Courts Continue Emergency-Only Operations

The Massachusetts Trial Courts will remain closed to the public except for emergency matters, after more than a week of closure already.

Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday issued an order minimizing non-essential activities outside of home for effect on Tuesday, March 24 at noon.

The Order confirms that it does not apply to the Judiciary.  

However, as detailed in a Supreme Judicial Court Order and Trial Court Standing Orders issued on March 17, 2020, courts continue to operate on an emergency-only basis. Courts are closed to the public but are staffed to enable the handling of emergency matters. Whenever possible, these emergency matters, such as restraining orders and juvenile protection cases, are being conducted by telephone or videoconference.

Court leaders are coordinating emergency staffing levels and Court Officers are ensuring public and staff safety through a variety of measures. Court Officers are screening the public at courthouse entrances to provide guidance on emergency court matters and assess the level of risk posed by individuals arriving at courthouses across the state. Courts have created designated six-foot distance boundaries from any counters. Facilities are cleaned thoroughly each day with industrial cleaning supplies.

All updates regarding the court system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are available on the court’s website: https://www.mass.gov/guides/court-system-response-to-covid-19.

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