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Court Schedule Modifications in Response to COVID-19

Date: 
07/06/2021
Author: 
MLRI
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The following includes relevant links concerning Massachusetts court schedule and operations modifications in response to COVID-19 .

Massachusetts State Courts:

Court System Response to COVID-19:

Contacting the Court:

 

Notes on recent orders:

Fourth Order Regarding Public Access to State Courthouses and Court Facilities.

Section 7, Masks

  • Masks are still being required in the courthouses – even for the fully vaccinated.  A presiding judge or clerk-magistrate can modify this rule in a courtroom or hearing room during a judicial proceeding.

Section 8, Capacity/Physical Distancing

  • No more capacity or distancing restrictions

 

Seventh Updated Order Regarding Court Operations

Section 3, Virtual Proceedings

 

More Section 3 – Virtual Proceedings – more

  • When scheduling virtual hearings with one or more self-represented litigants (SRLs), courts will recognize that SRLs may have limited access or little experience with the necessary technology and will either assist the SRL in being able to conduct the videoconference or offer an alternative to videoconferencing for the virtual proceedings.  
  • Except as determined by the judge or clerk magistrate conducting the proceeding, no party or attorney may be physically present in the courtroom for a scheduled virtual hearing.
  • Where an in-person proceeding is scheduled, a party may request that it be conducted virtually – with a judge or clerk magistrate ruling on request.
  • Alternatively, upon request a judge or clerk magistrate can authorize an attorney, party or witness to appear virtually while others are in person – a person requesting to appear virtually shall have no grounds to other appearing in person.

Section 5, Cell Phones

 

Section 10, Application for Conference

  • A party who has had a trial or other non-emergency hearing postponed as a result of this or Prior SJC Orders may apply for a conference with the court where the trial or other non-emergency hearing was to occur to address matters arising from the postponement.  Let me know if there are problems getting such conferences.

 

https://www.mass.gov/supreme-judicial-court-rules/supreme-judicial-court-fourth-order-regarding-public-access-to-state-courthouses-court-facilities


https://www.mass.gov/supreme-judicial-court-rules/supreme-judicial-court-seventh-updated-order-regarding-court-operations-under-the-exigent-circumstances-created-by-the-covid-19-coronavirus-pandemic

 

 

Past Orders and Links:

General

Appeals Court

Trial Court

District Court

Transmittals

​​Orders

Boston Municipal Court

Housing Court

Juvenile Court

Land Court

Probate and Family Court

Superior Court

 

 

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts:

General Order 20-3 In Re: Coronavirus Public Emergency: Order Concerning Grand Jury Proceedings. This order continues grand jury proceedings until April 27, 2020. 

General Order 20-4 In Re: Coronavirus Public Emergency: Order Concerning Criminal Proceedings. This order continues criminal proceedings, with some exceptions, for 60 days.

General Order 20-5 In Re: Coronavirus Public Emergency: Order Concerning Mediations and CVB Sessions. This order continues all mediations and sessions of the Central Violations Bureau until April 27, 2020.

General Order 20-6 In Re: Coronavirus Public Emergency: Order Concerning Naturalization Ceremonies. This order suspends naturalization ceremonies scheduled for March and April 2020 .

State Courts Outside of Massachusetts

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