitions for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals for COVID-related inventions. There is no cost for appeals related to COVID-19 in this pilot program, which starts on April 15, 2021.

According to a notice dated April 12, 2021, USPTO accepts circumstances related to COVID-19 as excusable nonuse in trademark maintenance filings.

On January 29, 2021, the USPTO recognized that some foreign intellectual property offices are not currently issuing paper certified copies of foreign applications due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the conditions set forth in the notice, the USPTO will suspend the requirement for filing the certified copy of the foreign application when the foreign application was filed in a foreign intellectual property office that does not participate in a bilateral or multilateral priority document exchange program with the USPTO that would cover the application and thus permit retrieval through the program.

On September 16, the USPTO announced a collaborative deferred-fee provisional patent application pilot program for inventions that combat COVID-19.

On June 15, the USPTO announced the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Program for certain trademark and service mark applications, which allows COVID-19-related trademark applications to be advanced out of turn and immediately assigned for examination. On June 30, the USPTO launched a related webpage, where applicants can find additional resources and information about the program.

As detailed in the June 29 notice, the USPTO has extended from July 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, the time for small and micro entities to pay certain patent-related fees that would otherwise have been due on or after March 27, 2020. The small and micro entity fees eligible for an extension until September 30, 2020, include: basic filing fees, issue fees, maintenance fees, and other fees as set forth in the June 29 notice.

As detailed in the June 15 press release, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new COVID-19 prioritized examination program for certain trademark and service mark applicationsAs detailed in the June 11 notice, the USPTO is extending the time period for petitioning for certain rights of priority or benefit in a patent application and waiving the associated petition fee. The relief extends the two-month time-period for restoring the right of priority to or benefit of a foreign or provisional application for any non-provisional application due to be filed on or after March 27, 2020, but on or before July 30, 2020.

As detailed in the May 29 Notice, the USPTO will permit patentees to file initial patent term extension applications that meet certain criteria via EFS-Web or Patent Center.

The USPTO further extended the time to file certain patent- and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees, as detailed in the May 27 News Briefs.

Under a new pilot program, the USPTO will grant requests for prioritized examination to patent applicants that qualify for small or micro entity status without payment of the typical fees associated with other prioritized examination, and attempt to reach a final disposition of applications within six months, provided that the applicant responds promptly to USPTO communications. The USPTO has launched a related webpage with additional information.

The USPTO will temporarily permit the filing of plant patent applications and follow-on documents via the USPTO patent electronic filing systems (EFS-Web or Patent Center) until further notice. Only registered users of the USPTO patent electronic filing systems may file follow-on documents into existing applications via the USPTO patent electronic filing systems.

All USPTO offices will be closed to the public beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice. USPTO offices will remain open for employees, contractors, and those with access badges. Unless otherwise notified, USPTO operations will continue without interruption. Patent and trademark application deadlines and other deadlines are not extended. Those with official business with the USPTO should reach out to their points of contact with any questions or through the contact information available on the USPTO website.

Until further notice, examiner and examining attorney interviews, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) oral hearings, and other similar in-person meetings with parties and stakeholders scheduled to take place at USPTO offices on or after Friday, March 13, 2020 will be conducted remotely by video or telephone.

The USPTO is waiving petition fees in certain situations for customers impacted by the coronavirus. The USPTO is also waiving the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) for an original handwritten signature for certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and certain payments by credit card.

Press Release 20-05 extends certain patent and trademark-related filing deadlines, as detailed in the associated Patent and Trademark Notices. As detailed in the April 28 News Brief, some deadlines have been extended to June 1, and are also detailed in the updated Patent and Trademark Notices.

Commission employees will continue teleworking, except as required for necessary mission activities that require them to work in the USITC Building.

The USITC Building is closed to the public until further notice or until Phase Three. The Secretary’s Office will only accept electronic filings.

The commission has ordered Administrative Law Judges to postpone any Section 337 hearings until the Agency enters Phase Three. All discovery will continue and essential outside participation by staff will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Until Phase Three, no in-person preliminary phase Title VII (antidumping and countervailing duty) staff conferences will be held for new and ongoing investigations. All Title VII votes will be conducted by notation. Until Phase Three, final phase Title VII investigations, five-year (sunset) reviews, and those held under Section 332 and Section 131 will not be held in person, and, instead, interested parties will be invited to answer written questions issued by the commission with certified responses.

All scheduled in-person group meetings, seminars, and conferences are cancelled or postponed until further notice or until the Agency enters Phase Three.

The United States Tax Court building remains closed to visitors but is receiving and processing mail and deliveries. To accommodate continuing uncertainties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and until further notice, court proceedings will be conducted remotely.

Per the June 24 News Release, the clerk’s office will accept hand-delivered documents between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.

Per Administrative Order 2020-02, the Tax Court adopted procedures for conducting court proceedings remotely.

As of November, about two dozen U.S. district courts have posted orders that suspend jury trials or grand jury proceedings, and scale back other courthouse activities in response to a sharp nationwide rise in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has a plan for dealing with the spreading coronavirus, which include maintaining “essential elements of prevention and maintaining essential services.” They are allowing the individual federal courts to coordinate with local authorities and to issue orders accordingly.

The Judicial Conference of the United States has temporarily approved the use of video and teleconferencing for certain criminal proceedings and access via teleconferencing for civil proceedings during the COVID-19 national emergency.

Per the December 7 Advisory from Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, beginning April 6, 2020, the Judicial Council began adopting a series of temporary emergency rules of court to assist courts in continuing to provide access to justice during the pandemic. The Pandemic Continuity of Operations Resource Guide was compiled by the Pandemic Continuity of Operations Working Group, with the support of Judicial Council staff, and includes information outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and best practices from the National Center for State Courts as well as other courts across the state and country. Accompanying the resource guide are many materials from federal and state agencies, the National Center for State Courts, and several superior courts.

For all emergency actions in criminal, civil and juvenile justice matters taken by the judicial branch, please see the link above.

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Various State Courts

In-person oral argument is suspended. Counsel will appear remotely via video, telephone conference, or other electronic means. All oral argument sessions will be held in the court's San Francisco courtroom. While oral argument sessions will continue to be open to the public, seating will be strictly limited to keep appropriate distancing. The court has ordered additional procedures for future oral arguments in their second order and third order. The Supreme Court of California has published its Oral Argument Calendar for 2021, which highlights the weeks currently reserved for oral argument sessions in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles and includes the dates for the court’s weekly conferences and court holidays for 2021.

In light of the California Supreme Court’s amendment of the “Supreme Court Rules Regarding Electronic Filing,” rule 2, until further notice, all documents (including briefs) must be filed electronically on the “TrueFiling” platform, and paper copies should not be submitted. Under rule 4(a), pro per parties and trial courts remain exempt from mandatory electronic filing. Likewise, under rule 6 any party may seek to be excused from mandatory electronic filing.

Per the April 28 news release, the Superior Court of Alameda County announced that it is implementing further measured efforts to restore in-person services to the public, effective the week of May 3, 2021. At the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse (RCD), the Appeals office in Room G-4 (lower level) will be open daily for appellate filings from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., beginning Monday, May 3, 2021. To facilitate timely processing, this in-person opportunity means the Court will no longer accept appellate filings made via the RCD drop box, although parties may still submit appellate filings via U.S. mail, fax filing (for civil), and e-filing (for criminal). Drop boxes at RCD and other court locations will continue to be available for other (non-appellate) filings.

Per the April 7 news release, the Superior Court of Alameda County announced that both the George E. McDonald Hall of Justice and the Hayward Hall of Justice will reopen to the public on a limited basis effective Monday, April 12, 2021.

Per the Memorandum re Civil, Family, and Probate Cases During the Covid-19 Closure Period, updated October 19, the court resumed holding jury trials in asbestos preference cases. In addition, court trials may be conducted remotely via videoconference. The court will provide additional procedural information to parties and counsel conducting remote court trials.

The court started limited remote-appearance hearings the week of April 20, 2020. Effective May 11, 2020, the court began taking requests for reservation numbers for any motion via email to the department clerk. Details, including the full list of matters that will be heard, are set forth in emergency Local Rule 1.8a. All hearings will be via remote technology; no in-person hearings will be held at the court. The court will determine the manner of hearing, which may include video or telephonic means. Please see emergency Local Rule 1.8b for details.

Effective May 11, 2020, each civil department will have a specific day and time period each week for hearings, and previously scheduled hearings may be reset as necessary to the applicable department day and time. Hearings will be limited as set forth in emergency Local Rule 1.8a. If the matter relates to a motion permitted by Emergency Rule 1.8a or a case management conference, the court will issue a tentative ruling (“TR”). If the TR is contested (see Local Rule 3.30(d)), the matter will be heard. The hearing date and time may be at a later date than the date the motion was scheduled for. If an emergency request has been filed, the Court will determine whether a hearing is required and inform the parties.

Effective Monday, February 8, 2021, the telephone hours for its Civil and Family clerk’s offices will be modified to 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Telephone hours for all other clerk’s offices will remain unchanged.

Per the February 24 notice, the court will reopen to the public on Monday, March 1. The reopening date is subject to change depending on COVID-19 conditions. Jury trials will resume on March 1. Priority will be given to criminal, in-custody, time-not-waived matters. The civil department will continue to hear most matters via Zoom or CourtCall. All clerk’s offices will be open to public access on March 1, with hours of 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Per the court’s Seventh Amended Emergency Local Rules: Civil (“Seventh Amended Emergency Local Rules”), all hearings will be conducted by CourtCall until further notice. The court will permit filings each day via drop box, excluding weekends and court holidays. Two separate drop boxes will be provided at the Main Street entrance to the Wakefield Taylor Building, at 725 Court St., Martinez. The clerk’s office is open but subject to social distancing restrictions; the court encourages parties to use the drop boxes.

The Seventh Amended Emergency Local Rules states that the civil department has resumed a normal hearing schedule. Most civil matters will be heard via CourtCall, under the procedures set forth in Section 5 and subject to the exceptions in Section 4.

The court has issued new emergency rules that affect all cases.

Per the February 11 general order, for civil unlimited cases, all civil unlimited mandatory settlement conferences, trial readiness hearings, and jury trials scheduled to occur from Tuesday, February 16, 2021, through Wednesday, March 17, 2021, inclusive, will be rescheduled to occur on later dates in 2021 and 2022. All of these cases will be re-noticed for Trial Setting Conferences to be held on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at 9:00 a.m., in Department 503. The new settlement conference, trial readiness hearing, and trial date will be assigned at that time based upon a case-by-case assessment. Court trials scheduled to occur from Tuesday, February 16, 2021, through Wednesday, March 17, 2021, inclusive, will remain on calendar but may be continued on a case-by-case basis. Effective February 16, 2021, civil unlimited law and motion will return to Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, at 3:30 p.m., in Departments 403, 501, 502, and 503.

Pursuant to the April 6 Order regarding courthouse entry, until further notice, access to any and all courthouses is restricted to those authorized persons required to appear in person for a court hearing, including judges, court commissioners, court staff, and other authorized persons such as parties, their attorneys, and witnesses subpoenaed to testify.

Pursuant to the May 8 Release, the court requires that all persons entering a Fresno County courthouse wear a facial covering. Failure to wear a facial covering is grounds for denial of entry.

Per General Order 2021-GEN-019-00, in the interest of safeguarding the well-being of court users and enforcing social distancing, persons seeking services from the Clerk’s Office, court support services, and/or the Self-Help Centers must have a prescheduled appointment. For telephone or video assistance, or to schedule an appointment, the telephone number for each courthouse is listed at the courthouse entry and posted on the Court’s website, www.lacourt.org. Access to LASC proceedings is governed by General Order 2020-GEN-025-00 issued on November 23, 2020.

Per General Order 2020-GEN-025, in the interest of enforcing social distancing and to reduce the number of people in courthouses, access to courthouses is restricted at all times to judicial officers, court staff, co-lessees, Judicial Council staff, vendors, jurors, mediators, authorized persons (which includes, but is not limited to, news media representatives and news reporters), attorneys, litigants and witnesses with matters on calendars, and individuals with confirmed appointments.

Per General Order 2021-GEN-009-02, all persons entering any courthouse or courtroom shall wear a face mask over both the nose and mouth while in public areas of the courthouse or courtroom. Face masks with valves are not permitted.

Per the January 29 news release, effective February 1, 2021, the court will resume hearing in-person jury trials. Three courtrooms at the Civil Complex Center and three courtrooms at the Central Justice Center have been designated to conduct in-person civil jury trials, as approved by the civil panel supervising judge. Small Claims calendars will also resume via video appearance. Other in-person hearings, such as name change matters and judgment debtor examinations, will also resume February 1, 2021, as noticed by the court. All other civil case related hearings will remain as scheduled unless specifically ordered otherwise by the court. Further details are available on the Civil COVID-19 website page.

Starting February 16, 2021, Civil Unlimited and Complex Civil will begin transition to the use of Zoom instead of WebEx as a video conferencing technology for conducting civil court trials remotely. In addition to civil court trials, trial readiness conferences and other matters as designated by the department will be conducted through Zoom, unless otherwise specified. Law and Motion will continue to be heard via CourtCall per Administrative Order No. 20/06.

Per the court’s Civil Limited, Unlimited & Complex Information & Appearance Process dated April 21, 2021, the court began processing civil filings as of May 26, 2020. All civil limited, unlimited and complex filings should be submitted via eFiling through an approved eFiling Service Provider with the exception of filings by self-represented litigants. Due to various restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the court will continue to significantly limit in-person appearances until further notice. Unless specifically outlined in the court’s process or ordered otherwise by the court, hearings in civil limited, unlimited and complex will continue to be heard via remote appearance.

Per the notice dated August 28, effective Friday, October 30, 2020, and excluding judicial holidays, the regular Friday hours for the clerk’s offices in the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, will be from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Commencing October 30, 2020, the clerk’s offices at every branch of the Superior Court of California, County of Orange, will be closed after 12:00 p.m. on Fridays for the transaction of court business except for requests made at the Central or Lamoreaux Justice Centers for domestic violence temporary restraining orders, elder abuse temporary restraining orders, and civil harassment temporary restraining orders. In addition, limited clerk’s office services will be available in juvenile court for justice partners, as needed to meet legal deadlines. Court hours will remain unchanged for all other Court services.

Per the court’s order on May 26, anyone who has been diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19 is prohibited from entering the court, and shall instead be required to strictly adhere to the isolation and testing requirements detailed in the May 22, 2020 order issued by the County of Orange Health Officer. Anyone who knows they have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19, is prohibited from entering the court. Such individuals will not be permitted to enter the court until they have self-quarantined for a period of 14 days from the last date they were in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed or likely to have COVID-19, or tested negative after coming in close contact with a person that has been diagnosed with or likely to have COVID-19.

Per Second Amended Administrative Order No. 20/16, all members of the public entering a court building or wherever the court is conducting official court business including law enforcement, attorneys, parties, and vendors must wear face coverings for the purpose of covering their mouth and nose at all times in the public areas of any court building, including courtrooms, or wherever the court is conducting official business.

Per the February 16 news release, jury trials will resume beginning on March 1, 2021.

Per Administrative Order 2021-17, the Hemet Courthouse is closed to the public with the exception of those individuals scheduled for afternoon bench trials. The Moreno Valley Courthouse is closed to the public until further notice.

The court has published a protocol for remote civil jury trials.

Per the court’s site, the court clerk’s offices for civil matters are closed for in-person filings except for temporary civil harassment restraining orders, other types of temporary civil restraining orders, requests to renew restraining orders, ex parte applications, stipulations, and inspection and abatement warrants. These documents can be filed at the Banning Justice Center, Blythe Courthouse, Palm Springs Courthouse, Riverside Historic Courthouse and Southwest Justice Center. Customers may file civil documents online via the eSubmit Document Submission Portal, by U.S. Mail or by placement in a drop box at one of the court facilities listed on the court’s site.

Per the court’s website, unlimited and complex civil court and jury trials will be scheduled at Trial Setting Conference (“TSC”) hearings only. Litigants that would like to seek priority on a trial date may either stipulate or file an ex parte to shorten the time on the TSC. The court will not accept stipulations to set trial dates.

Per General Order 2021-17, all courthouses within the County of Riverside shall be closed on the third Friday of each month. The current closure dates are: October 16, 2020; November 20, 2020; December 18, 2020; January 15, 2021; February 19, 2021; March 19, 2021; and April 16, 2021.

Per the April 7, 2021 public notice, as a result of expense reductions and higher than anticipated revenues, the court will no longer be required to close on May 21, 2021 and June 18, 2021.

Per General Order 2020-42, no person will be permitted to enter a courthouse or other court facility if that person is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Per General Order 2020-67, all persons entering any courthouse or courtroom shall wear a facial covering at all times within public areas and shared work spaces.

Per General Order 2020-72, access to courthouses, courtrooms, clerk's offices, and public areas is restricted to judicial officers, court staff, persons seeking or participating in emergency services, and persons required or permitted to appear for scheduled proceedings. Access to in-person court proceedings is limited to summoned jurors, parties, their attorneys, witnesses subpoenaed to testify, one support person statutorily permitted to accompany a person seeking a temporary restraining order, and other authorized persons.

Per the court’s news release, dated April 26, 2021, the court’s current services are detailed and outlined on the COVID-19 webpage by division at the following link: https://www.saccourt.ca.gov/general/coronavirus.aspx. Filing counters and clerk’s offices generally remain closed. There are limited “in-person” hearings being held at this time. Only those persons with court hearings in specified criminal actions or any matter authorized under the resumption of expanded services orders shall enter a Sacramento Superior Court facility on the day of the hearing. All civil filings are accepted by US mail or drop box. Civil matters including civil harassment restraining orders, gun violence restraining orders, petitions for compromise of claims of minors with accompanying applications for appointment of guardian ad litem, complex civil departments, writ of mandate departments, civil law and motion departments, Presiding Judge law and motion, short cause civil trials, and mandatory and voluntary settlement conferences are being conducted through hearings conducted via remote technology. Orders of Examination proceedings are being conducted in-person. Civil bench and jury trials are being conducted remotely or in-person on a case-by-case basis. The Trial Setting Process continues in limited operation as set forth in the Court’s Public Notices. All hearings will be conducted remotely via the interactive video conferencing application Zoom or by Court Call, unless specifically indicated otherwise.

Per the court’s News Release, dated February 9, 2021, commencing February 16, 2021, for those cases that had been referred to TSP, but had not yet selected MSC and trial dates as of March 17, 2020, the court, through the supervising civil judge's department, will begin re-referring such cases in groups and phases to the COVID-19 Trial Setting Process (TSP) for the parties' selection of MSC and trial dates, provided the case has not been settled/dismissed and remains at-issue. Earliest available trial dates for this group of cases will begin in November 2021. Earliest available corresponding MSC dates will begin in October 2021.

Per the public notice on February 9, each case that is re-referred to TSP for selection of MSC and trial dates will receive a case-specific re-referral order. The re-referral order will direct the parties to the “COVID-19 Trial Setting Process” webpage. The parties shall then follow the instructions on the webpage in meeting and conferring and submitting to the court their preferred MSC and trial dates. Parties shall not utilize the COVID-19 TSP webpage unless and until they have received their case-specific re-referral order. The court will send re-referral orders for these cases during the period of February through June 2021. The court will issue one group of re-referral orders approximately each week. Cases will be placed in groups generally following the sequence that they were due to select MSC and trial dates based upon the prior referral to TSP by the CMP Department.

Per the September 21 Order, all persons must wear face coverings when inside the courthouse, entering the courthouse or when in line to enter the courthouse. This applies to any Sacramento Superior Court facility.

Per the court’s public notice on February 3, effective February 16, 2021, the court will begin to resume new jury trials due to the State of California lifting its regional-stay-at-home order on January 25, 2021.

The Second Amended General Order Limiting Filing at Clerk’s Office and Requiring Filing of Certain Case Types by Alternative Methods orders that beginning December 8, 2020 and continuing until further notice, the only documents that will be accepted for over-the-counter filing at the clerk’s office filing windows are those listed in the order. Any document or transaction that is not listed must be submitted by drop box, mail, facsimile, or through online options.

Per the December 14 Press Release, effective on January 6, 2021, the Big Bear Courthouse will change its hours of operation to the first Wednesday of each month, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and will continue providing remote hearings for misdemeanor modifications and traffic infractions, along with services provided by the clerk’s office.

Per the December 16 General Order, effective January 4, 2021, and continuing until further notice, all clerk’s offices will reduce public service hours of operation on court days from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to 8:00 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.

Per the April 7, 2021 public notice, all court users, including judicial officers, employees, attorneys, litigants, and the general public must wear a face covering at all times and maintain six feet of social distance between themselves and others while inside any court location.

Per the court’s news release on January 27, the court aims to resume jury trials in February 2021.

Effective April 15, the court will require that filings submitted by attorneys for represented parties in all Limited and Unlimited Civil or Probate matters be filed electronically.

Per the court’s website, to schedule an ex parte hearing for cases assigned to a Civil Independent Calendar department, you must call the calendar clerk for the department in which your case is assigned; for Non-Independent Calendar departments, you must call the Civil Business Office in the location to which your case is assigned. For Civil Independent Calendar departments, ex parte hearings will generally be held remotely/telephonically using CourtCall or MS Teams. When scheduling an ex parte, inquire with the Independent Calendar Clerk on how to appear for your hearing. If you want to have an informal discovery conference related to an ongoing discovery dispute either for a motion that was previously set on calendar, or for a new discovery dispute, you should contact the independent calendar clerk for the department to which your case is assigned to set an ex parte hearing to discuss your discovery matter and obtain a referral. All informal discovery conference requests require approval from the independent calendar judge to whom your case is assigned. The independent calendar judge to whom your case is assigned can hear your informal discovery conference, or you may ask and/or be referred to one of the overflow civil judges assigned to informal discovery conferences. In preparation for an informal discovery conference, the parties shall each electronically file a brief no more than five pages in length, outlining the areas in dispute at least five days before the informal discovery conference. If the discovery dispute does not resolve informally, the parties’ attorneys may stipulate to a dispositive hearing following the informal discovery conference by using the Stipulation for Discovery Determination Following Informal Discovery Conference Form.

Per Order No. 010121-41, the Superior Court of San Diego County, Local Rules, rule 2.5.8 is suspended as to all civil cases until further notice. All parties are directed to review the COVID-19 page on the court’s website for the process by which remote appearances will be conducted for all civil cases.

Per Order No. 010121-44, all in-custody criminal jury trials will have priority over out-of-custody criminal and other case type jury trials until further order of the court. Until the court orders otherwise, all courtrooms available for jury trials will be used to conduct in-custody criminal jury trials.

Per Order No. 010121-45, all persons, including court staff and judicial officers, who enter, or are in line to enter, any court facility must wear a face covering consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Public Health Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings issued on November 16, 2020.

Per Order No. 010121-39, access to any and all courthouses, courtrooms, business offices, and public areas shall be restricted at all times to persons with court business if such services are being provided in person.

The San Francisco Superior Court is reopening the Clerk’s Offices effective February 1, now that the City and County of San Francisco and Department of Public Health have lifted its Shelter in Place order. The Civil Clerk’s Office, Room 103, Civic Center Courthouse, will re-open to walk-in service on Monday, February 1, 2021. Office hours are Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Phone service will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For all law and motion matters, the court will post tentative rulings and follow the procedures set forth in San Francisco County Superior Court Local Rule 8.3 et seq. All hearings will be conducted remotely by CourtCall or by videoconference. No in-person appearances will be permitted. The moving party should confer with all other parties before scheduling and noticing a hearing, then may e-file and notice the hearing in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure section 1005 or other applicable requirements. The moving party need not obtain a hearing date or reservation number before filing the motion. Hearings are conducted via Zoom Videoconferencing, please see the Law and Motion webpage for further information.

The Complex Litigation Departments will continue scheduling telephonic conferences. Please continue to file opposition and reply briefs on the previously agreed upon schedule. If counsel need a continuance on their briefing deadlines, they shall meet and confer to adjust any briefing schedules, and then email the court on their agreed upon deadlines. Counsel should continue to meet and confer to prepare the statement and file these statements on the day their hearing would have occurred. Based on the filed statements, the court will set further dates.

The Civil Filings Office is closed until further notice. Filers are encouraged to electronically file, mail in their filings or use the drop boxes located in the lobby of the Civic Center Courthouse. There are no document pick-up boxes. The filer must include copies and a self-addressed stamped envelope to receive returned filings.

Where possible, courtroom proceedings will proceed via CourtCall or by another videoconferencing application. Please check the Court’s website at www.sfsuperiorcourt.org for the most recent updates regarding court operations. In addition, please use the Court website’s Online Services to access the most recent updates in your case.

Per the April 29 Calendar Memo Order, the court reissues and extends its March 12, 2021Fourteenth Court Emergency Response Calendar Memo Order to curtail court calendars (but safely hear certain court calendars that had been closed), suspend all civil jury trials through July 2, 2021, and suspend all LPS trials through July 2, 2021.

Per the court’s site, effective January 1, 2021, San Mateo Superior Court is a direct calendar court for all civil matters. All pending and newly filed civil cases have been assigned to a judge for all purposes.

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases, the Redwood City and South San Francisco Clerk’s Offices are closed to the public. As an exception, the Redwood City clerk’s offices will continue to process emergency ex parte matters, domestic violence, elder/dependent adult abuse and civil temporary restraining order petitions and civil ex parte matters. The clerk’s offices’ drop boxes are open for permitted filings.

Per the notice on the court’s site, the San Mateo Superior Court requires that all attorneys electronically file into civil, complex civil and small claims cases.

Per Order Number 11, no individual who (a) has tested positive for COVID-19 or displays any symptoms of a COVID-19 infection as identified by the CDC; or (b) has been exposed within the past two (2) weeks to another person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or displays any symptoms of a COVID-19 infection as identified by the CDC, may enter a courtroom. Any individual who physically enters a courtroom must wear a facemask. Any individual who physically enters a courtroom must check in with court staff.

All civil jury trials scheduled between March 17, 2020 through October 2020 are vacated. Civil jury trials and their mandatory settlement conferences originally scheduled during this period have been re-scheduled to a trial setting conference. Discovery deadlines will be re-set with the new trial date. The court will provide notice of the trial setting conference date. When normal operations resume, the court will set new trial dates for all affected civil cases, taking into consideration the original trial date, the exigency of the subject matter, and any statutory priority.

Per the court’s March 2nd order, upon request of a party, or the court’s own motion, a case may be sent to a mandatory settlement conference prior to trial. Should the case not settle at this early mandatory settlement conference, the mandatory settlement conference the week before trial will still proceed, pursuant to Local Civil Rule 9.

Mandatory settlement conferences for civil non-jury trials scheduled between March 17, 2020 and July 22, 2020 were vacated and re-scheduled to a Trial Setting Conference. The court sent notices of the Trial Setting Conference date.

All civil law and motion matters scheduled resumed on May 19, 2020.

Beginning, August 17, 2020, the daily office and telephone hours at the courthouses in San Jose and Santa Clara will be 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Friday. The Self-Help Center and Restraining Order Help Center office hours are reduced to 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. In addition, the business offices at the courthouses in Palo Alto and Morgan Hill will be closed until further notice. Business previously conducted in Palo Alto and Morgan Hill will be conducted in San Jose at the Hall of Justice located at 190 W. Hedding Street, San Jose 95110.

Pursuant to the court’s November 3 general order, all persons, including court staff and judicial officers, who enter the courthouses must wear a face covering in public and shared work spaces. Any person who refuses to wear the required face covering in compliance with this order may be ordered excluded from the courthouse for failure to comply with the order.

Pursuant to the General Order issued March 9, 2021, the court rescinded its General Order Restricting Courthouse Entry issued December 1, 2020 and reinstated its General Order Restricting Courthouse Entry which was effective on June 15, 2020. It is therefore ordered that access to any and all courthouses is restricted to those persons appearing at a court hearing or conducting official business with the court. No other persons will be permitted entry without good cause.

Pursuant to Government Code §68106, the Superior Court of California, County of Ventura, is providing sixty (60) days’ notice of limited operation days. The majority of the courtrooms and all of the clerk’s offices will be closed to mitigate the impact of employee furlough days on court operations on the following days: September 30, 2020, October 21, 2020, November 18 & 25, 2020, December 16, 23, 24, 30 & 31, 2020, January 15, 2021, February 11, 2021, March 10 & 17, 2021, April 21, 2021, May 5 & 19, 2021, June 9 & 23, 2021. These days are not court holidays, so statutory deadlines will not be extended.

Per Administrative Order 20.20, the court is planning to resume many services on June 15, 2020. Access to any and all courthouses, courtrooms, clerk's offices, self-help centers and public areas shall be restricted at all times to judges, commissioners, court staff, persons seeking or participating in emergency services, persons required or permitted to appear for scheduled hearings or trials, persons with a scheduled appointment for the clerk's offices or self-help centers and other authorized persons. Beginning June 15, 2020, access to any and all court proceedings shall be limited to summoned jurors, parties, their attorneys, witnesses subpoenaed to testify, one support person statutorily permitted to accompany a person seeing a temporary restraining order and other authorized persons. The court’s Civil Reopening Plan states all future trial dates (i.e. on or after June 15, 2020) are vacated; without further notice, a trial setting conference will be heard in the assigned courtroom on the same date and time formerly set for trial.

Per Administrative Order 20.29, all Mandatory Settlement Conferences in civil cases, which are/were scheduled at a Trial Setting Conference held after re-opening on June 5, 2020, will be conducted remotely through the Zoom platform, as authorized by California Rules of Court, Emergency rule 3. The order incorporates therein and makes part of the order the “Mandatory Settlement Conferences Conducted Remotely” plan and “Remote Mandatory Settlement Conference Procedures Acknowledgement of Receipt and Stipulation” emergency form, which are both available on the court’s website and remain in effect until further notice.

Per Administrative Order 20.38, all persons entering any courthouse, courtroom or other court facility shall wear a face mask that fits securely and snugly over his or her nose and mouth at all times within public areas of the courthouse or courtroom. A face mask with a valve shall not be used.

The court has implemented Public Health Safety Measures. Signage is posted at each entrance of the Ventura Superior Court locations in Ventura, Oxnard and Simi to inform all visitors that they must not enter the courthouse if they have a cough or fever, wear a face covering in all public areas of the courthouse at all times, maintain a minimum distance of six-feet from other people, and not shake hands or engage in any physical contact unless unavoidable or necessary.

The court is operating remotely, with few staff at the courthouse. The court continues to receive correspondence and filings both via paper and electronically.

The Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, will conduct oral argument via videoconference using BlueJeans. Counsel participating in oral argument will receive a specific emailed invitation to the appropriate oral argument.

The court is operating remotely with reduced staff present at the court. Questions directed to the clerk’s office should be made via e-mail. The court will continue to receive correspondence and filings both via paper and electronically.

The Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District will be holding videoconference or telephonic oral argument for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The courtroom will be closed to the public.

The court has posted revised guidelines for telephonic oral argument. The court will conduct oral argument by videoconference using the BlueJeans Events application. Those participating in oral argument will receive a specific emailed invitation to the appropriate session of oral argument.

The court is operating remotely, with few staff at the courthouse. The court continues to receive correspondence and filings both via paper and electronically. Access to the court by phone is limited.

All in-person oral argument sessions in the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Divisions One, are suspended. Counsel who choose to present oral argument must do so telephonically.

The Clerk’s Offices in the Fourth District remain open but are unable to answer in-person questions at this time. For all paper filings including emergency writs, if papers cannot be filed electronically, the drop-box located in the Clerk’s Office lobby may be utilized in order to minimize in-person contact in light of COVID-19.

In-person oral argument sessions are suspended. Telephonic appearances can be arranged at CourtCall.com.

The clerk's office window is currently closed. However, court operations are functional. Oral argument sessions are being conducted telephonically. Court proceedings will be open to the public and members of the press telephonically.

Jurors scheduled to appear in a Connecticut courthouse from April 9, 2021 until May 31, 2021, should not report. Their jury service has been cancelled.

Connecticut Judicial Branch facilities’ personnel are currently conducting comprehensive safety inspections in certain courthouses where operations have been suspended, with the goal of making any modifications to those facilities as may be required to allow for the safe, socially distanced return of courthouse staff and judges and to further allow for the safe resumption of judicial business in those locations. The Statement from Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll III April 16, 2021 lists courthouses are currently being inspected and updated with the goal of resuming operations in those courthouses as of May 17, 2021.

The Judicial Branch is expanding remote public access to virtual civil and housing court proceedings while continuing its efforts to protect the health and safety of the public during the pandemic. Beginning February 1, 2021, virtual on-the-record civil and housing court proceedings will be livestreamed on the Branch’s YouTube channel.

Beginning with the December 7, 2020 calendar, arguable motions will resume printing on Short Calendar 02 (Property/Foreclosure) in addition to non-arguable motions that have printed since the October 13, 2020 calendar. All motions will be available for marking during the marking period.

The suspension of the requirements and deadlines in Section 3-2 and Section 17-30 concerning defaults, enacted by the judges on June 26, 2020, to be effective from March 24, 2020, and concerning civil matters has been removed, effective September 22, until further notice.

Effective September 20, 2020, the Court will begin to act on defaults and nonsuits in civil (including housing and small claims) and family matters, after giving notice, where possible, of the resumption of the entry of defaults and default judgments to parties against whom a default or default judgment may enter. If you have not filed an Appearance, an Answer or other responsive pleading, or you have not complied with a court order for which you can be defaulted, a default may enter against you on or after September 20, 2020.

Beginning with the October 26, 2020 calendar, Short Calendar 01 (civil arguable matters) will resume, and all motions printing on the calendar can be marked during the marking period.

Beginning with the September 8, 2020 calendar, Short Calendar 03 (Special Proceedings/PJR) will resume in addition to Short Calendar 10 (Non-arguable calendar) and all IndiCal calendars. All motions on Short Calendar 3 that are marked “take papers” will be ruled on by the Court on the papers. Motions marked “ready” will be scheduled for a remote hearing at a later date.

Beginning with the October 13, 2020 short calendar, non-arguable motions will print to civil Short Calendar 02 (Property/Foreclosure) and will be available for a “take papers” marking during the marking period. Arguable motions will not print to Short Calendar 02 at this time.

All foreclosure sales scheduled prior to October 3, 2020 are cancelled. Collection of the 2020 client security fund fee has been suspended until further notice. Attorneys will be notified once suspension of the rule has been lifted and a new due date for the 2020 fee has been established. All Judgments of Strict Foreclosure entered in matters with law days prior to October 6, 2020 are opened by the Court for the sole purpose of extending the Law Day in those matters to October 6, 2020. The court, as of July 20, ordered an immediate stay on all evictions and ejections through September 1, 2020. Beginning September 2, there is no further stay ordered on the issuance or service of an execution following judgment on non-residential evictions, evictions for serious nuisance, and residential nonpayment evictions for nonpayment of rent on or before February 29, 2020, or for evictions where the landlord has a bona fide intention to use the dwelling as the landlord’s principal residence.

Changes to procedures regarding foreclosures and evictions are detailed in Foreclosure Notices 1, 2, and 3.

Connecticut’s Supreme and Appellate Courts are hearing oral arguments remotely. As detailed in the May 28 notice, the Court has expanded its remote capabilities.

The court has expanded its protocols regarding criminal matters to accommodate the use of video conferencing, as detailed in the May 13 Notice.

As detailed in the May 14 Notice, the process for a Self-Represented Party to be approved to E-File their documents has been simplified so that a party no longer needs to print the request and bring or mail it to a courthouse to verify their identity. Instead, they can email the documents that verify their identity to a centralized e-mail.

Effective May 18, the Judicial Branch will resume its daily schedule of civil pre-trials, trial management conferences, and status conferences. These events will be conducted remotely, either by video link or telephone. Participating lawyers will receive an e-mail with a link providing access to the event immediately prior.

In family court, effective May 11, family pre-trials and status conferences will be held telephonically.

Effective with the May 18, 2020 calendars, arguable motions marked take papers on all initial calendars ruled on by the court. Matters marked ready will be marked off by the court and must be reclaimed.

As detailed in the April 30 Press Advisory, parties who have an agreement may have their family court cases resolved without having to come to court.

All jury service is suspended until further notice.

Pursuant to Executive Order 7NNN, no person is permitted to enter a Judicial Branch courthouse or facility without covering his or her mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering.

Judges will rule on certain civil non-arguable short calendar matters that have been marked take papers. Starting with the May 4, 2020 calendar, civil non-arguable short calendars will print, and if marked take papers, judges will rule on those motions on the papers. Calendars that will print include SC 10 and non-arguable motions on all IndiCal calendars assigned to a specific judge under the Individual Calendaring Program. Arguable motions that may require a hearing will not print at this time.

As of March 26, entrance to courthouses is limited to individuals who are 1) Filing or have a hearing for a Temporary Restraining Order; 2) Filing or have a hearing for a Civil Protection Order; 3) Filing or have a hearing on an Ex Parte motion; or 4) are involved in a criminal arraignment or other criminal proceeding.

The courts will schedule and hear only those matters identified as “Priority 1 Business Functions,” as detailed in the Court’s March 18 Notice. One building in each of the 13 Judicial Districts will be designated as the location at which only Priority 1 functions (as defined in the Continuity of Operations Plan) will be handled. With the exception of jury trials already in progress and criminal jury trials necessitated by the filing and granting of a speedy trial motion, all jury trials, civil and criminal, are suspended.

Effective March 30, 2020, and until further notice, the Judicial Branch’s Support Enforcement Services (SES) offices are closing statewide due to the COVID-19 crisis. The call center also will be closed effective March 30, 2020, until further notice.

All deadlines contained in Civil Scheduling Agreements and Case Management Orders are suspended until such time as Judicial Branch operations are fully restored.

A Governor’s Executive Order temporarily eliminates the requirement that applicants seeking a temporary restraining order must swear under oath that the statement is true and eliminates the need for a notary public or other authority to take the applicant’s oath, while still legally obligating the applicant to make true statements.

The six operating Superior Courts are accepting non-priority 1 civil and family filings.

Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 19, the judicial emergency for all State courts and their facilities in Delaware is extended for another 30 days effective May 4, 2021. Effective June 1, 2021, Phase 3 of the Reopening Plan will be implemented, as modified in Administrative Order No. 19.

Pursuant to a Statement from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware, dated March 12, 2021, assuming the downward trend in COVID-19 cases continues, and vaccine becomes more widely available as promised, we anticipate moving in June to Phase 3 of the Courts Reopening Plan. Phase 3 means the resumption of more in-person hearings and jury trials.

Pursuant to Administrative Order No. 17, the judicial emergency for all State courts and their facilities in Delaware is extended for another 30 days effective March 5, 2021.

As detailed in Administrative Order No. 13, Delaware courts will continue to operate under Phase 2 of the Reopening Plan as set forth in Administrative Order No. 7.

The use of face masks and coverings is required in court facilities.

All oral arguments scheduled through the end of May 2020 before the Supreme Court of Delaware are cancelled. The Court will decide all March, April, and May appeals without argument unless a motion is filed no later than March 27, 2020 requesting oral argument and stating concisely why oral argument is required, and the position of opposing counsel.

Supreme Court Rule 10(d), which requires the filing of paper copies of briefs and appendices with the Court, is suspended. Lawyers shall not submit paper copies of any documents that have been electronically filed with the Court.

Except as set forth in 10 Del. C.§ 2007(c), deadlines in court rules or state or local statutes and ordinances applicable to the judiciary that expire between March 23 and May 14, 2020 are extended through June 1, 2020. Statutes of limitations and statutes of repose that would otherwise expire during the period between March 23 and May 14, 2020 are extended through June 1, 2020. Deadlines, statutes of limitations, and statutes of repose that are not set to expire between March 23 and May 14, 2020 are not extended or tolled by this order. Deadlines imposed by court order continue to remain in place but may be extended, consistent with court practices, for good cause shown, including a COVID-19 related cause.

The judicial emergency for all State courts and their facilities in Delaware is extended for another 30 days effective May 4, 2021. Effective June 1, 2021, Phase 3 of the Reopening Plan will be implemented, as modified.

On March 16, the Delaware Court of Chancery ordered that all hearings and trials shall be conducted only by telephonic or other electronic means. The order states that if it is not practicable to conduct a hearing or trial in this manner in the judgment of the presiding judicial officer, the hearing or trial shall be continued. A party may request by motion that the Court conduct a hearing in-person.

The judicial emergency for all State courts and their facilities in Delaware is extended for another 30 days effective May 4, 2021. Effective June 1, 2021, Phase 3 of the Reopening Plan will be implemented, as modified.

On March 27, the Court issued a statement regarding scheduling, procedures, and remote video access.

The judicial emergency for all State courts and their facilities in Delaware is extended for another 30 days effective May 4, 2021. Effective June 1, 2021, Phase 3 of the Reopening Plan will be implemented, as modified.

All civil jury trials are suspended through and including May 29, 2020. Trials scheduled to begin between April 15 and May 29, 2020 will be rescheduled by the assigned judge as early as reasonably practicable. All pretrial conferences are postponed.

Per Standing Order 6, criminal jury trials are suspended through May 14. All Grand Jury proceedings, Criminal Case Reviews, Suppression hearings, Criminal motions that do not relate to a change in the custody status of the defendant, the filing of and responses to Rule 61 motions, sentencing (unless the parties represent to the Court that it may affect the custody status of the defendant), and criminal trials are suspended and stayed until May 14, 2020, subject to further review.

The judicial emergency for all State courts and their facilities in Delaware is extended for another 30 days effective May 4, 2021. Effective June 1, 2021, Phase 3 of the Reopening Plan will be implemented, as modified.

Pursuant to Justice of the Peace Court Standing Order No. 6, dated December 14, 2020, for Justice of the Peace Court, all criminal locations will restrict the scheduling of in-person proceedings except for emergency proceedings or by approval of a judicial officer. Criminal locations will continue to employ alternatives to in-person appearances, such as virtual appearances. As of December 2, 2020, in-person civil proceedings are suspended in favor of virtual proceedings; in-person proceedings may be held for emergency proceedings or other limited purposes, as detailed in the order.

The judicial emergency for all State courts and their facilities in Delaware is extended for another 30 days effective May 4, 2021. Effective June 1, 2021, Phase 3 of the Reopening Plan will be implemented, as modified.

As of March 23, Delaware Family Court will continue to handle emergency and essential hearings. Specifically, Family Court will continue to address emergency requests for Protection from Abuse Orders and emergency child welfare, custody, visitation, and guardianship matters. Family Court also anticipates conducting limited adult criminal and juvenile delinquency matters. To the fullest extent possible, all necessary hearings will be held telephonically.

Per the Thirteenth Order Extending Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency, the Twelfth Order Declaring Statewide Judicial Emergency, which would have expired on Thursday, April 8, 2021 is further extended until Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. Trial courts may now conduct jury trials as local conditions allow. Please see the Thirteenth Order for additional details.

The Chief Judge of each superior court, in his or her discretion after consulting with the District Attorney, may resume grand jury proceedings in person or remotely (where consistent with law), if doing so can be done safely and in compliance with public health guidance based on local conditions.

Per the Seventh Order, The Chief Judge of each trial court is authorized, in his or her discretion, to summon new trial jurors and to resume jury trials. Deadlines for jury trial proceedings (including statutory speedy trial demands), deadlines for grand jury proceedings, and deadlines calculated by reference to the date of a civil or criminal jury trial or grand jury proceeding shall remain suspended and tolled.

Per the Fifth Order, all courts should continue to use and increase the use of technology to conduct remote judicial proceedings as a safer alternative to in-person proceedings, unless required by law to be in person or unless it is not practicable for technical or other reasons for persons participating in the proceeding to participate remotely. Courts should understand and utilize the authority provided and clarified by the emergency amendments made to court rules on videoconferences and teleconferences. Courts may compel the participation of litigants, lawyers, witnesses, and other essential personnel in remote judicial proceedings, where allowed by court rules. Such proceedings, however, must be consistent with public health guidance, must not impose undue burdens on participants, and must not be prohibited by the requirements of the U.S. or Georgia constitutions or applicable statutes or court rules. In civil, criminal, juvenile, and administrative proceedings, litigants may expressly consent in the record to remote proceedings not otherwise authorized and affirmatively waive otherwise applicable legal requirements. Courts have discretion to conduct in-person judicial proceedings, but only in compliance with public health guidance and with the requirements of the United States and Georgia constitutions and applicable statutes and court rules. No court may compel the attendance of any person for a court proceeding if the court proceeding or the court facility in which it is to be held is not in compliance with this order. Courts are also prohibited from compelling in-person participation in any court-imposed alternative dispute resolution session that is to be conducted in a manner inconsistent with applicable public health guidelines. Nothing in the Order as extended and modified limits the authority of the Chief Judge of a superior court judicial circuit to add to the restrictions imposed, if such restrictions are constitutional, necessitated by local conditions, and to the extent possible ensure that courthouses or properly designated alternative facilities remain accessible to carry out essential judicial functions. However, no court may disregard the restrictions imposed by the Order as extended and modified.

Per the Georgia Court Reopening Guide, certain general practices are to be applied to all courts and adjusted where necessary to meet the unique needs of each court. The Reopening Guide outlines the following seven policies to meet the challenges of resuming operations in the wake of the public health emergency caused by COVID-19: 1) general infection control measures; 2) provide notice to the public of increased health and safety measures; 3) provide healthy and safe access to the courtroom; 4) maintain a healthy and safe courtroom; 5) healthy and safe court employees; 6) healthy and safe jurors and potential jurors; and 7) healthy and safe inmates and detainees. Please see the Georgia Court Reopening Guide for more information.

Per the Guidance on Grand Jury Proceedings dated May 11, the provision in the Second Order Extending Declaration of Statewide Judicial Emergency authorizes a district attorney, upon his or her own initiative or at the request of the foreperson of an existing jury, to assemble an existing grand jury if the district attorney: (1) determines that it is necessary for the grand jury to consider a matter that is essential to the administrative of justice, the public health and welfare, the continuity of government, or the maintenance of civil order; (2) determines that a delay of such consideration by the grand jury until after the resumption of regular jury proceedings would pose a substantial risk of harm to the public interest; and (3) determines that after consultation with the chief judge of the superior court and the sheriff that the grand jury can be assembled safely and in compliance with all applicable public health guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the county public health department, including any guidelines for social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment. This provision is intended to be a limited exception to the general stay of all grand jury proceedings, and it is not intended to authorize an assembly of a granny jury to consider routine bills of indictment and other unexceptional matters.

Per the April 9, 2020 Extension Order, any purported requirements under the laws of Georgia that a notarial act performed pursuant to Chapter 17 of Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia must occur in the physical presence of the notary public is suspended, and may be performed remotely if certain requirements are met.

On behalf of the Supreme Court of Georgia, Chief Justice Harold D. Melton asks that all attorneys, parties, and visitors to the Nathan Deal Judicial Center who have a fever or symptoms of a respiratory illness, or who have been exposed to a person with coronavirus, flu, or any other communicable disease, to reschedule their hearings, tours, or appointments. In addition, the Court asks that all visitors routinely follow the best practices for preventing the spread of infectious disease.

The Council of Superior Court Judges has drafted an amendment to Uniform Superior Court Rule 9.1 that would authorize civil non-jury trials to be conducted by video conference. This rule would remain in effect for 180 days past the expiration of the Chief Justice’s Judicial Emergency Declaration and any extensions or modifications thereto.

Per the Notice dated May 20, effective May 28, parties in pending cases will have the same amount of time to submit their filings as they had remaining at the time the March 14 emergency order went into effect. Parties will be required to submit a “Certificate of Timeliness” with each filing to show the calculation of the new filing deadline. Parties may file a motion for reconsideration or seek extensions of time for good cause related to the pandemic or otherwise. Second, a specific order will be issued in almost all new cases docketed in the court on or after May 28, 2020, directing that normal deadlines under the court’s rules will be in effect and will not be subject to tolling or extension under the emergency order, although parties may seek extensions of time for good cause related to the pandemic or otherwise.

Per Rule 11.1, effective May 28, for appeals, petitions for certiorari, applications, motions, disciplinary proceedings, and other proceedings for which any filing deadlines have been suspended by any order declaring a statewide judicial emergency, as extended by subsequent orders, or by a local judicial emergency order entered by the chief judge of a superior court, parties shall, when submitting any filing so affected, attach to the end of such a filing a separate “Certificate of Timeliness.” Such certificate shall not be counted toward the applicable page limitation, and shall state the following: (a) the date the filing was due before the deadline for the filing was suspended (without regard to any non-emergency-related extensions previously granted, and without the application of OCGA §1-3-1(d)(3) where the filing deadline would have fallen on a weekend or legal holiday; (b) the number of days that remained before the date specified in (a), as of suspension of the deadline; and (c) that the filing being submitted is timely because it is being filed within the number of days calculated under (b), counting from the date the suspension is lifted (subject to OCGA §1-3-1(d)(3) if this new filing deadline falls on a weekend or legal holiday). In the event a party’s filing deadline has been affected by any local judicial emergency order entered by the chief judge of a superior court or by any case-specific trial court order, a copy of each such order shall be attached to the party’s Certificate of Timeliness. This rule will expire in 180 days unless extended.

The M.R. 30370 Orders/Amended Orders delineate the Illinois Courts Response to the Covid-19 Emergency, including the Supreme Court of Illinois’ efforts to reduce unnecessary in-person court appearances and to promote remote court appearances.

As detailed in General Administrative Order 20-9 (which supersedes Law Division General Administrative Orders 20-6, 20-7 and 20-8), in the circuit court of Cook County, Illinois Law Division, all jury trial dates set from March 17, 2020 through June 30, 2021, are converted to “Trial Setting” dates. The setting of jury cases for trial is suspended until such time as jury trials can safely resume, given public health directives. When jury trial settings can safely be resumed, a minimum of 60-days’ notice will be sent to all parties and counsel of record, providing the date jury trial settings will resume, and the date, time and manner of the court call setting new jury trial dates.

Additionally, pursuant to General Administrative Order 20-9, in the circuit court of Cook County, Illinois Law Division, non-jury cases set for trial between March 17, 2020 and July 6, 2020, assigned to the Commercial Calendars, Individual Calendar, or Tax & Miscellaneous Calendars, may be reset for non-jury trial at the discretion of the assigned judges. Any non-jury trials should be conducted remotely, using Zoom or other remote video methods. Non-jury cases set for trial after July 6, 2020, assigned to the Commercial, Individual or Tax & Miscellaneous Calendars, may be reset for non-jury trial at the discretion of the assigned judges. Any non-jury trials should be conducted remotely, using Zoom or other remote video methods.

For civil matters, circuits may choose to utilize remote jury selection consistent with the guidelines established by the Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force, and adopted by the Court on October 27, 2020, available at: http://illinoiscourts.gov/CircuitCourt/Remote_Jury_Information.asp

Certain orders have been vacated per the Supreme Court’s August 28 Order.

Masks or face coverings should be worn at all times while in the courthouse unless the person is (1) otherwise instructed by court personnel; (2) under the age of 2; or (3) incapacitated, having trouble breathing, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. If available, masks should be provided to individuals who do not have them.

Effective June 4, the court’s corrected order of April 29, 2020 regarding Illinois Courts Response to COVID-19 Emergency/Impact On Discovery is amended to add a committee comment concerning the temporary amendment of paragraph (h)(3) of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 206 as detailed in the June 4 Order regarding discovery.

The Supreme Court’s May 22 Order details changes to procedures in eviction hearings.

Effective June 1, 2020, the court’s order of March 17, 2020, is modified so that each circuit may return to hearing court matters, whether in person or remotely, according to a schedule to be adopted for each county by the chief judge in each circuit. The circuit courts shall continue, to the extent possible, to allow for appropriate social distancing and attempt to reduce the number of persons appearing personally for court appearances.

The Supreme Court’s April 29 Order modifies paragraph (h) of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 206 regarding remote depositions.

The Illinois Supreme Court will hold oral arguments via the Zoom videoconference platform when it hears cases in May.

Several courts have updated their procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as detailed on the judiciary’s Information page.

The court’s March 20 Order and April 3 Order are amended as follows: The Chief Judges of each circuit may continue trials until further order of this court. The continuances occasioned by this Order serve the ends of justice and outweigh the best interests of the public and defendants in a speedy trial. Therefore, such continuances shall be excluded from speedy trial computations contained in section 103-5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (725 ILCS 5/103-5 (West 2018)) and section 5-601 of the Illinois Juvenile Court Act (705 ILCS 405/5-601 (West 2018)). Statutory time restrictions in section 103-5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 and section 5-601 of the Juvenile Court Act shall be tolled until further order of this Court.

 

As detailed in the court’s April 7 Order, the Chief Judges of each circuit may continue trials until further order of this court. Statutory time restrictions in section 103-5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 and section 5-601 of the Juvenile Court Act shall be tolled until further order of this court.

The court’s April 24 Order affects certain Post-Judgment Proceedings against garnishees or citation respondents.

All jury trials set to commence as of November 16, 2020 and that are scheduled to begin before February 1, 2021 shall be continued to a date no earlier than February 1, 2021. The court, parties, and attorneys are strongly encouraged to conduct civil court business when feasible using videoconference and telephone. District Courts may conduct civil nonjury trials by video conference or telephone with the parties consent. All grand jury proceedings is suspended until February 1, 2021.

The court has temporarily amended the Iowa Rule of Electronic Procedure to allow a person in civil court to sign documents electronically.

On March 15, 2021, the Maryland Judiciary began Phase IV of its COVID-19 five-phased progressive resumption of operations plan. Phase V full operations resume on April 26, 2021, including jury trials.

Per the Amended Administrative Order dated February 16, jury trials scheduled to commence between November 16, 2020, through April 23, 2021, shall be postponed and rescheduled in accordance with the date established by the Seventh Amended “Administrative Order Clarifying the Statewide Suspension of Jury Trials and Maintaining Grand Juries,” also filed February 16, 2021.

The Eighth Administrative Order restricts statewide judiciary operations. On Monday, November 30, the Maryland Courts returned to Phase II of the Maryland Judiciary’s reopening plan. During Phase II, Clerks’ offices in the District Court of Maryland and circuit courts throughout the state will remain open to the public for emergency purposes and by appointment for other matters.

Per the Order Clarifying COVID-19 Health Measures, effective immediately and for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period: (a) in all courthouses and judicial facilities, masks or face coverings shall be worn at all times, including court proceedings, except as noted in (e), (f), and (g), by all judges, Judiciary personnel, and any other person over the age of 2 years, with masks and face coverings to cover both the nose and mouth completely; (b) in instances in which members of the public of personnel arrive at a courthouse or judicial facility without an adequate face covering or mask, they shall be provided with a disposal mask, if available, or given alternative means for remote access, if appropriate and possible, (c) barriers, including clear personal barrier shields, are not a substitute for masks or face covers and shall not fulfill the masking requirement in (a); (d) social distancing of six feet or more shall be maintained throughout the courthouses and judicial facilities, including offices and courtrooms, but will not be a substitute for the masking requirement; (e) with appropriate social distancing, masks or face coverings may be lowered to eat, drink, or take oral or nasal medications, but shall be replaced upon completion; (f) throughout courtroom proceedings, all participants shall wear masks or face coverings as required in (a) unless, for good cause shown, the presiding judge or magistrate may require any participant, when speaking, to use a disposable mask or wear a personal barrier shield in lieu of a mask to ensure that the participant can be heard, with due consideration given to social distancing and other public health guidelines; (g) where judiciary personnel are assigned to single-occupancy enclosed offices, masks may be lowered when the occupant is alone and the door is closed; however masks shall be worn as described in (a) when any other person enters the office or the occupant leaves the office; and (h) where judiciary personnel are assigned to common area workspaces, including cubicles, masks shall be worn as described in (a). Any person who does not comply with this emergency order shall be subject to removal from the courthouse or judicial facility and disciplinary action as appropriate. This Order shall be modified as appropriate. This order shall not be construed to prohibit additional health measures that have been or may be adopted in compliance with new or enhanced guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Maryland Department of Health, and local health departments.

On July 20, the Maryland courts have moved into Phase 3 of the Maryland Judiciary’s reopening plan. Clerk’s offices in both the District Court of Maryland and circuit courts have reopened throughout the state. In Phase III, courts will schedule and hold a broader range of matters, including certain non-jury trials in the District Court and attorney disciplinary matters in the circuit courts, with limited in-person services to be offered as determined by the administrative judge and posted electronically and in the court facility. Court and clerk activities shall proceed with continued restrictions to limit the concentration of individuals and allow social distancing.

Until further notice, the courts will continue using technology for remote proceedings, either by video or telephone, but please note that this will vary by court location. The courts are requiring any individual, including employees, seeking access to a courthouse or court office location to: 1) answer a set of screening questions; 2) be subject to temperature checks; 3) wear a facial covering or mask; and 4) practice social distancing.

To facilitate filing papers with the Court of Appeals through Phase IV of the Progressive Resumption of Full Function of Judiciary Operations Previously Restricted Due to the COVID-19 Emergency for non-e-fliers in MDEC cases and filers in appeals from non-MDEC jurisdictions, the Clerk is providing two alternative means of filing papers in the Court of Appeals: (1) e-filing through the MDEC system, or (2) drop box at the basement entrance of the Courts of Appeal building.

All attorneys and self-represented litigants who are or become registered users are permitted to file petitions for writ of certiorari, briefs, motions and other papers via the MDEC system in all appeals regardless of which circuit court the appeal comes from. This includes Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County.

The Court of Appeals has placed a drop box at the front entrance of the Courts of Appeal building. All filings being delivered to the Court of Appeals in paper form may be placed in the drop box for filing. For the duration of this emergency, the date of filing will be considered the previous business day. In addition to the drop box, filers may continue to file via U.S. mail, and the date of filing will be considered the date a mailed filing has been postmarked.

Per the Amended Administrative Order dated May 1, 2020 (rescinding the Administrative Orders dated March 20 and April 14), courts are authorized to conduct remote proceedings using communication platforms consistent with the Administrative Order dated June 18, 2018. The requirement for approval of the State Court Administrator for communications platforms being utilized for remote proceedings is waived during the COVID-19 emergency. The court shall notify all participants necessary to the proceeding. Proceedings shall be on the record using existing capacity or, to the extent necessary, the capacity offered in the communication platforms utilized.

Per the Administrative Order dated May 1, the application of time standards shall be suspended for cases reaching a conclusion in the circuit courts and the District Court of Maryland from March 16, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Per the Revised Policy on Interim Orders, the commissioners shall provide a notice with all paperwork to petitioners and respondents advising them that the court may contact them with a different hearing date. Administrative Judges, or a Judge designated by the Administrative Judge, have the discretion to review each Interim Order. Commissioners are encouraged to request as much contact information from the parties as possible as any temporary hearings may occur remotely via video, audio or electronic means. Commissioners are encouraged to provide an explanatory cover sheet to petitioners to assist in explaining the status of the courts and any potential delay in hearing dates. Furthermore, courts will notify the parties of any scheduled hearing date through any means available. If the courts continue to function only on a limited basis as of June 8, 2020, further advice will be given.

Per the Administrative Order dated May 18, all other cases previously designated by the Court to be argued in the June Session of the 2019 Term, but not yet scheduled are designated to be heard in the September Session of the 2020 Term. All cases which have been previously designated by the Court to be heard in the September Session of the 2020 Term, but not yet scheduled are designated to be heard in the October Session of the 2020 Term. Furthermore, all cases that have been previously designated by the Court to be heard in the October Session of the 2020 Term, but not yet scheduled are designated to be heard in the November Session of the 2020 Term. Finally, the court will entertain requests pursuant to Maryland Rule 8-523(a)(2) by parties involved in cases that have either been postponed or rescheduled by this Order to submit those appeals for consideration on brief.

Beginning at 5:00 p.m. on June 5, the Maryland courts began implementing their reopening plan, which guides courts across the state of Maryland. There are five phases in the plan and each phase will represent an increase in the level of activity within each courthouse and court office. The general public, members of the media, and attorneys should reference the COVID-19 webpages for the latest information on individual court operations.

The courts are requiring any individual seeking access to a courthouse or court office location to: 1) answer a set of screening questions; 2) be subject to temperature checks; 3) wear a facial covering or mask; and 4) practice social distancing.

Per the Administrative Order as amended on June 3, on August 31, 2020, jurisdictions shall proceed to Phase IV, where courts will resume non-jury trials and contested hearings in criminal, civil, family, and juvenile matters. On October 5, 2020, jurisdictions shall proceed to Phase V, where courts will resume full operations, including jury trials.

Per the Administrative Order as amended on June 3, through the end of Phase IV, the courts are authorized to conduct remote proceedings using communication platforms, consistent with the Administrative Order dated June 18, 2018, and the Amended Administrative Order dated May 1, 2020. Regardless of Phase, this Administrative Order permits and encourages the courts’ consideration or resolution of: 1) matters that can be addressed without a hearing; or 2) matters requiring a hearing or trial, to the extent that an individual court has the capacity to hear such matters, either in person or on a remote basis, with access to the public as justice requires.

Per the Revised Communication dated June 3, effective immediately, no District Court shall process Affidavit Judgments until such time as the District Court is authorized to expand emergency operations. Any Affidavit Judgment entered on a case with a trial date or affidavit judgment date of March 16, 2020 or after shall be vacated by the court. A motion to vacate judgment filed regarding an Affidavit Judgment entered by the court during this time shall be treated as an emergency matter and heard by the Court in an expedited manner. When the District Court is authorized to expand emergency operations, such cases will be scheduled for affidavit judgment with notice to all parties.

Per the Sixth Updated Order, Phase 3 of the resumption of jury trials in Massachusetts state courts will commence on May 1, 2021.

Phase 2 of the resumption of jury trials in Massachusetts state courts will commence on March 1, 2021. Per the Fourth Updated Order, dated September 17, 2020, replacing the Third the Third Updated Order, dated June 24, 2020, Courthouses will continue to be physically open to the public for certain purposes, as generally outlined in this Order, and operated with diligent regard for the health and safety of court users and personnel, in accordance with protocols established by the Trial Court or the relevant appellate court, as applicable. To limit the number of persons entering courthouses, all courts will continue to conduct most court business virtually (i.e., by telephone, videoconference, email, or comparable means, or through the electronic filing system), in both civil and criminal cases. In cases with one or more self-represented litigants (SRLs) where a court is scheduling a videoconference, courts will recognize the possibility that SRLs may have limited access to the technology needed to conduct videoconferences or limited experience with it, and will either assist the SRL in being able to conduct a videoconference or offer an alternative to videoconferencing for the virtual hearing.

Trial Court departments shall continue to conduct in-person proceedings in emergency and non-emergency matters that either can be handled more effectively or efficiently in person, or cannot be handled virtually because a virtual proceeding is not practicable or would be inconsistent with the protection of constitutional rights. Each Trial Court department shall post notices to the "Court System Response to COVID-19" webpage (https://www.mass.gov/guides/court-system-response-to-covid-19) (COVID-19 webpage) (see paragraph 16) that provide clear department-wide guidance to the public and members of the bar identifying the categories of matters that it will address in person. Courts will conduct all other emergency and non-emergency matters virtually, except as provided in the paragraph below.

The Chief Justice of a Trial Court department, after consultation with the Chief Justice of the Trial Court, for reasons of public health and safety may order that a court division or location conduct all business virtually and/or may transfer some or all in-person matters to specified courts within the department. If any such action is taken, the applicable Trial Court department shall post notices to the COVID-19 webpage (see paragraph 16) that provide clear guidance to the public and members of the bar.

Entry into a courthouse is limited to personnel who work in the courthouse and persons who are present for one or more of the following purposes: attending in-person court proceedings (see paragraph 5); conducting in-person business with a clerk's, register's, or recorder's office (see paragraph 6); reporting for jury service (see paragraphs 9 and 13); meeting with a probation officer or probation staff person; or conducting business at other offices that are open to the public and housed in the courthouse.

All court clerks', registers', and recorder's offices will be physically open to the public to conduct court business. To continue to limit the number of persons entering courthouses, clerks', registers', and recorder’s offices will still endeavor to conduct business virtually to the extent possible.

No jury trials, in either criminal or civil cases, shall be conducted in Massachusetts state courts until on or after October 23, 2020, at which time courts shall resume in-person trials on a limited basis, in general accordance with the recommendations for Phase 1 contained in the report issued by the Jury Management Advisory Committee (JMAC) on July 31, 2020, as clarified by the memorandum issued by the JMAC on September 1, 2020. Specific provisions regarding limitations of the number of jurors and other jury related restrictions in civil cases during Phase 1 is further detailed in the order.

Per the Memorandum dated August 7, the Virtual Courtroom Task Force was formed in March 2020 in response to court closures due to the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of COVID-19. The Virtual Courtroom Standards and Guidelines, as recently amended have been posted to the Virtual Courtrooms webpage. Please click the link for more information and documents.

Pursuant to Prior SJC Orders, all jury trials scheduled to commence in Massachusetts state courts at any time from March 14, 2020, through September 4, 2020, were continued to a date no earlier than September 8, 2020. Civil bench trials may be conducted virtually in the discretion of the trial judge.

Unless otherwise ordered by the applicable court, all orders in a particular case that were issued prior to March 17, 2020, after an adversarial hearing (or the opportunity for an adversarial hearing), that enjoined or otherwise restrained or prohibited a party from taking some act or engaging in some conduct until a date at any time from March 17, 2020, through August 31, 2020, shall remain in effect until the matter is rescheduled and heard on a date on or before October 13, 2020.

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Travel Form, all individuals over the age of 18 and unaccompanied minors entering Massachusetts, who are not coming from a COVID lower-risk state and do not fall within certain, limited exemptions, must complete this form upon or prior to entry to the state. To determine whether you are required to complete this form, please review the list of exemptions here. Failure to submit a completed Massachusetts Travel Form, when required, or failure to comply with the quarantine requirement, if applicable, may result in a $500 fine per day.

All individuals arriving in Massachusetts by any means or mode, including Massachusetts residents who have left the state for anything more than transitory travel, are covered by the Massachusetts travel rule. Accordingly, even travelers not required to complete the form should act in compliance with the rule. The rule requires that you MUST quarantine for 14 days unless you: (1) are coming from a lower-risk state or (2) can produce, on request, proof of negative test result for COVID-19 from a test administered on a sample taken no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts, or (3) meet the exemption criteria.

Per the Third Order regarding Public Access to State Courthouses and Court Facilities (repealing the July 7 Order), effective August 3, the following persons shall not enter or remain in any courthouse: (1) persons not wearing a mask or cloth face covering as set forth in §6. Visitors should go to the courthouse with their own mask or face covering; (2) persons who have tested positive for, or been clinically diagnosed with, COVID-19 within the last 14 days; (3) persons who are currently experiencing, or have experienced within the last three days, symptoms of COVID-19; (4) persons who have been advised to self-quarantine by a doctor or other health care provider or a public health agency within the last 14 days; (5) persons who are required to quarantine under the Governor’s Order Instituting a Mandatory 14 Day Quarantine Requirement for Travelers Arriving in Massachusetts (COVID-19 Order No. 45) or any updates of that order; (6) persons who reside with someone who has tested positive for, or been clinically diagnosed with, COVID-19 within the last 14 days; (7) persons who reside with someone who has tested positive for, or been clinically diagnosed with, COVID-19 within the last 14 days; (8) persons awaiting COVID-19 test results after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or having been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, and persons who reside with someone who is awaiting such COVID-19 test results; and (8) persons who fail or refuse to engage in the screening process.

Furthermore, all persons seeking entry to a courthouse will be subject to a screening process that may include: (1) answering questions designed to determine whether the person is prohibited from entering a courthouse. Any person whose answer(s) indicate that s/he falls into one of the categories listed above will not be permitted to enter; (2) having their temperature taken. A person with a temperature reading of 100 degrees or higher will not be permitted to enter the courthouse. While in the courthouse, all persons must comply with the following rules. All persons over the age of two are required to wear masks or cloth face coverings that cover their nose and mouth at all times. Visitors should go to the courthouse with their own mask or face covering. All persons must engage in physical distancing, by standing or sitting at least six feet away from other individuals whenever practicable and abiding by markings on floors and benches indicating places to stand or sit. The presiding judge or clerk-magistrate may modify these rules in a courtroom or hearing room during a judicial proceeding as justice requires.

Moreover, all persons are strongly encouraged to engage in frequent hand-washing and/or frequent application of hand sanitizer while in a courthouse. All persons are encouraged to bring their own pen with them to court for completing and signing pleadings and other documents.

The Order regarding Remote Depositions authorizes remote attendance at depositions in civil cases without stipulation or court order. Any deposition taken in a civil case pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 30 and 30A, and pursuant to Court Department rules and standing orders, may be conducted remotely. Neither a stipulation of the parties nor a court order is required. The desire of counsel, a part, or a deponent to appear in person shall not alone be sufficient grounds to quash a notice for a remote deposition or to refuse to make a witness available for a remote deposition. A remote deposition may be conducted by a video-conferencing platform, or by another means agreed to by the parties. An officer or other person before whom the deposition is to be taken is authorized to administer oaths and take testimony without being in the presence of the deponent, so long as the officer or other person before whom the deposition is to be taken can both see and hear the deponent for purposes of positively identifying the deponent. Any person who views or listens to a remote deposition, at any time during the deposition, shall be identified for the record. A remote deposition shall be considered taken in the county and at the place where the deponent is located. Depositions may be conducted by telephone by leave of court or by written stipulation of all parties under Mass. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(7). Where an audio-visual recording of a deposition is conducted pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 30A, although the court reporter may be in a remote location, the operator/videographer must be physically present with the witness unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.

Per Memoranda dated March 22 and April, the Supreme Court set forth new procedures for Landlord-tenant cases.

Per the Memorandum dated August 7, the Virtual Courtroom Task Force was formed in March 2020 in response to court closures due to the coronavirus pandemic and the spread of COVID-19. The Virtual Courtroom Standards and Guidelines, as recently amended have been posted to the Virtual Courtrooms webpage. Please click the link for more information and documents.

Per the Memorandum dated July 28, Executive Order 2020-158 temporarily suspends the strict requirements of the Michigan Law on Notarial Acts through August 31, 2020, and permits the notarization of documents outside the physical presence of a notary or required witnesses within certain parameters.

Per Order 2020-19, Order 2020-2 is rescinded, with the expectation that courts shall continue to process those cases listed as essential functions in addition to other cases as court return to full capacity under the terms of Order 2020-13. Courts that have progressed to Phase 3 shall begin holding jury trials using trial standards approved by the State Court Administrative Office. Courts that are not yet at Phase 3 may proceed with jury trials upon approval from the State Court Administrative Office. Courts must continue to provide a method or methods for filers to submit pleadings other than by personal appearance at the court. Courts shall continue to expand the use of remote participation technology as much as possible. To enable the greatest participation possible for judicial officers, Order 2012-7 is suspended until further order of the Court.

Per Order 2020-19, the time deadlines in rules regarding post judgment motions filed in the trial court (including motions for appointment of appellate counsel) as well as circuit court appeals and appeals of agency determinations are extended for 76 days, consistent with Order 2020-16.

Per Order 2020-19, Order 2020-13 has generated some confusion. To clarify that the form for collecting information (but not the information itself if it is contained elsewhere in a public portion of the file) is nonpublic, Order 2020-13 is amended as follows: The contact information form used under this administrative order to collect the information shall be confidential.

Per the Memo regarding the CESF Grant, the Michigan State Police (MSP) recently posted a $4.5 million Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) grant for eligible trial courts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Per the Return to Full Capacity Guide, readiness to enter each phase is dependent on whether gating criteria have been satisfied. In consultation with local health professionals, courts will determine whether criteria involving exposure or symptoms in the court facility, number of community cases, and local health system capacity have been met. Before entering any phase, courts must demonstrate that all of the following criteria have been satisfied. First, no COVID-19 confirmed or suspected cases in the court facility have occurred within a 14-day period; or confirmed or suspected cases have occurred in the court facility, but deep cleaning of exposed areas and applicable employee self-quarantine actions have been taken. Second, there is a downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period; or there is a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of test). Third, there is a rescission of local and state restrictive movement and/or shelter-in-place orders and local and regional health care facilities are able to treat all patients without crisis care. For all phases, courts should still ensure that appropriate policies are in place, direct employees too self-monitor for indicative symptoms, implement policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing, monitor the status of public infrastructure, and work with the regional administrator as the court plans to move into each phase of expanded operations. The courts must continue to practice good hygiene, and people who feel sick should stay home. Each court must utilize screening procedures that identify the presence of COVID-19 symptoms, COVID-19 exposure, and international travel.

The Michigan Supreme Court has the authority to direct trial courts to “adhere to the phased return of operations as determined by policy guidelines established by the State Court Administrative Office” pursuant to 1963 Const., Art VI, Sec. 4.

As courts return to full capacity service, they will pass through phases as they meet certain criteria. At each phase, the court must submit a local administrative order (“LAO”) for approval. The list of LAOs, by county and court, reflects the phase a particular court is at, and allows you to access the court’s LAO by clicking on the LAO number, e.g., 2020-04J.

Trial courts are ordered to limit access to courtrooms and other spaces to no more than 10 persons, including staff, and to practice social distancing and limit court activity to only essential functions, as detailed in the March 18 Order 2020-2.

As detailed in Order 2020-6, the Court authorizes judicial officers to conduct proceedings remotely (whether physically present in the courtroom or elsewhere) using two-way interactive videoconferencing technology or other remote participation tools.

Deadlines for numerous reporting requirements are suspended as detailed in the Memorandum dated April 8, with exceptions for drunk driving reimbursement and jury fees.

Per Order 2020-13, a court may collect contact information, including mobile phone numbers and email addresses, from any party or witness to a case to facilitate scheduling of and participation in remote hearings or to facilitate case processing. A court may collect the information using a SCAO-approved form. An email address for an attorney must be the same address as the one on file with the State Bar of Michigan. This order is effective until further order of the Court. For more information on which forms to use and for assistance with completing the forms, please refer to the Memo re Order 2020-13 – Collections of Contact Information, and Notice of Remote Hearings.

Per the Memorandum dated April 29, courts are allowed to affix their seal to electronic document, including summonses, warrants, and judgments of sentence.

Per the Memorandum dated May 5, friends of the court (FOCs) have requested a list of mandated functions FOC offices perform to ensure they can make plans to address those functions. FOC office have also requested a more concise list of mandated functions they can share with their funding unit to ensure they remain funded. For more information, please see FOC Mandated Duty Checklist and FOC Abbreviated Mandatory Checklist.

Per Order 2020-14, on order of the Court, pursuant to 1963 Const., Art. VI, Sec. 4, courts must adhere to the phased return to operations as determined by policy guidelines established by the State Court Administrative Office. Such policies will include but may not be limited to: continued use and expansion of remote hearings; continued limited access to courtrooms and other spaces; and limited in-person court activity to essential functions that cannot be conducted remotely.

Per Order 2020-16, effective June 8, 2020, Order 2020-4 that tolled the filing deadlines in the Michigan Supreme Court and Court of Appeals is rescinded, and the periods for all filings, jurisdictional and non-jurisdictional, in those Courts shall resume. For time periods that started before 2020-4 took effect, the filers shall have the same number of days to submit their filings on June 8, 2020, as they had when the tolling went into effect. For filings with time periods that did not begin to run because of the tolling period, the filers shall have the full periods for filing beginning on June 8, 2020.

Per Order 2020-18, effective June 20, 2020, Order 2020-3 is rescinded, and the computation of time for those filings shall resume. For time periods that started before Order 2020-3 took effect, the filers shall have the same number of days to submit their filings on June 20, 2020, as they had when the exclusion went into effect on March 23, 2020. For filings with time periods that did not begin to run because of the exclusion period, the filers shall have the full periods for filing beginning on June 20, 2020. Staff Comment – note that although the order regarding computation of days entered on March 23, 2020, it excluded any day that fell during the State of Emergency declared by the Governor related to COVID-19, which order was issued on March 10, 2020. Thus, the practical effect of Order 2020-3 was to enable filers to exclude days beginning March 10, 2020. This timing is consistent with the executive orders entered by the Governor regarding the tolling of statutes of limitation.

Pursuant to an Order, dated April 9, 2021, the Judiciary will continue to operate in a blended format-primarily remote with some in-person options -until COVID-19 trends support the expansion of on-site presence and in-person court events. For jury selections starting on or after June 15, 2021, counties will continue to use modified summons documents that inform prospective jurors (1) that the jury selection process will begin in a virtual format; and (2) that their service may continue virtually or may involve reporting in person to a courthouse with safety precautions. Jurors who have been summoned to report for service between May 17, 2021 and June 14, 2021 will be assigned to panels for virtual civil jury trials. Jurors summoned to report for service on or after June 15, 2021 may serve virtually or may report in person to a courthouse for hybrid jury trials.

Pursuant to an Order, dated January 7, 2021, for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and until further Order, virtual civil jury trials are authorized during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as set forth in the Order. The Court may modify the protocols for conducting virtual civil jury trials based on updated public health recommendations, including recommended changes in occupancy limits for indoor gatherings. Consent to proceed remotely will be required during Phase 1 (starting in a limited number of vicinages on or after February 1, 2021, as detailed in the Order). Consent to proceed remotely will not be required during Phase 2 (starting statewide on or after April 5, 2021) because of the expected length of the continued dire public health threat posed by COVID-19.

Pursuant to an Order, dated November 16, 2020, the Supreme Court suspended new in-person jury trials and in-person grand jury sessions. Pursuant to a Notice, dated November 17, 2020, courts at all levels will continue to follow a remote first approach to court proceedings.

Pursuant to a Notice, dated December 8, 2020, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has reinstated the suspension of requirements for healthcare professionals involved in responding to COVID-19 to appear for depositions or court proceedings, except for appearances and depositions (i) that are requested by the doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional; or (ii) that are for matters related to COVID-19.

Megan’s Law proceedings should be conducted remotely by video or telephone for public safety and notification to the public about sex offenders. Directive 16-20 details guidance for judges to consider when deciding which Megan’s Law proceedings can be handled remotely by video or telephone during this COVID-19 crisis.

By Order dated May 14, 2020, the Supreme Court authorized empaneled grand juries to reconvene in a virtual (video) format, subject to modified protocols. The pilot program will begin in Mercer and Bergen Counties.

On May 5, 2020, the Supreme Court confirmed that the Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system launched in early April is an approved electronic filing system, and that all documents submitted through JEDS are filed upon receipt and deemed electronically signed. Attorneys are required to file in eCourts where eCourts is available, as detailed in the Supreme Court’s May 11 notice.

The Supreme Court issued a May 4 order temporarily allowing attorneys licensed in another United States jurisdiction to provide needed pro bono legal services to individuals and small businesses affected by the public health crisis.

The Supreme Court has approved updated Guidelines on Media Access and Electronic Devices in the Courts, as detailed in the April 28 Notice to the Bar. Directive No. 12-20 implements the Supreme Court’s April 20, 2020 Order and establishes guiding principles for when and how remote court events will be conducted during the COVID-19 crisis.

As of April 27, 2020, remote proceedings in the Municipal Courts may be conducted with the consent of all parties. Effective May 11, 2020, with appropriate notice to the parties,

Municipal Court sessions can resume in individual Municipal Courts. Sessions may proceed by video or phone. Municipal Court sessions will resume to the extent possible based on facilities, technology, and other resources.

Most discovery deadlines in Civil and Family matters generally are extended through May 10, 2020, with lengthier extensions only in specific areas.

The April 24 Omnibus Order continues the suspension of petit and grand juries through May 31, 2020.

All court proceedings will continue to be conducted remotely using video and/or phone options to the greatest extent possible. Some court matters will proceed remotely only with the consent of all parties.

As detailed in the April 15 Notice, certain deadlines have been extended and certain time periods have been tolled.

Beginning April 27, all counties will begin scheduling arbitrations, which will be conducted remotely.

The New Jersey Judiciary has expanded its court filing system to better accommodate attorneys and self-represented litigants.

The Judiciary has closed court buildings to the public and adjusted the operations of court offices to reduce the risk of exposure to or transmission of the virus.

As of March 25, the provisions of Rule 1:6-4 are relaxed and supplemented so as to eliminate the requirement that, in addition to filing all Civil motion papers, orders to show cause, and orders, attorneys must also simultaneously submit to the judge a copy of all motion papers. The requirement of submitting paper “courtesy copies” of motion papers to the judge is modified so as to suspend the requirement of submitting courtesy copies in Civil matters so long as the total submission (including appendices and attachments) does not exceed 25 pages. Where the submission is more than 25 pages, courtesy copies still must be mailed or delivered to the court and postmarked within two days of the electronic filing.

On March 12, the judiciary suspended all reporting for petit jury service, stating that no new civil or criminal jury trials will be conducted until further notice. The notice states the judiciary is continuing ongoing jury trials.

As of March 18, 2020 and until further notice, there are no in-person Superior Court and Tax Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing trials). As many matters as possible (including case management conferences, motions, and hearings) will be handled by telephone or video conference.

In the Supreme Court, all grand jury empanelment dates, including for State Grand Jury, are postponed, and new notices will be issued rescheduling grand jury selection for a date after April 26, 2020. All current grand jury sessions, including for State Grand Jury, are cancelled. In Supreme Court civil matters, the provisions of Rules 4:24- l(a), 4:24- l(c), 4:46- 1, and 4:36-3 are relaxed and supplemented to permit the extension of discovery deadlines through April 26, 2020.

As of March 18, 2020 and until further notice, there are no in-person Superior Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing trials).

On March 24, 2020, as detailed in the Release notice, certain county jail inmates were to be ordered released.

Per the March 24 Order and as of that date, the Supreme Court has approved interim procedures, including enabling parties to submit certain emergent applications (that cannot be filed electronically) by email.

By Order dated March 27, the Supreme Court affirmed, continued, or supplemented certain provisions established by prior orders.

Effective Monday, May 24th, all judges and court staff will be required to physically return to work in their assigned courthouses. As of March 1 and an update on March 8, the state court system is planning to resume some in-person operations, including a limited number of jury trials in courthouses across the state (jury summonses are being mailed out in preparation for jury selection to begin March 22). 

On Monday, August 10th, grand juries resumed hearing cases in New York City. They join the other 57 Counties outside of New York City that began hearing cases on July 13th.

Per the Memo dated June 30, commencing July 6, visitors to any Unified Court System facility will be required to submit to temperature screening and questioning upon entry into the facility and prior to magnetometer and x-ray security screening. The number and location of screening stations shall be determined by the local command. A uniformed officer shall take the visitor’s temperature by infrared thermometer without physical contact to the visitor. The officer will ask whether, within the last 14 days, the visitor (1) has had fever, cough, shortness of breath or any flu-like symptoms; (2) has tested positive for COVID-19 (or been in close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19); or (3) has returned from travel abroad or from a state covered by Executive Order 205. If the visitor’s registered temperature is less than 100.0ºF, and the visitor answers “no” to the questions, the visitor shall be permitted to proceed to the magnetometer/x-ray machine.

Per the Memo dated June 30, if a visitor’s registered temperature is equal to or greater than 100.0ºF, or the visitor answers “yes” to any of the questions, the visitor shall be asked for the following information for the court’s records: (a) visitor’s full name; (b) case name, index number, and judge; and (c) reason for court visit. The visitor shall not be obligated to provide this information. The visitor shall then be instructed (1) to leave the court facility immediately; (2) if a represented party, to notify her/his attorney of the incident; and (3) if an unrepresented party, to contact the clerk’s office (at a number provided) and seek further instructions. Similar instructions should be provided if the visitor is a witness, attorney, or other necessary participant on a matter on that day’s calendar. Whenever a court visitor registers a temperature of 100.0ºF or higher or answers “yes” to a screening question, uniformed personnel shall maintain a record of the information described above (if voluntarily provided by the visitor), together with a brief description of follow-up events. This daily record shall be filed as a single unusual occurrence report (UOR) at the close of each day. Uniformed personnel shall wear appropriate PPE (face mask, face shield, disposable gloves) when taking temperatures of court visitors; and shall dispose of gloves and perform hand hygiene following the taking of visitors’ temperatures and prior to performing other duties.

Per Administrative Order AO/121/20, effective June 10, in courts and case types approved for electronic filing through NYSCEF, represented parties must commence new matters or proceed in pending matters exclusively by electronic filing through NYSCEF, and must file and serve papers in such matters (other than service of commencement documents) by electronic means through NYSCEF or, where permitted under NYSCEF court rules, by mail. Unrepresented parties must file, serve and be served in such matters by non-electronic means unless they expressly opt in to participate in NYSCEF. To the extent that NYSCEF electronic filing in unavailable in courts or case types in the trial courts, represented parties must commence new matters exclusively by mail, except where otherwise authorized by the Chief Administrative Judge. Following commencement of a new matter, and in pending matters, represented parties must file papers through the Unified Court System’s EDDS or by mail, and must serve papers by electronic means or by mail. Unrepresented parties must file, serve, and be served in such matters by non-electronic means unless they provide written notification to the court and all parties that they wish to file, serve, and be served electronically. This order shall not affect procedures for the filing and service of papers in essential matters. The court shall not request working copies of documents in paper format.

Commencing with the April 2020 Term and until further notice, all calendared matters will be heard on submission or oral argument by appearance through Skype.

In the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Second Judicial Department, all perfection, filing, and other deadlines set forth in any order of that Court, the Practice Rules of the Appellate Division (22 NYCRR part 1250), the Rules of Practice of that court (22 NYCRR part 670), or Electronic Filing Rules of the Appellate Division (22 NYCRR part 1245), are suspended indefinitely and until further directive. All motions and applications for an extension of time to perfect or file that are pending as of March 17, 2020, are adjourned pending further directive of the Court. All other pending motions are adjourned without date until further directive of the Court.

The New York State Court system has also issued Q&A Guidance for Joining Skype Calls with the Court.

Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.17 directs that anyone “who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance,” effective 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020. Pursuant to this Order, for the safety of all court users and court personnel, all people who enter courthouses must wear a mask or face covering while inside the courthouse. Persons without such a mask or face covering will not be permitted to enter.

Per Administrative Order AO/87/20, documents filed through the EDDS system shall be served by electronic means. Problem-solving courts may conduct virtual court conferences with counsel, court staff, service providers, and, where practicable, clients. Judges may refer matters for virtual alternative dispute resolution, including to neutrals on court-established panels, community dispute resolution centers, and ADR-dedicated court staff. The court shall not request working copies of documents in paper format.

Per the Supreme Court of the State of New York’s Order in the Matter of the Rescission of Temporary Suspension Order dated May 8, the Court’s March 17 order temporarily suspending perfection, filing and other deadlines set forth by Court order or practice rules is rescinded. The deadlines for the remaining 2020 terms of the Court are reinstated. The deadline for the filing of responding and reply papers that have not yet been filed on motions which were returnable between March 16, 2020 and May 4, 2020, is now May 22, 2020. Furthermore, the parties shall comply with any other filing deadlines set by the Clerk of the Court or her designee, or by order of this Court, in the manner so directed or ordered. Finally, the requirement that hard copy briefs, records, appendices and motions be filed continues to be suspended until further directive of the Supreme Court of New York.

Per Administrative Order AO/98/20, the Unified Court System Program for the consensual/voluntary and mandatory use of electronic means for the filing and service of documents (“e-filing”) is continued and extended as follows – all civil matters in Supreme Court in all counties listed in Exhibit A shall, unless approved for mandatory (or mandatory in part) electronic filing by prior administrative order, henceforth be accepted for consensual/voluntary electronic filing. Mandatory (and mandatory in part) electronic filing shall continue in those counties as authorized in AO/245/19.

Per the Notice – NY’s Surrogate’s Courts’ Action for COVID-Related Cases dated May 15, the following actions are being implemented by the New York County Surrogate’s Court, effective May 18, 2020. The court is addressing all essential matters as well as certain non-essential matters. Most operations are being handled virtually or remotely. All urgent and essential matters, as well as all uncontested matters (in which waivers and consents have been fully executed and for which no citation need be issued), are being accepted for filing. Parties with urgent matters may contact the Chief Clerk’s Office at dsanabri@nycourts.gov or at (917) 509-7218, or they may contact the court attorney-referee to whom the matter has been assigned, if any. Only essential personnel will be in the courthouse. No one should visit the courthouse without first contacting the Chief Clerk’s Office.

Per the Notice dated May 15, until further notice, petitions and other papers must be filed by mail (USPS or any express mail service) or, if authorized by court personnel, by electronic mail at NYSURRFILING@nycourts.gov. Please provide your contact information, including an email address, with your filing. If papers are brought to the courthouse in person after consultation with the Chief Clerk’s Office, they are to be left in a box outside Room 303. Court personnel may contact petitioners or their counsel as needed once filed papers are reviewed. Court attorney-referees may contact the parties in a matter for a conference, which will be conducted virtually.

Per Administrative Order AO/115/20 dated May 28, notwithstanding the terms of any prior administrative order, in the counties and on the dates set forth in Exhibit A, in courts and case types approved for electronic filing through the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF), represented parties must commence new matters or proceed in pending matters exclusively by electronic filing through NYSCEF, and must file and serve papers in such matters (other than service of commencement documents) by electronic means through NYSCEF or, where permitted under NYSCEF court rules, by mail. Unrepresented parties must file, serve and be served in such matters by non-electronic means unless they expressly opt in to participate in NYSCEF.

Per AO/115/20, to the extent that NYSCEF electronic filing is unavailable in courts or case types in the counties and on the date set forth in Exhibit B, represented parties in pending matters may submit for filing digital copies of (1) motions, crossmotions, responses, replies and applications, (2) notices of appeal and cross appeal, (3) stipulations of discontinuance, stipulations of adjournment, and other stipulations; (4) notes of issue, and (5) such other papers as the Chief Administrative Judge may direct, to courts and clerical officers of the Unified Court System (including County Clerks acting as clerks of court) through EDDS or such other document delivery method as the Chief Administrative Judge shall approve. This order shall not affect procedures for the filing and service of essential matters, and, on the dates that it becomes effective, supersedes administrative orders AO/87/20 (pars. A-C) and AO/114/20.

Per Order Nos. 531 and 532, the general, statewide judicial emergency declared and maintained via the Court’s Orders on March 16, March 18, March 24, April 1, and April 28 shall cease as of June 1, 2020. Those Orders shall expire according to their own terms. Intermediate appellate courts have issued various administrative orders, and nearly all local courts have utilized the procedures specified in Rule of Judicial Administration 1952 and/or this Court’s prior Orders to declare local emergencies. Those order remain in full force and effect. Extant administrative orders issued by the intermediate courts and local emergency orders and directives, including any provisions of these affecting time calculations or deadlines, shall remain in full force and effect until they expire or are rescinded.

For more information, contact your local court or visit their website.

Per the March 19 Order, the April 30, 2020 CLE compliance deadline applicable to Compliance Group 1 is extended to August 31, 2020. All other 2020 annual compliance deadlines remain unchanged and on standard schedule.

Per the order regarding Operation of the Trial Courts During the Coronavirus Emergency, dated March 4, 2021, if done in accordance with a plan approved by the Chief Justice, jury selections and jury trials may be conducted. An in-person trial or hearing may be conducted if a judge determines (1) it is appropriate to conduct an in-person trial or hearing and (2) the trial or hearing can be safely be conducted. Except as may be restricted by any constitutional provision, statutory provision or other provision of this order, a non-jury trial or a hearing on a motion or other matter, including a first appearance in a criminal case, may be conducted using remote communication technology to avoid the need for a physical appearance by any party, witness or counsel.

All summary courts must submit a COVID-19 Jury Trial Plan to Renee Lipson at South Carolina Court Administration. This plan shall be submitted via email to rlipson@sccourts.org within 45 days of the date of this memorandum. A county chief magistrate may submit the individualized plans on behalf of all magistrate courts within in their county. The summary court jury trial plan must comply with Centers for Disease Control guidelines for personal protective equipment, social distancing and sanitization. The plans must be accommodating to both criminal and civil jury trials, as appropriate. No summary court jury trials may proceed unless the jury trial plan has been pre-approved by South Carolina Court Administration.

Per the Memo regarding Court Operations, dated September 14, 2020, beginning September 21, 2020 court operations will resume normal schedule and docket management, including in-person hearings in Circuit Court and Family Court, as well as General Sessions and Common Please jury trials. All matters may be heard in-person effective September 21, 2020. Judges have the discretion to determine whether it is appropriate to conduct a hearing using remote communication technology. Consent of the parties is not required.

Per the Memo regarding Court Operations during the Seven Week Period August 3 – September 18, 2020, judges shall continue to hear any non-jury matter currently pending. All local administrative orders must be approved by the Chief Justice and filed with Court Administration prior to implementation. Every judge not previously scheduled for vacation or official leave should operate on a normal schedule and keep regular office hours. Judges will continue handling as much of the regular dockets within their circuits as is practical. In doing so, judges shall adhere to the guidance set forth in the Order as amended on April 22, 2020. Status conferences shall be held in all cases on the trial docket, criminal and civil, and pre-trial motions should be disposed of. Limited judicial travel for court assignments will now be permitted. Notwithstanding any prior guidance, continuances on pre-trial matters are discouraged during this seven-week period and should be granted only in exceptional circumstances with good cause shown. Any matter heard in person must be conducted in a reasonably safe manner.

Per the Memo regarding Inclement Weather, the National Hurricane Center is forecasting that some areas of South Carolina may experience inclement weather as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias. All state judicial officers and employees should follow the decisions made by their respective county government officials regarding office delays or closings. Judges assigned to counties operating as normal should be flexible in granting continuances to attorneys and parties who experience personal issues caused by the weather conditions that prevent their remote or in-person appearance in court. Despite this, the chief judges for administrative purposes at all levels may direct that certain matters or proceedings go forward despite the closure or delay, and shall ensure that bond hearings continue to be conducted at least once a day if conditions are safe to do so. Please refer to the State Emergency Management website, www.scemd.org/closings, or individual county government websites, for the status of state government offices for each county.

Per the Order dated July 30 (superseding the Order dated May 26), all persons employed in, conducting business in, or otherwise visiting on present for any reason in county and municipal courthouses statewide are required to wear a protective mask or other facial covering while inside the courthouse, subject to the following provisions: (1) during courtroom proceedings, the judge may require the removal of masks or face coverings for a brief period of time for the fair presentation of the case. In such instances, social distancing should be observed; (2) judges and court reporters may remove their masks while in the courtroom in order to fulfill their duties. In such instances clear face shields should be work if available and social distancing should be observed to the extent practicable; (3) face coverings need not be worn by judges and courthouse personnel while in private work areas where the person is not likely to come within six feet of other staff; (4) persons may be required by judges, courthouse staff, or law enforcement to briefly remove their mask when necessary for identification purposes.

Per Order dated July 30, all persons employed in, conducting business in, or otherwise visiting or present for any reason in county and municipal courthouses statewide shall be screened for fever by courthouse staff using an infrared or temporal thermometer. Anyone who registers a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above shall not be admitted. To ensure that proper social distancing may be maintained, and that there are sufficient supplies for those who must be present in courthouses. Clerks of Court and Chief Judges for Administrative Purposes or presiding judges may limit the number of non-litigants allowed inside courthouses. Any person who refuses to comply with these directives is subject to contempt for violation of this order. This order does not prohibit anyone from wearing other PPE, including but not limited to gloves, in addition to their mask or other facial covering.

Per the Order dated June 15, all deadlines falling prior to June 9, 2020, are extended for an additional twenty (20) days. No further communication from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) or the Office of Commission Counsel (OCC) is required to effectuate this extension. A deadline of or after June 9, 2020, is not extended absent a request for an extension. Any person seeking additional time to perform any act under the RLDE or the RJDE may make a request for such pursuant to Rule 14(b), RLDE or Rule 14(b), RJDE. Furthermore, any procedural default occurring on or after March 13, 2020 through May 20, 2020, is forgiven. Any procedural default occurring after May 20, 2020, will be enforced unless otherwise provided by this Order. Any request by a complainant for review pursuant to Rule 18(b), RLDE or Rule 18(b), RJDE, of a dismissal of the complaint was temporarily extended for a period of ninety (90) days following a notice of dismissal. The following deadlines are not affected by the Order or this guidance: (A) lawyers charged with or convicted of a crime; (B) reciprocal discipline and reciprocal incapacity inactive status; and (C) judges charged with or convicted of a crime.

Per the Order dated June 15, documents may no longer be delivered to ODC or OCC. Documents may be filed utilizing the U.S. mail, fax, or email. The fax number for ODC is (803) 734-1964. The fax number for OCC is (803) 734-0363. The general email address for ODC is ODCmail@sccourts.org. The general email address for OCC is OCCmail@sccourts.org. A lawyer may sign documents utilizing an electronic form of the lawyer’s signature in accordance with part (f) of the Order. Lawyers may also utilize OneDrive for Business. Where an affidavit is required to be filed or submitted, the requirement of an affidavit may be satisfied by a signed certification of the maker stating, “I certify that the foregoing statements made by me are true. I am aware that if any of the foregoing statements made by me are willfully false, I am subject to punishment by contempt.”

All jury trials in the Supreme Court of South Carolina are postponed, except grand juries, as outlined in the Order regarding County Grand Juries dated May 29. Non-jury trials and other hearings may continue at the trial judge’s discretion, but only attorneys, their clients, and necessary witnesses will be allowed to appear. To the extent possible and circumstances warrant, hearings that can be held by video may be held remotely. Telephonic hearings may be held remotely as a last resort. All oral arguments currently scheduled before the Appellate Courts are cancelled. 

Effective April 6, 2020, the Supreme Court, John C. Calhoun and Edgar Brown Buildings, are closed to the public.

Per the Order dated April 22, the appropriate judge responsible for scheduling matters may authorize a non-jury trial to occur if the parties consent, or the matter involved an emergency or other circumstance warranting immediate resolution. If an in-person non-jury trial is conducted, only attorneys, the parties, and necessary witnesses will be allowed to appear. A hearing on a motion or other matter may be conducted using remote communication technology. If, upon reviewing a motion, a judge determines that the motion is without merit, the motion may be denied without waiting for any return or other response from the opposing party or parties.

Per the Order dated April 22, where the order authorizes a hearing, trial, or other matter to be conducted using remote communication technology, any oath necessary during that hearing, trial or other matter may be administered by the same remote communication technology. Notaries who are authorized to administer oaths may administer oaths utilizing remote communication technology in the case of depositions.

Per the Order dated April 22, all deadlines under all existing scheduling orders are hereby stayed, retroactive to March 13, 2020. Forty-five days following the date on which the Governor lifts or rescinds the emergency orders relating to the coronavirus emergency, this stay shall end. The due dates for all trial court filings due on or after the effective date of this order are extended for thirty days. Counsel may agree to further extensions of time without seeking permission from the court, and parties are strongly encouraged to do so upon request. The time extensions, forgiveness of procedural defaults, and extensions by consent provisions do not extend or otherwise affect the time for the serving of a notice of appeal under the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules, or the time to appeal from a lower court to the circuit court.

Per the Order dated April 22, clerks of the trial courts may, at their option, permit documents to be filed by electronic methods such as fax and email. These optional filing methods shall not be used for any document that can be e-filed under the South Carolina Electronic Filing Policies and Guidelines.

Per the Order dated May 1, an attorney may participate in and supervise the closing of a real estate transaction by way of a video conference. Necessary persons to a real estate transaction may, under the direction of the supervising attorney, similarly participate in the real closing by way of a video conference, provided any necessary person so consents. The supervising attorney shall ensure that the attestation of a recordable instrument is accomplished, which may be satisfied by use of real-time audio-visual communication technology, provided the identity of any necessary person is confirmed and a notary attest the signature of any necessary person. The supervising attorney shall consult with any lender(s) and any participating title insurance company to ensure that the real estate closing measures taken are acceptable to the applicable lender) and title insurance company. This Order is effective immediately and remains in effect until August 1, 2020, unless earlier modified or rescinded by order of the court.

Per the Order dated May 12, the Certification of Compliance with the CARES Act in Foreclosures (SCCA 256A) bearing a revision date of May 12, 2020, is approved for use in the Circuit Courts and Master-in-Equity Courts of the State of South Carolina, effective immediately. This revised form replaces the original version issued by the previous Order dated May 6. The form is available at www.sccourts.org/forms.

Per the Order regarding County Grand Juries dated May 29, section (d)(2) of the Operation of the Trial Courts During the Coronavirus Emergency Order dated April 22 is amended. County grand juries may convene in person beginning June 1, as long as grand jurors can be safely distanced and equipped with protective gear, and meeting rooms and courtrooms sanitized. All other provisions of the April 22 Order remain in place unless modified by a subsequent order. Furthermore, the Solicitor of the Attorney General may still present an indictment to the county grand jury using remote communication technology such as video conferencing and teleconferencing when necessary to minimize the risk to the members of the county grand juries, witnesses, lawyers, and court employees. Any necessary oath may be administered using this same remote communication technology.

Per the Order regarding Operation of the Appellate Courts during the Coronavirus Emergency as amended on May 29, for oral arguments that would normally be open to the public, the Supreme Court will either live stream the arguments and/or post a recording to the video portal on the South Carolina Judicial Branch website. As the risk to participants diminishes, the Appellate Courts will return to conducting arguments and hearings in a courtroom, with appropriate limitations on the number of persons permitted to be present.

Per the Order regarding Operation of the Appellate Courts as amended on May 29, until further notice, persons desiring to hand deliver documents to the Supreme Court must utilize a drop box located at the rear doors of the Supreme Court Building. Parties are warned that deliveries sent by private carriers may not be accepted for delivery if it becomes necessary to completely close the Supreme Court building. Documents delivered to the court will be subject to a quarantine period of 48 hours once they are physically received by the court. Rule 262(a)(2) allows for a document to be filed by electronically transmitted facsimile copy so long as a copy is immediately sent by U.S. Mail. While this order remains in effect, the requirement for a copy to be sent by U.S. Mail is suspended. Lawyers who are licensed to practice law in South Carolina may utilize OneDrive for Business to electronically submit documents for filing and are strongly encouraged to do so. During this emergency, filings may be made by e-mail. For the Supreme Court, the e-mail shall be sent to supctfilings@sccourts.org; for the Court of Appeals, the e-mail shall be sent to ctappfilings@sccourts.org. In the event the document requires a filing fee, a check or money order for the fee must be mailed to the Appellate Court within 5 days of the filing. A document transmitted and received by e-mail on or before 11:59:59 p.m. EST shall be considered filed on that day.

Per the Order as amended on May 29, a document filed with the Appellate Courts need not be accompanied by any additional copies. While this order remains in effect, a lawyer or self-represented litigant may sign documents using “s/[typed name of person],” a signature stamp, or a scanned or other electronic version of the person’s signature. The methods that may be used to serve documents on opposing counsel or a party are as follows: (1) service by delivery (discouraged during this emergency); (2) service by mail; (3) service using AIS e-mail address (for a lawyer to serve a document on another lawyer, both of whom are admitted to practice in this state); and (4) service in actions under Rule 245.

Per the Order as amended on May 29, while the order remains in effect, no filing fee will be required for a motion for an extension. The due dates for all Appellate Court filings due during the period of March 20 through June 8 are automatically extended for 20 days. This extension does not extend the time to serve a notice of appeal under rules 203, 243, and 247. The extension is inapplicable to due dates after June 8. In the event a party to a case or other matter pending before an Appellate Court was required to take certain action on or after March 13, but failed to do so, that procedural default was forgiven, and the required action was required to be taken by April 9. If a dismissal order was issued based on this default, the clerk of the Appellate Court shall rescind that dismissal order. This forgiveness does not apply to the failure of a party to timely serve the notice of appeal under Rules 203, 243, and 247. The Court of Appeals may issue an order supplementing this order, but the supplemental order is not effective until approved by the Chief Justice.

Pursuant to Emergency Order 36, which renews and amends Emergency Order 33, subject only to constitutional limitations, all courts in Texas may in any case, civil or criminal (and must to avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public) without a participant’s consent (except as listed in the Order) modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures, whether prescribed by statute, rule, or order, for a stated period ending no later than June 1, 2021.

Emergency Orders 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, and 37 establish eviction procedures for tenants and landlords under a statewide housing-assistance program intended to avoid evictions for tenants behind on rent.

Emergency Order 20 changes the procedures for all eviction proceedings filed from March 27, 2020, through August 24, 2020. Emergency Order 18 extends and amends the 17th Emergency Order, and prohibits jury proceedings until September 1 but authorizes limited number of jury proceedings under certain conditions.

Emergency Order 15 provides that for eviction proceedings filed from March 27, 2020, through July 25, 2020, a sworn petition containing “a description of the facts and grounds for eviction” required by Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 510.3(a)(2) must state that the premises are not subject to the moratorium on evictions imposed by Section 4024 of the CARES Act.

Emergency Order 13 allows those registered for the July Bar Exam to withdraw and register for a future exam and directs the Board of Law Examiners to consider additional changes if the July Bar Exam cannot be held due to COVID-19.

Emergency Order 14 amends and extends the 10th Emergency Order regarding the collection of consumer debt. Emergency Order 16 is effective upon expiration of Order 14.

Emergency Order 12 clarifies and amends Emergency Orders 1-3, 5, 7-9, and 11.

Some courts have been closed, including the Second Court of Appeals, for which oral arguments for March 17, March 31, and April 7 have been canceled and will not be rescheduled. The Court Closure notice details partial and full closure details and restrictions by court.

Any deadline for the filing or service of any civil case is tolled from March 13, 2020, until June 1, 2020, unless extended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This does not include deadlines for perfecting appeal or for other appellate proceedings, requests for relief from which should be directed to the court involved and should be generously granted.

As detailed in Emergency Order 9, in any action for eviction to recover possession of residential property under Chapter 24 of the Texas Property Code and Rule 510 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, no trial, hearing, or other proceeding may be conducted, and all deadlines are tolled until after April 30, 2020.

Emergency Order 11 expands all deadlines related to the Judicial Branch Certification Commission until May 31, 2020.

Superior courts may schedule and hold individual jury trials in criminal proceedings and civil proceedings after January 1, 2021, only with the authorization of the Chief Superior Judge and the Court Administrator. Judges with the discretion to conduct non-evidentiary hearings in nonemergency matters remotely and the Supreme Court may hold oral arguments remotely by telephone in summary and full-Court proceedings. The order further addresses court ordered mediation, email filings, and work location for court staff.

The courthouse restricts access to visitors with symptoms, who have been diagnosed with or in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, who have been asked to self-quarantine, or who have recently visited high risk areas.

Chief Justice Rhys S. Hodge signed an administrative order suspending all non-essential Judicial Branch services effective Monday March 23, 2020 and adopting interim procedures for matters before the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands and the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands. The suspension of non-essential services was taken in response to additional guidance issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities, as well as the request of Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. to suspend all non-essential services throughout the Government of the Virgin Islands.

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DISCLAIMER:

To keep our clients informed, Paul Hastings created this webpage with information from publicly-available sources regarding COVID-19-related restrictions in U.S. state and federal courts and agencies. The date and time of the last update are indicated above. The description provided for each court is only exemplary. We have endeavored to make this list as comprehensive as possible, but it may not be complete. If you have a matter before a specific court or agency, we recommend that you read the entire linked communication, contact the court or agency directly, and check the provided link to the court’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Contributors

Image: Bruce M Wexler
Bruce M Wexler
Partner, Litigation Department
Image: Yar R. Chaikovsky
Yar R. Chaikovsky
Partner, Litigation Department