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COVID-19

COVID-19 roundup: Court closures continue

(March 24, 2020) - Courts around the country continue to shut down or impose restrictions to cope with the spread of the coronavirus. Below is a roundup, updated daily, of measures taken by federal and state courts.

U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has extended the deadline to file certiorari petitions due on or after March 19 to 150 days from the date of a lower court judgment, order denying discretionary review, or order denying a timely petition for rehearing.

The high court has postponed oral arguments scheduled for the rest of March because of the continuing spread of COVID-19.

According to a statement posted March 16 on the court’s website, oral arguments scheduled for March 23-25 and March 30-April 1 are affected. They include two cases involving the Trump administration.

In Trump v. Mazars and Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG, the high court is considering whether the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform can subpoena the president’s private financial records from his accountant and some of his business entities.

That argument was scheduled for March 31, along with Trump v. Vance, in which the issue is whether a grand jury subpoena for 10 years’ worth of Trump’s financial records and tax returns violates the Constitution.

Other cases affected include Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., in which the justices will decide whether copyright protection extends to software interfaces, and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, which asks whether an otherwise generic term can become a protectable trademark via the addition of a generic top-level domain such as .com.

The Supreme Court statement notes that 102 years ago, the court postponed oral arguments scheduled for October 1918 because of the Spanish flu epidemic and shortened its argument calendars in 1793 and 1798 due to yellow fever outbreaks.

Federal appellate courts

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has canceled oral arguments scheduled for April 6-9.

The clerk’s office will not accept in-person filings at its intake window. Submissions must be left in the drop box on the first floor by the main entrance.

Effective March 23, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear all oral arguments via teleconferencing only. All filing dates and other deadlines are extended by 21 days, effective through May 17. Individual judges or panels may set a different filing deadline if deemed necessary. Due dates for documents that confer jurisdiction on the court, such as a notice of appeal or petition for review, are not affected by the change.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is “open for business” with most of its staff working remotely and oral arguments will go forward as scheduled, Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith said in a March 19 statement. Parties can request to argue telephonically by filing a motion. The requirement to submit hard copies of filings is suspended.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a standing order March 23 suspending Local Rule 36(a), stating that the court will issue published opinions only in cases that have been fully briefed and presented at oral argument. Cases scheduled for argument in March and April may be decided by published opinion with the unanimous consent of the panel.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has canceled oral arguments scheduled for March 30-April 2 in New Orleans. Arguments scheduled for April 27-30 will take place but alternate arrangements may be necessary.

The requirement for filing paper copies of e-filed documents is suspended until further notice.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals canceled its oral argument scheduled to take place March 17-20 but is otherwise operating normally, according to a March 16 notice.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is requiring all cases scheduled for oral argument between March 30 and the end of April to be argued telephonically. The court will operate with reduced staff working remotely. Any employee unable to do so will be placed on administrative leave effective March 18.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is operating normally, but the public is not permitted in the clerk’s office. All documents should be electronically filed. The requirement for filing paper copies of e-filed documents is suspended.

Oral arguments scheduled in March, April and May in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals are being “evaluated one at a time” under a March 20 notice from the court. Panels have discretion to hold arguments telephonically, postpone them, or order cases submitted without argument. Courthouses are closed to the public, and parties are “strongly encouraged” to use electronic filing.

Parties seeking extensions of deadlines for nonjurisdictional filings must file a notice with the court, which will result in an automatic extension of the briefing schedule by 60 days. Applications for emergency stays or other relief should be emailed to emergency@ca9.uscourts.gov.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is operating on “maximum telework status.” The Byron White U.S. Courthouse is closed to the public. The court has suspended its rule requiring paper copies of briefs, appendices and petitions for rehearing en banc.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has authorized panels to hear all oral arguments by audio or teleconferencing. Arguments will be livestreamed to the public where feasible, except for cases that would not normally be heard publicly, such as those involving national security.

The requirement for filing paper copies of e-filed documents is suspended. The Elbert P. Tuttle Courthouse and the John C. Godbold Federal Building are closed to everyone except judges, court staff, members of the media and visitors with official court business.

The District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has suspended all in-person oral arguments and is requiring that they take place telephonically, be postponed, or be decided without oral argument. Access to the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S Courthouse and the William B. Bryant Annex is restricted to judges, court staff, members of the media and those with official court business.

All cases scheduled for oral argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in April will be held telephonically. The requirement to file hard copies of e-filed documents is suspended. Effective March 23, the clerk’s office will reduce public assistance by phone. Members of the public are asked to email questions about pending cases to casequestions@cafc.uscourts.gov, and to use publicinformation@cafc.uscourts.gov for all other inquiries.

Federal district courts

Alabama

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama has canceled its Central Violations Bureau docket for March 18.

Alaska

Effective March 16, the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska has continued all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin on or before April 13. The duration of the continuance will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). All non-case-related activities, including naturalization ceremonies and attorney admission ceremonies are canceled until further notice, the March 16 order said.

Arizona

Effective March 16, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona has continued all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin on or before April 10. All proceedings set in the Tucson and Yuma divisions are also continued, excluding initial appearances and criminal preliminary and detention hearings. Grand juries scheduled to convene on or before April 17 will be suspended unless otherwise ordered.

The duration of continuances will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). All non-case-related activities, including naturalization ceremonies, attorney admission ceremonies, and CLEs are canceled until further notice. Judges may continue to hold hearings, conferences and bench trials at their discretion.

Arkansas

Effective March 17, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas has continued all civil and criminal trials through May 1. Petty offense and grand jury proceedings are continued until further notice. All other civil and criminal proceedings will take place as scheduled, or by video conference at the presiding judge’s discretion.

California

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has continued civil and criminal jury trials until April 13, pending further notice. The duration of continuances will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). All other proceedings and filing deadlines remain in place unless otherwise ordered.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has closed all courthouses to the public and no civil or criminal jury trials will commence before May 1. Grand jury proceedings are suspended until that date, and all other civil matters will be decided on the papers, or via a telephone or video-conference hearing.

Criminal proceedings will be consolidated and conducted in San Francisco beginning March 18 or conducted via telephone or video-conference. Civil Local Rule 5-1 requiring that a courtesy copy of any filing be provided to the assigned judge’s chambers is suspended until further notice.

Effective March 24, the federal courthouse in San Jose will be closed to both staff and the public until April 7. According to a March 23 order, a person who visited the courthouse on March 11, 13 and 17 tested positive for COVID-19.

Colorado

In a March 13 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado has ordered that all civil, criminal petit, and grand jury selections and trials scheduled through April 3 be continued. Judges may reschedule or hold hearings via telephonic conference at their discretion.

Connecticut

The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut on March 16 ordered all civil and criminal proceedings, including jury selections and trials, continued through April 10. The duration of the continuance will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

All compliance review hearings and attorney admission ceremonies are suspended until further notice. U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services interviews will continue via videoconference. Defendants who wish to be interviewed in person may file a motion to continue sentencing.

The court will continue to handle new arrests, detention hearings, grand jury returns and civil matters requiring a prompt hearing under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65. Judges may continue to handle other matters in court, or via remote communication, at their discretion. Courthouses will remain open with limited staff.

Delaware

Under a March 18 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has continued all civil and criminal trials scheduled to begin before April 30. All deadlines set by federal or local rules or court orders remain in effect.

In criminal cases, the period between March 18 and April 30 will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act,18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

District of Columbia

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has issued an order limiting court operations. Civil and criminal jury trials and jury selections scheduled to begin March 17 through May 11 are continued. The duration of the continuance will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

The criminal duty magistrate judge will continue to conduct proceedings, including initial appearances, via videoconference.

All other civil, criminal and bankruptcy proceedings — including hearings, settlement conferences, attorney admission, naturalization ceremonies, and misdemeanor, petty and traffic offense dockets — are postponed beginning March 17 through April 17, unless otherwise ordered.

The 30-day time period for filing a grand jury indictment will be tolled from March 17 to April 17. Statutes of limitation will not be tolled.

Guam

In a March 19 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Guam closed the court to the public for 14 days, beginning March 20. All jury selection, trials and grand jury proceedings scheduled to begin before April 26 are continued, pending further order. The duration of the continuance will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Criminal matters, including detention hearings and initial appearances, will be conducted by video or telephone conference with the defendant’s permission. All sentencing and revocation hearings scheduled on or before April 3 are continued until further notice. All naturalization ceremonies scheduled for March and April are canceled.

Hawaii

Under a March 17 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii has continued all civil and criminal trials slated to begin on or before May 3 and continued nonessential criminal matters. The court has requested that counsel confer regarding new proceeding dates and stipulate to appropriate continuances.

All civil hearings, including settlement conferences, scheduled through May 3 will be conducted telephonically or taken off the court’s calendar pursuant to Local Rule 7.1.

The order also bans entry to the District Court for people diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have symptoms, and anyone who has traveled outside the state in the previous two weeks or lives with someone who has done so.

Idaho

In a March 17 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho canceled all public events and ceremonies scheduled at its courts in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Pocatello and closed the courts to the public except for those who have business with the court as a party, counsel, witness or victim.

All grand jury proceedings and jury trials scheduled to begin on or before May 11 are suspended or continued. The duration of the continuance will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

No in-person civil case hearings or proceedings will be conducted unless otherwise ordered. All motions will be decided on the briefs unless all parties request a hearing conducted via video conference or telephone.

All preliminary felony and post-conviction proceedings before a magistrate judge will be conducted by telephone or video conference unless a personal appearance is required by law or circumstance. All change-of-plea hearings, suppression hearings and sentencing hearings scheduled before a district judge will be continued through May 11, unless counsel objects.

Illinois

The U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois issued a March 13 order continuing all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin before April 3. The duration of the continuance will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

All petty offense proceedings, sentencing hearings and supervised release revocation hearings are continued through April 3. Initial appearances and arraignments will be conducted by video conference with the defendant’s consent. All civil hearings, including settlement conferences, will be conducted by telephone or video conference.

Under a March 17 order, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois extended all civil case deadlines by 21 days. Civil case hearings, trials, and settlement conferences scheduled through April 3 are removed from the calendar and will take place on or after April 6. All criminal case proceedings that cannot be continued will be conducted in the Eastern Division by emergency district judges.

When practicable and with the defendant’s written consent, initial appearances and arraignments may be conducted by video conference. Supervised release revocation hearings, plea hearings, sentencing hearings and all other criminal matters scheduled to begin before April 3 are continued and will be rescheduled on or after April 6. The duration of the continuance will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

All public gatherings and petty offense proceedings are suspended. The U.S. courthouse in Rockford, Illinois, will be closed to the public.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois has canceled all public events and all ceremonies except naturalization ceremonies under a March 15 order. All civil matters, including trials, hearings and settlement conferences, are continued. The Central Violation Bureau docket is also continued. Only essential in-court criminal proceedings will occur. All other matters may proceed at judges’ discretion.

Indiana

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana has closed its Fort Wayne, Hamond, Lafayette and South Bend divisions to the public under a March 18 order. Courts will continue to conduct necessary hearings and proceedings by video and telephone conference.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has continued all jury trials under a March 20 order. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). All other civil and criminal matters will proceed as scheduled. Judges may order proceedings to take place via telephone or video conference at their discretion. Naturalization ceremonies are canceled.

Iowa

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa in a March 16 order continued all jury trials and grand jury proceedings scheduled to begin on or before April 24. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). All other civil and criminal matters will proceed as scheduled.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa suspended all jury trials and grand jury proceedings until May 4 under a March 16 order. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). Nonjury trials and hearings will proceed at judges’ discretion.

Kansas

Under a March 13 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas postponed all nonemergency criminal hearings and trials until further order. Grand jury proceedings are postponed 30 days from the date of the order. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Kentucky

In a March 13 order, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky continued all civil and criminal trials scheduled to begin March 16 through April 17 for a minimum of 30 days. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Under a March 13 order, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky continued all civil and criminal trials and nonessential grand jury proceedings scheduled to begin March 16 through April 17 for a minimum of 30 days. The duration of the continuance will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Louisiana

Effective March 23, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana will convene criminal proceedings before magistrate judges on Mondays and Fridays only. To the extent possible, and with defendant consent, these court sessions will be conducted by video conference.

Under a March 16 order, all attorney admissions are to be handled by a motion and order mailed to the clerk of court. All other non-case-specific events, including naturalization ceremonies, are canceled through May 1.

All civil and criminal bench and jury trials and grand jury proceedings are continued or suspended until May 1. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). All other civil and criminal in-person proceedings are continued through May 1. Certain areas of the courthouse are closed to the public.

Under a March 18 order, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana suspended prescriptive, preemptive and statute-of-limitation deadlines until April 13. An earlier order postponed all civil and criminal trials until May 1, and postponed all civil proceedings requiring personal appearances through April 10. The duration of the continuances in criminal matters will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Grand jury proceedings are postponed until further notice. Essential criminal matters, such as arraignments, detention hearings and initial appearances will continue to take place by video conference, at the discretion of the assigned judge.

In a March 16 order, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana continued all civil and criminal jury trials through May 1. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). Non-case-specific events, including naturalization ceremonies, are canceled through May 1.

Effective March 17, public access to clerk of court offices is suspended through May 1. Effective March 19, initial appearance and arraignments will take place by video conference, with counsel and law enforcement practicing appropriate social distancing and COVID-19 screening practices.

Maine

Under a March 18 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine restricted judicial operations to preliminary, time-sensitive criminal proceedings, and to civil and criminal motions for emergency relief. All in-court hearings are continued. The duration of the continuances in criminal matters will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Telephonic hearings and conferences will continue as scheduled. Civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials are continued throughout May, pending further order. Grand jury proceedings are continued through April 20. All deadlines in civil and criminal cases between March 18 and May 1 are extended by 30 days.

Once available, all initial appearances, arraignments, and detention hearings will take place by video conference unless a defendant files an objection.

Maryland

Under a March 20 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland postponed and continued all civil and criminal petit jury selections, trials and nonemergency proceedings through April 24. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

All filing deadlines between March 16 and April 24 are extended 42 days. The time period for filing an indictment is tolled through April 24.

Courthouses are closed to the public. Effective March 18, all in court proceedings in the Southern Division courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland, are suspended. Emergency matters will be heard in the Northern Division courthouse in Baltimore.

Massachusetts

In a March 23 order, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ceased operations at its courthouse in Springfield after a clerk’s office employee reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19. All naturalization ceremonies throughout March and April are suspended.

All mediations, grand jury proceedings and Central Violations Bureau proceedings are continued until April 27. All jury trials scheduled to begin before April 27 are continued. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

All criminal proceedings are continued for 60 days, effective March 16. Initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings, and criminal discovery and pre-trial conferences will proceed. Where possible, these matters may be conducted by video or telephone.

Michigan

In a March 13 order, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan postponed all in-court civil and criminal matters, including grand jury proceedings, until further notice. Misdemeanor ticket calls are also postponed. The duration of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A). Initial appearances, arraignments and detention hearings will continue to take place.

Effective March 24, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan has limited public access to its federal buildings. Only those with a court order to appear or who have made an appointment may enter. All matters will proceed at the discretion of individual judges by telephone or video conference, where possible. Only the Gerald R. Ford Building in Grand Rapids and the Marquette facility will be available for in-person hearings.

Montana

The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana on March 16 ordered all jury trials, both criminal and civil, and any associated final pretrial conferences scheduled to begin on or before May 1 vacated, to be reset by an order of the presiding judge.

The order does not vacate any pending deadlines other than the trial dates and final pretrial conferences.

Attorneys seeking to modify any other deadlines must file a motion before the presiding judge.

All grand jury proceedings scheduled through May 1 are vacated, unless otherwise ordered by the chief judge.

All group tours and visits, naturalization ceremonies and attorney admission ceremonies scheduled through May 1 are canceled.

The clerk’s office, as well as the Probation and Pretrial Services office, will remain open.

Nebraska

The U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska has continued all in-court appearances between March 7 and April 3.

Any hearing where appearance by remote video or telephone was previously made available to the parties will proceed as scheduled using the alternate mode of appearance.

Initial appearances on new charges must be addressed to the assigned magistrate judge for a determination of whether an immediate hearing is necessary and whether videoconferencing will be used for the hearing.

The duration of continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Nevada

Effective March 16, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada has continued all civil and criminal trials, including any associated deadlines, until April 10.

All non-case-related events scheduled to be held in the district’s courthouses are postponed pending further order of the court.

The duration of continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

New Hampshire

Effective March 15, all district court hearings scheduled before March 23 are continued in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire.

All jury trials and grand jury proceedings scheduled before May 1 are continued.

The duration of all continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

All naturalization ceremonies before May 1 are canceled.

The Rudman Courthouse will be closed to the public until March 23.

The court will attempt to schedule initial appearances, arraignment and detention hearings by video conference with the defendants’ consent until March 23.

Individual judges may continue to hold hearings, conferences and bench trials by video or telephonic conference at their discretion.

New Jersey

Effective March 16, all jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin before April 30 are continued in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

All deadlines set by federal or local rules or court orders, including scheduling orders in all civil and criminal cases, remain in effect unless modified by court order.

The duration of all continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

No new grand juries will be empaneled from March 16 to April 30.

Sitting grand juries are authorized to continue to meet, unless they are unable to form a quorum.

Visitor restrictions are in place.

New Mexico

Effective March 13, all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin on or before April 10 are continued in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.

All trial-specific deadlines in criminal cases scheduled to begin before April 10 are continued. Individual judges may continue trial-specific deadlines in civil cases at their discretion.

All grand jury proceedings are continued. The 30-day period for filing an indictment is tolled as to each defendant until the order expires pursuant to the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(b).

The duration of all continuances is excluded under the act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

The scheduling of non-jury criminal and civil trials, hearings and events is not limited by the order.

The clerk’s office, as well as the probation and pretrial services office and all other court services will remain open.

New York

  • Persons who have been ordered to appear by any judge of the Southern District of New York.
  • Persons who have been directed to appear by the Probation Office or by Pretrial Services.
  • Debtors, creditors and their attorneys who have case-related business before the Bankruptcy Court.
  • Government employees who work in the courthouse and are authorized to appear by their employer.
  • Contractors who are authorized to appear by the Office of the District Executive.
  • U.S. Postal Service mail carriers, private mail carriers and private delivery services.
  • Law enforcement personnel.
  • Credentialed courthouse press.
  • Family members of criminal defendants who are attending scheduled proceedings.
  • Persons with an interest in attending scheduled criminal trials.
  • Victims and their family members who are attending scheduled proceedings.
  • Jurors in ongoing trials and grand jurors.
  • Persons designated by the chief judge of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Effective March 16, all civil and criminal jury trials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York scheduled to begin before April 27 are continued.

Compliance with all trial-specific deadlines in civil and criminal cases scheduled to begin before April 27 is at the discretion of the presiding judge.

The court’s order does not affect jury trials that began prior to March 16 and have not yet concluded.

Existing grand juries will continue in operation.

The time period of the continuances for criminal trials will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Criminal matters before magistrate judges, such as initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings and the issuance of search warrants will continue to take place.

The clerk’s office, the district executive’s office, pre-trial services, probation, the bankruptcy court and all other court services will remain open pending further order from the court.

All non-case-related activities are canceled until further notice.

The United States courthouses in Manhattan, White Plains and Poughkeepsie will remain open for business but access to the buildings is restricted.

Effective March 16, the court will only allow access to the following persons, who must have their temperature screened:

Effective March 17, persons who are serving terms of probation, supervised release or pretrial services supervision and who are required to report to one of the courthouses will be screened for temperatures above 100.4 degrees.

Under a March 16 order, all civil and criminal jury trials in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York scheduled to begin before April 27 are continued.

Compliance with all trial-specific deadlines in civil and criminal cases scheduled to begin before April 27 is at the discretion of the assigned judge.

The order does not apply to jury trials that began before March 16 and have not yet concluded.

The duration of all continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Initial appearances and arraignments will continue to take place.

Detention and bail review proceedings will be scheduled with the approval of the assigned district judge or duty magistrate judge.

The clerk’s office, district executive’s office, pre-trial services, the probation department and all other district court services will remain open pending further order.

Effective March 17, all petty offense proceedings scheduled to begin before April 27 are suspended.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York has continued all civil and criminal grand and petit jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin March 13 through April 30.

The time period of the continuances for criminal trials will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Criminal matters before magistrate judges, such as initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings, appeals to district judges from detention orders and the issuance of search warrants will continue to take place.

The order does not affect civil or criminal motions that can be resolved without oral argument or handled by telephone or video conference.

All mass public gatherings, other than court proceedings, are suspended at all courthouses and federal buildings in the district. This includes group tours and visits, moot courts and mock trials, bar group meetings, seminars, and naturalization ceremonies.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York has ordered all civil jury trials and grand jury selections are continued for 60 days, effective March 16.

Effective March 18, all criminal jury trials scheduled to begin through May 13 are continued. The time period of the continuances will be excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Criminal matters before magistrate judges, such as initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings (and appeals to district judges from detention orders), as well as the issuance of search and arrest warrants, will continue to take place.

The order does not affect the court’s consideration of criminal motions that can be resolved without oral argument or personal appearances.

All naturalization proceedings are canceled for the next 60 days. The court grants the office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services the authority to perform administrative naturalization ceremonies under 8 U.S.C.A. § 1421 for the next 60 days.

The Rochester and Buffalo, New York, courthouses will remain open with visitor restrictions in place.

North Carolina

Effective March 18, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina has ordered all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin before May 1 continued. All other hearings, conferences and proceedings are subject to the discretion of the presiding judge.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Grand jury matters will proceed, as will initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings and the issuance of warrants.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on March 16 continued all civil jury trials scheduled to begin before April 16.

All criminal cases, including jury trials, are continued to a date on or after April 16. The time period of the continuances will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Grand jury proceedings scheduled for March are canceled and all court naturalization ceremonies scheduled to begin before April 16 are continued.

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina remains open for business, with provisions to promote “social distancing.” Settlement conferences and other nonevidentiary proceedings will be conducted by telephone or Skype.

Criminal case proceedings will continue.

North Dakota

Effective March 23, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota is closed to the public except for scheduled appointments.

All jury trials scheduled between March 16 and April 10 are continued. All trial-specific deadlines in criminal cases are continued. All trial-specific deadlines in civil cases remain.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Criminal matters before magistrate judges will continue to take place in the ordinary course.

Grand jury proceedings scheduled through April 21 are continued. The 30-day time period for filing an indictment is tolled as to each defendant through April 21.

Northern Mariana Islands

The U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands has continued all scheduled civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials effective until April 26.

All grand jury proceedings are continued. The U.S. attorney may request to schedule a grand jury proceeding for emergency or essential matters.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

All naturalization ceremonies, attorney admissions and other non-case-related proceedings are postponed.

Initial appearances, arraignments and detention hearings will continue as scheduled without restriction.

The clerk’s office will be open to the public with limited hours, Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. until noon.

Ohio

All civil jury trials, re-entry court proceedings and petty offense proceedings scheduled to begin before May 1 are postponed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

Criminal trials will not proceed and grand juries will not meet “unless absolutely necessary.”

All mass public gatherings other than some court proceedings are suspended.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio announced March 17 it is still holding in-court proceedings, such as criminal calendars, albeit on a limited basis.

The court does not anticipate having any additional jury trials for the next 30 days.

Non-in-court proceedings will continue at the discretion of each judicial officer.

Naturalization ceremonies have been continued for 45 days, to be revisited no later than April 13.

All courthouses remain open.

Oklahoma

Effective March 16, all jury trials, grand jury sessions and naturalization ceremonies scheduled to commence through April 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma are continued.

The time period of any continuance will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

All civil and criminal matters scheduled for an in-court appearance before any district or magistrate judge, including any associated deadlines, are continued as of March 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

All grand jury proceedings are continued.

The time period of any continuance will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

The order does not affect the court’s consideration of civil or criminal motions that can be resolved without oral argument.

Effective March 17, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma has continued all civil and criminal jury trials on the April docket.

Grand jury sessions March 17, April 7, and April 21 are canceled.

Personal service of process by the U.S. Marshals Service is suspended.

The time period of continuances will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Oregon

Effective March 13, the U.S. District Court District of Oregon has continued all civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin before April 26.

All grand jury proceedings scheduled before April 26 are continued.

Unless otherwise ordered by the presiding judge, all other civil and criminal matters scheduled for an in-court appearance before April 26, including any associated deadlines, are continued.

The time period of continuances will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Pennsylvania

All civil and criminal jury trials and grand jury selections scheduled to begin before April 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania are continued.

Deadlines for filing an indictment or information under 18 U.S.C.A. §§ 3161(b) and (d)(1) have been continued.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

All Central Violations Bureau proceedings before April 13 are continued.

The clerk’s offices in Allentown is closed. The clerk’s office in Philadelphia remains open but access to the public is restricted.

All documents, including civil complaints, notices of removal and petitions for writs of habeas corpus must be filed electronically. Any document that cannot be filed electronically should be emailed to paed_documents@paed.uscourts.gov, with the case number and document title in the subject line.

All hearings and proceedings in all civil and criminal matters scheduled within 60 days before March 13 that involve the physical presence of counsel or any party or individual are continued in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The time period of March 16 through April 30 will be “excluded time” under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Effective March 18, sitting grand juries are authorized to continue to meet, but no new grand juries will be empaneled from March 13 to April 30.

Under a supplemental order issued March 23, the courthouse in Harrisburg is closed because someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was physically present in the courthouse.

All proceedings have been transferred to the Williamsport or Scranton courthouses.

Effective March 13, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has continued all civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin before April 27.

All deadlines or scheduling orders in all civil and criminal cases remain in effect unless modified by the court.

March 13 through April 27 will be “excluded time” under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Puerto Rico
With the exception of ongoing trials, effective March 13, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico has continued all jury trials scheduled to begin through May 29.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Criminal matters before magistrate judges, such as initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings and the issuance of search warrants, will continue to take place.

All eviction proceedings are stayed until at least May 30.

Rhode Island

Effective March 20, the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island has closed the U.S. courthouse building at 1 Exchange Terrace and the court-occupied portion of the John O. Pastore building.

All in-person civil matters will be canceled by the presiding judge’s case manager and, where possible, arrange telephonic hearings.

All grand jury proceedings and all ongoing criminal hearings will be continued “unless the defendant’s liberty interests are involved.”

All criminal jury trials are continued.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

South Carolina

Effective March 16, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina has continued all civil and criminal jury selections, jury trials, and roster meetings scheduled to begin through May 8.

All grand jury proceedings scheduled through May 8 are continued.

In all civil cases, all deadlines, whether set by court or by the rules of civil procedure or local rules, are extended by 21 days from the current deadline set. The order does not toll any applicable statutes of limitation.

All other civil and criminal matters scheduled for an in-court appearance through May 8, including any associated deadlines, are continued, unless all parties and the judge agree to telecommunications conferencing to resolve the matter.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

South Dakota

Effective March 17, the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota has continued all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin on or before April 24.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

Nonjury proceedings, such as bench trials and hearings, will proceed as scheduled unless continued, on a case-by-case basis, by the presiding judge.

All grand jury proceedings between March 17 and April 24 are continued.

The 30-day time period for filing an indictment or an information is tolled as to each defendant.

Tennessee

All civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin from March 16 through April 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee are continued effective March 16.

The time period of the continuances will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 161(h)(7)(A).

All grand jury proceedings in Greeneville and Chattanooga are suspended through April 24. The U.S. attorney is permitted to continue to utilize the grand jury in Knoxville and future scheduling of the Knoxville grand jury is not affected.

All civil trials scheduled to begin without a jury will be handled at the discretion of the presiding judge.

Civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin from March 17 through March 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee are continued.

The time period of the continuances in criminal trials will be excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Criminal matters scheduled before magistrate judges, such as initial appearances, arraignments, detention hearings and the issuance of warrants will continue to take place in the ordinary course of business.

All grand jury proceedings scheduled to take place between March 17 and April 30 are continued. All related deadlines are suspended and tolled for all purposes, including the statute of limitations, from March 17 through April 30.

Attorney admissions ceremonies are continued through April 30.

In the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, all civil proceedings are continued until after April 17. All criminal proceedings other than initial appearances, arraignments, bond and detention hearings, and other in-person criminal proceedings are continued until after April 17.

Civil and criminal jury trials through April 17 are continued.

The time period of the continuances is excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Texas

All jury trials scheduled to begin through May 1 are continued in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The continuances do not affect any pending deadlines other than the trial dates.

The time period of the continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

All grand jury proceedings through May 1 are continued.

Individual judges may continue to hold bench trials, in-person hearings, sentencing proceedings, scheduling conferences and other court proceedings as they deem appropriate.

Effective March 13, all civil and criminal bench and jury trials in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas scheduled to begin through May 1 are continued. This continuance does not affect any pending deadlines other than trial dates.

The time period of the continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

All grand jury proceedings through May 1 are continued. All deadlines are suspended and tolled for all purposes, including the statute of limitations, through May 1.

Effective March 19, initial appearances, detention hearings, and arraignments will proceed. From March 23 through May 4, the court will not take guilty pleas unless a district judge determines that exigent circumstances warrant doing so. Sentencing hearings have been postponed at least 30 days.

Effective March 18, the Brownsville Division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has continued all criminal and civil jury trials scheduled to begin through May 1. The continuances do not affect any deadlines other than the jury trial dates.

The time period of the continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Unless the parties in a particular case are notified otherwise, guilty plea proceedings scheduled to take place March 23 through May 1 are continued.

The time period of the continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Currently scheduled grand jury sessions through May 1 are continued. Related deadlines are suspended and tolled for all purposes, including the statues of limitations, through May 1.

Individual judges may continue to hold bench trials, in-person hearings, sentencing proceedings, scheduling conferences, and other court proceedings.

As of March 18, the Corpus Christi and Victoria divisions of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas have continued all criminal and civil trials scheduled to begin through May 1. The continuances do not affect any deadlines other than the jury trial dates.

The time period of the continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Currently scheduled grand jury sessions through May 1 are continued. Related deadlines are suspended and tolled for all purposes, including the statute of limitations, through May 1.

Individual judges may continue to hold bench trials, in-person hearings, sentencing proceedings, scheduling conferences and other court proceedings.

All criminal and civil jury trials scheduled to begin through May 1 are continued in the Houston and Galveston divisions of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas effective March 17. The continuances do not affect any deadlines other than the jury trial dates.

The time period of the continuances is excluded from the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Currently scheduled grand jury sessions through May 1 are continued. Related deadlines are suspended and tolled for all purposes, including the statute of limitations, through May 1.

Individual judges may continue to hold bench trials, in-person hearings, sentencing proceedings, scheduling conferences, and other court proceedings.

Effective March 19, the Laredo Division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has continued all criminal and civil jury trials scheduled to begin in April, after the regularly scheduled final pretrial conferences are continued.

The time period of the continuances is excluded by the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Grand jury matters will proceed in ordinary course pending further order of the court.

Individual judges may continue to hold bench trials, in-person hearings, sentencing proceedings, scheduling conferences and other court proceedings.

Effective March 20, the McAllen Division of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas is screening courthouse visitors for COVID-19.

Virginia

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on March 10 postponed all naturalization ceremonies for the remainder of March and canceled tours and other non-case-related events.

In addition, effective March 16 through April 30, the court has continued all misdemeanor, traffic and petty offense cases.

Washington

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has continued all in-court proceedings in civil and criminal cases until further notice effective.

The March 9 order does not affect civil or criminal motions that can be resolved without oral arguments.

For criminal matters, the duration of the continuance will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

The court will vacate or amend the order by March 31.

Bankruptcy courts

Alabama

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Alabama has issued an administrative order effective immediately directing all hearings to be held telephonically rather than in person until May 1, 2020.

All Section 341 meetings of creditors are also to be held by phone.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Alabama will conduct all hearings by telephone rather than in person at the federal courthouses throughout the district beginning March 23 for the Northern and Southern Divisions, March 24 for the Western Division, and March 30 for the Eastern Division.

Effective March 23, Section 341 meetings will be conducted telephonically by a trustee in a “location and manner” determined by the bankruptcy administrator for the Northern District.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama will hold only telephonic hearings in all pending cases effective March 16.

Matters on motion dockets requiring an evidentiary hearing will be rescheduled.

Chapter 13 attorneys who agree with a trustee’s plan payment calculations may notify the trustee’s office and are not required to attend telephonic hearings.

Alaska

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Alaska will continue to hear previously scheduled matters. Telephonic hearings are strongly encouraged through April 15. The three-day notice requirement for telephonic participation will be relaxed during this time.

The clerk’s office will attempt to contact counsel or pro se parties participating in the Chapter 13 calendar April 1 to arrange for telephonic participation.

Federal and state courts in Alaska have already barred entry by people meeting symptom or risk criteria for COVID-19.

Arizona

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Arizona has suspended all trials and hearings requiring witness testimony or presentation of other evidence until April 10. They will be rescheduled. All other hearings and mediations until April 10 will be conducted telephonically.

As of March 19, documents and payments are to be submitted in the court drop box for next-day processing.

Arkansas

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas on March 16 suspended all in-person hearings until further notice.

Clerks’ offices will remain open to process filings, and all chambers are available by email and phone.

All matters set for March, April and May will remain on the docket, and decisions will be made individually about whether to hold a telephonic or audio/visual hearing.

All Section 341 meetings scheduled through the end of April will be continued to a date after April 30.

California

In the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, all matters, except for trials and other evidentiary hearings, will proceed telephonically through April 30. Procedures for evidentiary hearings, including trials, will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

There is no other change to currently calendared motions.

The court has suspended its rule requiring delivery of documents under 25 pages to the judges’ chambers. Documents of more than 25 pages must still be provided through mail or drop box.

Mediations conducted by a judge are suspended through April 30, unless ordered to proceed telephonically.

Signature pages may be submitted electronically.

All appearances at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California will be made telephonically through May 1 unless otherwise ordered by the chief judge.

All in-person Section 341 meetings in chapter 7, 12 and 13 cases scheduled through April 10 are continued until a later date to be determined.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California on March 18 vacated all in-court trial or evidentiary hearings scheduled through May 1, 2020; the presiding judge will reset them.

All appearances are to be made telephonically.

Requirements for courtesy copies of filings are suspended until further notice.

The court has also suspended its rule requiring original signatures from debtors for electronic filings. Instead, a participant must obtain either a digital signature using any commercially available digital signature software or written permission from the signatory to file the document in question.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California remained open as of March 18 , but all hearings will be conducted telephonically unless otherwise ordered by the assigned judge.

Parties are directed to follow mandatory telephonic hearing guidelines posted on the court’s website.

All in-person chapter 7, 11, 12 and 13 Section 341 meetings scheduled through April 10 are continued until a later date to be determined or may be held telephonically.

The Bankruptcy Self-Help Center is closed until April 22.

Colorado

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado on March 17 barred entry by anyone in COVID-19 symptom or risk categories.

The intake counter will be providing remote assistance.

Paper filings and noncash payments from pro se individuals may be submitted by mail, drop box or online. Attorneys should submit filings electronically.

All nonevidentiary hearings will be conducted by phone.

All trials and evidentiary hearings will be conducted in person and require appearances in the courtroom, though affidavits are encouraged to increase social distancing.

Connecticut

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut has issued a general order March 16 that all hearings scheduled for the week of March 16 in any courthouse will be held telephonically, unless a party requests a continuance. Hearings scheduled between March 23 and April 10 will be held telephonically or continued to a date to be determined after April 10.

Evidentiary hearings or trials may proceed as scheduled, and parties should contact the courtroom deputy for updates.

A March 18 notice announced that the New Haven clerk’s office and courtroom would be closed for two days March 19 and 20 but would reopen March 23.

Delaware

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware announced that beginning March 18 until further notice, there will be no in-person access to the clerk’s office, but it will remain open to the public through telephone and email access and drop boxes in the courthouse lobby.

Section 341 meetings will not be scheduled at this time.

Filing fees for individual bankruptcy petitions will be deferred at this time.

Deadlines for paying outstanding fees and uncured deficiencies in individual bankruptcy cases are extended until further notice.

Beginning March 18, all hearings will be held telephonically through CourtCall and Skype for Business.

In addition, the court announced in a March 16 general order that all hearings, conferences and status conferences to be held in open court that are not time-sensitive are continued to a date to be determined after April 15.

Time sensitivity and the manner of submitting evidence will be determined by the presiding judge.

The court also ordered on March 13 that as of March 16 it would no longer accept hand-delivered documents.

District of Columbia

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia is following a standing order issued March 16 by the U.S. District Court addressing court operations under COVID-19 exigent circumstances. The order says that courts will remain open but with limited operations.

All bankruptcy proceedings scheduled for March 17 to April 17 are postponed unless the presiding judge issues an order that the proceeding be held by teleconference, video conference or in person.

The clerk’s office will remain open but with restricted public access.

Self-represented individuals may use courthouse drop boxes.

For emergency or sealed filings, contact the clerk’s office, as these may not be put in a drop box.

Cash payments will not be accepted at this time; payments may be made with credit card or check.

Additional guidance on accepted forms of payment is detailed in a March 18 bankruptcy court order, including that the court does not accept personal checks from nonattorneys and cannot process credit cards at the intake counter, but will accept electronic payment, a cashier’s check, money order or check drawn from an attorney’s account.

Florida

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida said in a March 13 posting that effective March 16 all non-evidentiary hearings will be conducted by phone using either CourtCall or CourtSolutions, as indicated by the judge’s webpage.

Judges may continue non-time-sensitive evidentiary hearings.

As of March 16, all in-person Chapter 7, 12, and 13 Section 341 meetings scheduled through April 10 are continued until a later date to be determined.

Section 341 meetings may not proceed during this period except through telephonic or other alternative means not requiring personal appearance.

The court issued an additional order March 17 extending deadlines in conjunction with extended Section 341 meetings.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida said March 20 that individuals are required to inform court security before entering the courthouse if they “have traveled to Italy, Iran, South Korea, or China within the last 14 days, resided or had close contact with someone who has traveled to these countries within the last 14 days, been directed by a hospital or health agency to self-quarantine, or been diagnosed with, or have had contact with, anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.”

The order said that attorneys must advise their clients not to appear in person.

The court will remain open with limited staff.

Payments should be made by mailing a check or money order to the Tallahassee Division; payments cannot be accepted at Pensacola.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida said that effective March 16 all hearings would be conducted telephonically, and that all trials and evidentiary hearings except those following chapter 11 filing would be rescheduled.

A notice posted by the clerk of court provides contact information for each judge and the telephone hearing system used, which is available free of charge to individuals not represented by counsel.

All in-person Chapter 7, 12 and 13 Section 341 meetings scheduled through April 10 are continued until a later date to be determined.

Section 341 meetings may not proceed during this period except through telephonic or other alternative means not requiring personal appearance.

The court issued an additional order March 17 extending deadlines in conjunction with extended Section 341 meetings.

The court also issued a March 19 administrative order governing how signatures, declarations and affidavits will be accepted, noting that objections will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Georgia

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Georgia issued an announcement March 12 that as of March 16, an individual will be barred from the courts who:

  • Has visited China, Iran, Italy or South Korea within the last 14 days.
  • Resides with or has had close contact with someone who has traveled to those countries.
  • Has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine.
  • Has been diagnosed with or had contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Those unable to access the court may submit emergency filings via email or fax, or contact the court to make other arrangements.

Effective immediately, all in-person Chapter 7, 12, and 13 Section 341 meetings scheduled through April 10 are continued until a later date to be determined.

An administrative order dated March 18 directed that all hearings noticed for the Middle District of Georgia March 18 through April 15 be held telephonically.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia said March 12 that as of March 16, all hearings noticed will be held telephonically unless arrangements have been made with chambers. Dial-in numbers are on each judge’s webpage.

A March 15 general order saying that all meetings of creditors in all divisions of the court between March 16 through April 10 are reset.

A March 16 general order addressed changes in deadlines necessitated by the reset of Section 341 meetings.

A March 17 general order temporarily modifies the procedure for filing “Verified Papers” through April 10.

On March 20, the clerk of court issued a disclaimer of the recording abilities associated with its use of AT&T conference services to conduct proceedings.

State courts

Alabama

The Alabama Supreme Court issued an administrative order March 13 that suspended all in-person court proceedings until April 16. The order exempts some proceedings such as jury trials that are in progress, bond-related matters, plea agreements for incarcerated people, emergency child custody protection orders and emergent proceedings as needed by law enforcement.

The order has no effect on out-of-court activities in civil trials.

Alaska

Alaska Chief Justice Joel H. Bolger on March 19 suspended all superior and district court proceedings through April 3. Some of exemptions from the order include arraignments, felony first appearances, bail hearings, domestic violence proceedings and some warrant proceedings.

Arizona

Arizona Chief Justice Robert Brutinel issued Administrative Order 2020-48 on March 18 to direct the courts to conduct business in a way that reduces the risks associated with the virus.

He ordered all in-person proceedings that go before a judge in the state’s appellate, superior, justice and municipal courts to be avoided “to the greatest extent possible consistent with core constitutional rights.”

The order said the presiding superior court judge of each county shall determine how in-person court proceedings should be conducted. Justice Brutinel suggested using technologies such as teleconferencing, video conferencing and alternative filing methods.

The order recommends following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines and stipulates that “in no event shall a court schedule more than 10 persons at one time.”

He also ordered new petit juries scheduled between March 18 and April 17 to be rescheduled.

The court clerks can continue to issue marriage licenses and a judge may perform a marriage ceremony at the courthouse if there are no more than 10 people present.

Arkansas

The Supreme Court of Arkansas has suspended all in-person appellate, circuit and district court proceedings through April 3. There are some exemptions that include, criminal and civil jury trials that were in progress as of March 17, criminal initial appearances, probable-cause hearings, speedy trials, juvenile detention hearings, orders of protection and emergency child custody orders.

California


California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye issued a guidance to all superior court presiding judges on March 16 to authorize requests for court holidays under Cal. Gov. Code § 68115.

State law allows for local courts to request holidays to recalculate filing deadlines, extend temporary restraining orders, extend time for criminal trials and more.

The Superior Court of Los Angeles County can hold sessions anywhere in the county until April 16, transfer pending civil cases to any superior court within 100 miles, transfer civil cases pending trial to another county’s superior court with parties’ consent, extend temporary restraining orders by no more than 21 days and extend the time period for holding a criminal trial by not more than 30 days for cases in which the statutory deadline would expire by April 16.

The Superior Court of San Francisco County has been authorized to declare a holiday from March 18 to April 15 for purposes of computing time for filing papers; extend the time period for holding a criminal trial by not more than 30 days for cases which the statutory deadline would expire by April 15; extend the time provided for which a person who has been charged with a felony must be taken before a magistrate from 48 hours to seven days; and extend temporary restraining orders by no more than 21 days.

In Orange County, the superior court can now extend the time periods in Code Civ. Proc. §§ 583.310 and 583.320 by no more than 14 days to bring an action to trial where the deadline would expire by March 27; extend up to 14 days any restraining order that would expire by March 27; and extend the time period for holding a criminal trial by no more than 30 days in cases in which the statutory deadline would expire by March 27.

Colorado

Colorado Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats has extended the prohibition on jury calls through May 15, with the exception of cases facing deadlines under the Speedy Trial Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161(h)(7)(A).

Some of the actions that will continue include protection order hearings, setting of bail, detention hearings for juvenile delinquency cases and emergency mental health proceedings.

Connecticut

The Connecticut Judicial Branch implemented changes March 19 that include designating one building in each of the 13 judicial districts as the location for “priority one functions” to take place.

Priority one functions include criminal arraignments for defendants held in lieu of bond, all arraignments involving domestic violence cases, juvenile detention hearings, orders of relief from abuse, protection orders and temporary custody orders.

The court has also suspended noncritical court operations and associated requirements, including all statutory venue and time requirements; statute of limitations or other deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings and filings; and all time requirements or deadlines related to the supreme, appellate and superior courts.

All foreclosure sales previously scheduled for April and May have been rescheduled to June 6.

The Connecticut Supreme Court has postponed oral arguments originally scheduled between March 24 and April 2.

Delaware

Delaware Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz Jr. on March 22 ordered all court facilities closed to the public from March 23 through at least April 15.

Access to state courthouses is limited to identified personnel for emergency and essential hearings and operations.

Every state court will have enough judicial officers and staff to hear emergency and essential matters in person or remotely through teleconferencing or by video, the order said.

Deadlines in court rules, state or local statutes and ordinances applicable to the judiciary that expire between March 23 and April 15 have been extended through April 21. Statutes of limitations and repose that would expire between March 23 and April 15 have also been extended through April 21.

In family court, ex parte protection from abuse orders can be extended beyond 30 days, but cannot exceed 45 days. Temporary injunctions and interim guardianships that expire between March 23 and April 15 have been extended until April 21.

The Delaware Court of Common Pleas is closed to the public through April 15. People scheduled to appear before the court between now and May 1 will receive notification of a rescheduled date. Bail can be posted at the New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County courts Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Delaware Supreme Court has suspended Supreme Court Rule 10(d), which requires the filing of paper briefs and appendices. Lawyers shall not file paper copies of documents that have been filed electronically, according to the March 16 order.

The Delaware Superior Court has suspended all civil and criminal trials until April 15 and has canceled jury service for anyone who has been summoned during that time, according to a March 16 standing order. Grand jurors should report as directed, the order says.

District of Columbia

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has canceled oral arguments and tolled all filings deadlines through March 31.

Florida

On March 13, Florida Chief Justice Charles T. Canady suspended jury trials throughout the state court system until March 27. He also suspended rules restricting use of technology so local judges can conduct legal proceedings remotely.

Georgia

Georgia Chief Justice Harold D. Melton issued a statewide judicial emergency order March 14 that affects all courts and clerk’s offices until April 13.

The order says courts should remain open to address essential functions to protect the safety, health and liberty of individuals.

Jury trials that have already started will be able to conclude. The presiding judge can decide to suspend a criminal trial or declare a mistrial if good cause exists. Court proceedings should employ videoconferencing where possible to limit the risk of exposure.

A March 17 edict from the Georgia Supreme Court suspends all filing deadlines in that court until April 13, the date the statewide order expires. At that point, attorneys will have the same amount of time to file that they had remaining as of March 14, the date the order took effect.

Hawaii

Hawaii Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald on March 20 ordered all state courthouses closed to the public from March 23 through April 30, except for official court business.

Essential court proceedings will be held at the Honolulu District Court, including temporary restraining order hearings. Video conferencing will be used as much as possible for cases involving defendants in custody.

Idaho

The Idaho Supreme Court ordered all in-person appearances for civil and criminal cases to be excused until April 10, except for emergency matters, child protection hearings, domestic violence hearings and evidentiary hearings in criminal cases. Judges are encouraged to use telephone or video technologies for all necessary hearings, including arraignments and mental health hearings.

Illinois

The Supreme Court of Illinois issued an order March 20 that said the chief judges of each circuit may continue trials for the next 60 days.

The Circuit Court of Cook County has postponed many criminal and civil cases through April 15. There will be no jury trials during this time. Grand jury proceedings will continue and may be held in courtrooms that provide for more space and distance between people. Judges will not perform marriage ceremonies during this period.

Indiana

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued an executive order March 23 that closed state government offices to the public, including the Indiana Statehouse and Government Center campuses.

The Indiana Supreme Court has tolled all laws, rules and procedures setting time limits for appellate filings through April 6. The court also tolled all laws, rules and procedures for setting time limits for speedy trials in criminal and juvenile proceedings, public health, mental health, judgments, statutes of limitations and all other civil and criminal matters in Indiana Tax Court and all circuit, superior, and city/town courts. Trial courts can proceed with any matter they deem to be essential or urgent.

Iowa

Iowa Chief Justice Susan Larson Christensen ordered criminal trials, including both jury and bench trials, that are not in progress and are scheduled to begin before April 20 to be rescheduled after that date.

The court finds the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes good cause for any trial postponements within the meaning of Iowa Code Ann. § 2.33.

Civil jury trials that are scheduled to start before May 4 will be continued at later date. Civil bench trials and other hearings set to commence before May 4 will be continued after that date or conducted by telephone.

The order was intended to toll statutes of limitations and similar deadlines for commencing an action in district courts by 48 days.

The Iowa Supreme Court has canceled oral arguments for the rest of March and April and will decide those cases without arguments.

Iowa appellate courts will not hear in-person oral arguments through May 15, but can hold arguments via telephone or videoconference, or decide the cases without argument.

Kansas

The Supreme Court of Kansas has ordered all jury trials scheduled to begin in any state court on or after March 18 to be continued until further order of Chief Justice Marla Luckert.

In-progress jury trials may continue at the discretion of the assigned judge following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state Health Department guidance on reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The order suspends all deadlines and time limitations to bring a defendant to trial as established by Kan. Stat. Ann. § 22-3402 until further order of the chief justice.

The order also restricts all Kansas district and appellate courts and offices to emergency operations until further order. Any emergency operation must be conducted by electronic audio-visual communication, when feasible.

Kentucky

The Supreme Court of Kentucky on March 17 ordered all civil trials, hearings and motions postponed. Any civil trial or hearings that are in progress shall be continued or completed at the presiding judge’s discretion.

The order also said reasonable attempts to reschedule all criminal trial should be made, subject to the defendant’s right to a speedy trial.

All in-person criminal and civil appearances have been canceled, except for emergency and time-sensitive matters. Judges must use available video and telephone technology for all necessary hearings.

Louisiana

The Louisiana Supreme Court issued an order March 16 that said all criminal and civil jury trials scheduled to commence in any state court before March 27 are to be continued to a date no earlier than March 30. Criminal and civil jury trials in progress as of March 13 can continue at the discretion of the local court.

Hearings related to civil protective orders, children in need of care proceedings, emergency child custody matters, mental health orders and matters of public health are some of the items exempted from the order.

Criminal initial appearances, arraignments and bond hearings shall continue as scheduled and be conducted via telephone or video conferencing where available.

Maine

The Maine Judicial Branch has postponed several case types and proceedings until May 1 including foreclosures, small claims, adoptions, civil jury trials, violations bureau hearings, grand jury proceedings, criminal matters where a defendant is not in custody, juvenile matters unless the juvenile is being detained, and all actions to recover personal property.

The courts will schedule and hear certain proceedings including arraignments and first appearances of defendants in custody, bail review motions, juvenile detention hearings, requests for protection from abuse and harassment, child protection petitions and mental health requests.

Video appearances are encouraged for hearings that must be held.

Fines, fees, restitution and attorney fee reimbursements deadlines have been extended to a date in May. All warrants for failure to pay fees, fines, restitution or attorney fees have been vacated.

Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court has canceled oral arguments scheduled for April. Appeals scheduled to be argued in April will be decided on the briefs.

Maryland

Maryland courts closed to the public March 16. Emergency court matters, including domestic violence petitions, extreme protective orders, bail reviews and search warrants, will continue to be processed by a reduced workforce through April 3.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts courts are closed to the public from March 18 until at least April 6, except to conduct emergency hearings that cannot be resolved by a video-conference or telephone hearing.

Criminal and civil trials scheduled to begin in Massachusetts state courts between March 17 and April 17 are continued to a date after April 21. Where a jury trial has commenced, the trial will end and a new trial may begin after the public health emergency ends.

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued an order March 20 that gives the court the authority to appoint a person to administer an oath of deposition and take testimony. The order also authorizes any deposition taken under a Massachusetts state court rule to be administered without being in the presence of the deponent, so as long as the person before whom the deposition is to be taken can see and hear the deponent using audio-visual communication equipment.

Michigan

A March 18 Michigan Supreme Court order limits court activity to essential functions, limits access to courtrooms and other spaces to 10 people or fewer, and says trial courts should practice social distancing.

Civil trials and business court matters must be conducted by interactive video or other remote tools or they must by adjourned until after April 3.

Criminal proceedings involving in-custody defendants, pleas, sentencings, arraignments, extradition and emergency motions should be conducted via interactive video or other remote tools.

All other criminal matters including jury trials will be adjourned until after April 3.

State Supreme Court oral arguments scheduled for April 1 and 2 are canceled.

Minnesota

Under a March 20 order, jury trials or criminal bench trials that were under way as of March 13 in Minnesota will continue until completion. Courts will continue to accept filings for all case types and should be made electronically.

No new jury trials will be scheduled for the next 30 days.

For cases designated “super high priority” and “high priority,” all court proceedings will continue as normal. When possible, courts should use interactive video teleconference or other remote technology to conduct hearings. Case and hearing types that fall into these categories may include criminal search warrants, arrest warrants, domestic abuse protective orders, mental health commitment hearings, public safety and personal safety.

Cases that are designated “medium priority” and “low priority” were suspended for two weeks on March 16. Civil jury and court trials, adoptions, mortgage foreclosure hearings, name changes, nontraffic misdemeanors and misdemeanor traffic fall into these categories.

Minnesota Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea issued an order March 20 that limits public access to courtrooms to the parties participating in the hearings, their attorneys, necessary court staff and members of the press.

Press access in courts other than the Hennepin County District Court must be coordinated with the Judicial Branch Court Information Office at least 24 hours before a hearing. Press access for Hennepin County courts must be coordinated with the Hennepin County District Court Information Officer.

No grand jury proceedings will commence before April 22. Grand jury proceedings in which a jury has been empaneled and is taking evidence can continue.

Hearings for adult criminal matters that will be held in a courtroom include bail reviews, plea hearings and sentencing hearings. All other criminal matters, unless they can be conducted remotely, are suspended until April 22.

Mississippi

The Mississippi Supreme Court issued an order March 20 that said all local and state courts shall remain open to ensure the fulfillment of their duties.

The court urged the use of remote technologies. Mississippi Chief Justice Michael K. Randolph issued an order to allow persons qualified to administer an oath to swear a witness remotely by audio-visual communication.

To limit in-person contact, the court has temporarily suspended Miss. R. Crim. P. § 1.8, which requires “defense counsel be present at the location with the defendant during the proceedings.”

In-person proceedings shall continue in certain cases, including in-progress jury trials, child protection emergency matters, emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable persons, issues involving the COVID-19 public health emergency, and obtaining warrants.

Any in-person proceedings will be limited to parties, attorneys, witnesses, security officers, members of the press and other necessary people as determined by the trial judge.

Missouri

All in-person proceedings in the Missouri state courts have been suspended until April 17, with some exceptions.

Civil and criminal jury trials that were in progress as of March 16 may continue. Proceedings for protection orders, restraining orders, emergency mental health orders and those held to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants and juveniles are also exempted from the suspension.

Judges and clerks are encouraged to use available technologies, including email, teleconferencing and video conferencing, to limit in-person courtroom appearances.

Montana

Montana Chief Justice Mike McGrath has recommended that all civil trials scheduled through at least April 30 to be reset by the court.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys should review pending criminal jury matters and decide whether they need to move forward, the order said.

Judges should also attempt to conduct all necessary matters by video or teleconference, according to the order.

Justice McGrath said priority must be given to necessary criminal matters, including orders of protection and proceedings involving child abuse or neglect.

New Jersey

New Jersey stopped in-person superior court proceedings March 18, except for some emergent matters and certain ongoing trials. Municipal court sessions are suspended until March 27 but will remain open for filings and payments, unless the municipality has closed the court building.

The Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an order March 19 requiring the attorney general, county and municipal prosecutors, public defenders, criminal defense lawyers, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and other interested parties to file briefs to the court’s emergent matter inbox addressing why an order should not be entered for:

Releasing any defendant serving a county jail sentence as a condition of probation.

Releasing any defendant serving a county jail sentence as the result of a municipal court conviction.

The attorney general, prosecutors, public defenders and ACLU of New Jersey must show cause by 2 p.m. on March 24. Counsel will appear virtually and have 15 minutes to make oral presentations to the court.

New York

All nonessential New York court functions were postponed March 16. Pending criminal and civil trials will continue to conclusion, but no other criminal or civil trials will begin until further notice.

Eviction proceedings were also suspended March 16 until further notice. Felony matters in the Superior Court, where the defendant is not in custody, have been administratively adjourned until further notice. If the defendant is in custody, the matter will be administratively adjourned or be conducted remotely by video, where possible.

Arraignments in the lower court will be conducted through video remote appearances where possible.

North Carolina

North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley issued a memo March 15 reiterating the need to reduce courthouse operations to “drastically reduce the foot traffic in all of our courthouses across the state.”

On March 13, the chief justice had directed all superior court and district court proceedings to be postponed for at least 30 days unless the proceeding will be done remotely, is necessary to preserve the right to due process, is for the purpose of obtaining emergency relief or can be conducted under conditions that protect the safety and health of the participants.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued a statewide judicial emergency order directing all courts to be closed to the public except for “essential functions” from March 19 through at least April 3.

The closure includes the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, courts of common pleas, managerial district courts, the Philadelphia Municipal Court, and the Pittsburgh Municipal Court, Arraignment Division.

According to the order, essential functions include election matters, emergency bail review and habeas corpus hearings, civil mental health reviews, temporary protection-from-abuse hearings, and bench warrant hearings.

Any legal papers or pleadings that are required to be filed between March 19 and April 3 will be considered timely if filed by April 6, or on a later date if allowed by the court.

Deadlines for filing briefs, petitions, motions and applications for matters pending in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court have been extended 30 days.

The deadlines for filing an appeal to a court or government order prior to March 16 and between March 18 and April 17 have been extended by 30 days.

Jury trials in the courts of common pleas have been suspended and will be rescheduled.

The due dates for filings in the Pennsylvania Superior Court between March 17 and April 17 have been extended by 30 days. The court will accept filings only through PACFile electronic filing, the U.S. Postal Service or by a commercial delivery carrier.

Due dates for applications for reconsideration or reargument of children’s fast track cases are not subject to the extension. Children’s fast track filings must be made within the established time using the PACFile electronic filing system, U.S. Postal Service or a commercial delivery carrier.

South Carolina

All jury trials in South Carolina have been postponed by a March 16 order from Chief Justice Donald W. Beatty. Nonjury trials and other hearings may continue at the judge’s discretion with only attorneys, their clients and witnesses appearing. Family courts should restrict proceedings to emergency matters.

Evictions currently ordered and scheduled shall be rescheduled after May 1.

Tennessee

Tennessee Chief Justice Jeffrey S. Bivins declared a state of emergency for the judicial branch March 13. His order suspended all in-person proceedings in state and local courts through March 31.

Exceptions to the suspension include civil and criminal jury trials that were in progress as of March 13, proceedings to protect criminal defendants’ constitutional rights, proceedings related to relief from abuse, emergency child protection and custody matters.

Protection orders and temporary injunctions that were to expire between March 13 and March 31 have been extended until April 6.

Deadlines in court rules, statutes, ordinances, administrative rules or that were otherwise scheduled to expire between March 13 and March 31 have also been extended until April 6.

Texas

County and district courts in Dallas County, Texas, have canceled all proceedings in civil, criminal and justice of the peace courts through May 8 and have told jurors who have summonses to appear before May 8 not to report for jury duty or attempt to reschedule their service.

Virginia

On March 16, Virginia declared a judicial emergency for all district and circuit courts effective until April 6. The order suspends nonessential and nonemergency court proceedings in circuit and district courts for 21 days. Deadlines have also been tolled and extended.

All civil, traffic and criminal matters, including jury trials, are continued, with exceptions for emergency matters including arraignments, bail reviews, protective orders, emergency child custody or protection cases and civil commitment hearings.

Courtroom attendance will be limited to attorneys, parties, witnesses and members of the press for matters that cannot be continued.

Washington

In Washington state, the King County Superior Court suspended juror summonses March 16 through April 24 for all case types. All jury trials scheduled until April 24 for the King County District Court will be continued at a later date.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Supreme Court issued three orders March 22 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first order said all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to start before May 22 will be continued and rescheduled after that date.

The second order said all judges, court commissioners and clerks must use available technologies, including email, teleconferencing and video conferencing, instead of in-person court appearances. Some exceptions, if remote technology is not adequate, include proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights, those involving certain in-custody defendants, and Supreme Court oral arguments scheduled for April 20.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court also ordered the cancellation of oral arguments scheduled for March 30 and April 1.

Other courts

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has barred public access to the Howard T. Markey National Courts Building under a March 16 order. On days when a court proceeding is scheduled, access will be limited to the parties and their attorneys and credentialed members of the media.

All in-person Section 341 meetings scheduled through April 10 are continued until a date to be determined.

To keep up-dated on the latest news and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic impact, and the government’s response, at Thomson Reuters’ COVID-19 Resource Center, and you can follow Reuters.com or the Reuters App.