Court Operations During COVID-19: 50-State Resources
State court systems across the country have significantly altered their operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Many courts initially limited proceedings to only the most essential and urgent matters, such as arraignments and restraining order hearings. While many jurisdictions are beginning to resume some of their normal operations, dockets are still running on a limited basis, with most courts striving to conduct as many proceedings via videoconferencing or telephonic means as possible. Jury trials are suspended in most locations as well, though many courts are developing plans for how jury proceedings can resume. Courts are presently allowing some in-person proceedings to varying degrees, but generally only for time-sensitive matters and in accordance with public health protocols.
Click on the states below to learn more about how each state court system is currently responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Court Operating Status: The Alabama Supreme Court ordered that most in-person civil proceedings could resume after May 15, 2020, though individual judges have discretion related to public health precautions. Courts must resume in-person operations after August 15, 2020.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials are suspended until September 14, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Court Operating Status: he Alaska Supreme Court suspended the majority of non-emergency matters through May 31, 2020 due to COVID-19. Non-jury proceedings were allowed to begin again on June 1, 2020, subject to the discretion of individual judges.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Grand jury proceedings were allowed to resume June 1, 2020, but are permitted to occur in two or more separate buildings connected by video conference; witnesses may also appear via videoconference, and/or proceedings may take place in accordance with other alternative procedures outlined by the Alaska Supreme Court due to the fact that appropriate social distancing may be difficult in many court locations. Jury trials remain suspended through at least July 6, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Courts were permitted to begin transitioning to in-person operations starting June 1, 2020, provided that this could be accomplished safely in light of coronavirus concerns. Remote proceedings will continue to be utilized to the extent necessary.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials may resume June 15, 2020, subject to judicial discretion related to health and safety. Presiding superior court judges may also decide when grand jury proceedings can resume, and technology can potentially be utilized for juror selection as well as grand jury proceedings and jury trials.
Court Operating Status: Courts in all divisions resumed hearings on May 18, 2020 subject to social distancing rules, with a preference for video proceedings when feasible, though individual courts can determine how proceedings will occur amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Summonses for jury panels are suspended through June 30, 2020. However, the Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice has advised Circuit Court judges to explore using alternative facilities and taking other measures that will promote social distancing as they prepare to resume jury proceedings.
Court Operating Status: Subject to judicial discretion, local courts may use videoconferencing or telephonic hearings to conduct civil matters and criminal cases (with consent from criminal defendants) to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Courts may suspend any rule in the California Rules of Court that prevents them from using remote technology for such proceedings.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials for which the last day to conduct them would have occurred between March 16, 2020 and June 15, 2020 are suspended for 90 days unless courts receive permission for additional extensions or conduct them remotely.
Court Operating Status: Local courts are to continue operating on an emergency basis until further notice, and utilize remote proceedings to the greatest extent possible due to COVID-19 concerns. Subject to judicial discretion, higher priority should be given to urgent matters such as those involving restraining orders and bail setting.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials are suspended through July 6, 2020 unless an imminent speedy trial deadline requires an earlier date.
Court Operating Status: On May 18, 2020, Connecticut courts resumed daily civil pre-trials, status conferences, and trial management conferences, though these proceedings are being conducted remotely. Courts are also handling many criminal matters remotely and/or without the appearance of the defendant to limit the spread of COVID-19. The judiciary is looking for ways to expand operations beyond the current list of time-sensitive Priority 1 matters that are being heard.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Trial proceedings are suspended until further notice.
Court Operating Status: Delaware’s judicial emergency has been extended through at least June 13, 2020, which generally limits proceedings to essential matters due to the novel coronavirus. All courts are authorized to use remote proceedings to the greatest extent possible, except for in jury trials; non-emergency proceedings can occur remotely at the discretion of individual judges. Emergency matters may be heard in person if needed.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials are suspended until June 13, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Through June 19, 2020, operations are limited to urgent or emergency civil matters such as temporary restraining orders, criminal matters such as adult arraignment, bond reviews, and detained status hearings, and certain domestic violence, family law, and probate matters. Due to coronavirus concerns, all case types will be heard remotely except for adult arraignments, though defendants must consent to having other criminal matters occur remotely. Non-emergency matters are rescheduled until after June 19, 2020.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Criminal and civil jury trials (and non-jury trials) are suspended until further notice.
Court Operating Status: Until further notice, courts are conducting essential critical proceedings such as criminal arraignments, bail hearings, and hearings on petitions for risk protection orders, with a preference for remote proceedings where feasible, though in-person proceedings may occur. Non-essential matters including status conferences and motion hearings can take place remotely unless Constitutional, technological, or other logistical barriers mandate otherwise. The Florida court system is presently progressing to Phase 2 of 4 toward resuming regular operations; arriving at Phase 2 will mean that limited in-person contact is allowed for particular purposes and/or with protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury selection proceedings, grand jury proceedings, and civil and criminal jury trials are suspended through July 2, 2020. The court system has authorized a pilot program to evaluate ways in which jury proceedings can potentially occur remotely.
Court Operating Status: The Supreme Court of Georgia has extended the statewide judicial emergency through June 12, 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. While both essential and non-essential matters may be heard during this time, courts are encouraged to use videoconferencing or telephonic proceedings to the greatest extent possible, and any in-person proceedings must adhere to social distancing and public health guidelines.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Courts may not summon new trial jurors or grand jurors, or conduct civil or criminal jury trials during the judicial emergency. Grand juries that have already been impaneled or recalled from an earlier court term can assemble to address time-sensitive matters, but only if it’s necessary and if they can comply with social distancing and other public health rules.
Court Operating Status: Through June 30, 2020, matters identified by the chief judge of each circuit on a case-by-case basis should be held remotely due to COVID-19 to the degree allowed by law.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials are suspended through June 30, 2020, unless the circuit court judge of the relevant court orders otherwise. Grand jury proceedings were authorized to resume June 1, 2020 subject to public health protocols.
Court Operating Status: Court proceedings resumed remotely on May 1, 2020, though judges have discretion to hold in-person proceedings subject to social distancing and public health guidelines, or postpone them.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Criminal jury trials are suspended until August 3, 2020, and civil jury trials are suspended until October 5, 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Court Operating Status: As of June 1, 2020 local courts are authorized to hear both essential and non-essential matters in person, subject to judicial discretion regarding public health considerations and court logistics. Continued use of remote proceedings is encouraged where possible to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Local courts are authorized to continue the ongoing suspension of jury proceedings until further order of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Court Operating Status: The Indiana Supreme Court issued orders granting emergency relief to trial courts to postpone in-person matters at their discretion through May 30, 2020, which was also the deadline for individual courts to submit their plans for resuming expanded operations.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, jury trials are suspended until July 1, 2020 except for those approved by the Indiana Supreme Court.
Court Operating Status: Until further notice from the Iowa Supreme Court, district courts are to continue conducting in-person proceedings for emergency matters, which include bail hearings, protective order hearings, and cases related to the protection of vulnerable people if they cannot be conducted remotely. Non-jury trials and non-emergency in-person proceedings are continued until at least July 13, 2020 unless individual court locations can demonstrate compliance with state court COVID-19 safety protocols. Courts are strongly encouraged to continue using videoconferencing or telephonic methods whenever possible. In general, the highest priority will be given to urgent matters such as those involving substance abuse commitments and elder abuse, followed by criminal cases, and then case types including child custody, guardianship, and juvenile law.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials and grand jury proceedings are continued until at least September 14, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Courts that have not yet reopened to the general public must limit their operations to only essential matters, which include first appearances, bond hearings, ex parte emergency custody hearings, and temporary orders of protection. Courts can only reopen if they have coordinated with local public health officials regarding how to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Courts are directed to conduct all hearings remotely if possible. In-person proceedings can only occur in accordance with the strictest applicable public health and safety protocols.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: No jury trials can proceed unless they must in order to preserve a constitutional right to speedy trial. A court is allowed to gather more than 10 people for jury trials and grand jury proceedings only if certain conditions are met, such as that the meeting location must allow for social distancing, and the voir dire process can include panels of only up to 12 jurors at a time.
Court Operating Status: Courts have reopened to hear civil and criminal matters as of June 1, 2020, but they will conduct proceedings remotely by using telephonic and video technology unless a judge determines in their discretion that in-person proceedings are necessary. Strict social distancing rules will be implemented for any in-person proceedings. People who are considered high-risk individuals cannot be required to attend in-person proceedings.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Due to coronavirus concerns, jury trials have been postponed and rescheduled for no earlier than August 1, 2020. Criminal trials with defendants in custody will take priority over other trials. Grand jury proceedings have resumed as of June 1, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Courts may resume in-person proceedings in civil and criminal matters, except matters that have been suspended by executive action by the Governor. However, courts should continue to conduct matters remotely by using telephone and video technology when possible. Strict social distancing rules apply to in-person proceedings to minimize coronavirus risks.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: All civil and criminal jury trials have been postponed until at least June 30, 2020. Continuances will not count toward statutory speedy trial computations under state law.
Court Operating Status: People should go to a courthouse only if they are required to be there, or if they are seeking protection from abuse or harassment. Anyone who enters a courthouse must wear a face covering at all times. Maine has outlined a five-phase plan for resuming court operations. During the first phase, which is expected to last through at least June 12, 2020, cases involving disclosures, foreclosures, small claims, traffic tickets, and most types of evictions will not be heard. Courts will hear proceedings involving arraignments and first appearances of criminal defendants held in custody, bail motions, juvenile detention hearings, protection from abuse or harassment, certain types of child protection issues, mental health requests and hearings, and emergency guardianships. Courts may schedule and hear any types of proceedings not included in the categories above if they can conduct proceedings by video or audio conference.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: To reduce the risk of coronavirus exposure, jury trials and grand jury proceedings have been deferred through June 30, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Courts will move to the second phase of their reopening plan at 5 p.m. on June 5, 2020. Until June 5, only certain types of emergency matters may be heard, such as proceedings involving protective orders, peace orders, juvenile detention, juvenile shelter care, bail, bench warrants, initial appearances, and quarantine and isolation violations. Between June 5 and July 19, 2020, courts will resume hearing many additional family or juvenile proceedings (such as uncontested divorces and some adoptions), certain non-trial criminal proceedings, emergency landlord-tenant matters, and many matters addressed in problem-solving courts (such as matters involving DUI, substance abuse, and mental health). To the extent that matters can be handled remotely, courts are still encouraged to do so to minimize coronavirus risks.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials are not expected to resume until the fifth and final phase of the reopening plan, which is tentatively scheduled to start on October 5, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Massachusetts courts can conduct emergency and non-emergency proceedings in civil and criminal cases. However, due to COVID-19, courthouses are physically closed to the public, and courts must conduct all matters virtually until at least July 1, 2020, except for emergency matters that cannot be handled remotely. Civil bench trials are postponed until at least July 1, 2020 unless the judge determines that a trial can be conducted virtually. Criminal bench trials are postponed until at least July 1, 2020 unless the parties and the judge agree that a trial can be conducted remotely.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials in all civil and criminal cases are postponed until at least September 8, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Courts are limited to essential functions until further notice, although people can continue to file legal documents. Michigan has implemented a four-stage plan for a return to full capacity, which requires courts to meet certain gating criteria related to COVID-19 exposure in the court facility, the number of COVID-19 cases in the community, and the capacity of the local health system.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials have been postponed until at least June 22, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Most proceedings in all types of cases must be held by remote technology. In-person proceedings may be held only if they are authorized by the Transitional Case Strategies, which are detailed guidelines for phasing back into regular operations. Separate sets of guidelines apply to civil, criminal, juvenile, and probate case types. Courts also must meet the requirements of the Judicial Branch COVID-19 Preparedness Plan before holding in-person proceedings that are authorized by the Transitional Case Strategies.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Starting June 1, 2020, a pilot program of criminal jury trials may proceed in counties that have been approved to participate in the program. All other criminal jury trials have been postponed until July 6, 2020, and all civil jury trials have been postponed until September 1, 2020. Grand jury proceedings have been postponed until the development of a grand jury pilot plan, except for grand juries that were impaneled as of March 23, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Courts should limit in-person contact during the COVID-19 outbreak by conducting proceedings remotely when possible. If this is not possible, courts may hold emergency in-person proceedings in certain types of cases, such as those pertaining to protection orders, emergency child custody orders, emergency mental health orders, emergency child protection matters, mandatory youth court detention hearings, felony plea hearings, and proceedings for obtaining arrest and search warrants. Judges can exercise their discretion in controlling their dockets.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Counties with two or fewer coronavirus deaths are free to resume jury trials and related proceedings, although individual judges in those counties have the discretion to postpone jury trials through June 12, 2020. Other counties must postpone jury trials until at least June 15, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Missouri courts have reopened in accordance with operational directives, which impose social distancing requirements and other precautions designed to minimize coronavirus risks. Courts can establish localized reopening plans, which should account for community health safeguards, as well as court dockets, facilities, and staffing levels in their jurisdictions.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: The timeline for resuming jury trials varies among courts. Some courts have postponed most jury trials until at least the second half of June, unless the judge presiding over the case finds that the need for a jury trial is extraordinary, pressing, and urgent.
Court Operating Status: Court operations have resumed, but courts should continue to conduct proceedings remotely if possible. Any attorneys or litigants who are at high risk if exposed to COVID-19, according to CDC guidelines, should be allowed to appear remotely upon request. Courts must follow social distancing rules and are strongly encouraged to require people entering courthouses to wear face coverings. Courts should work with local health officials on developing screening procedures and other precautions.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Judges must devise localized plans for holding necessary jury trials, while consulting with local health officials, local law enforcement, and the attorneys involved in the cases. Courts must maintain social distancing during jury trials.
Court Operating Status: Courts remain open, but each court has the discretion to take certain precautions to minimize coronavirus risks. Some examples of these measures include encouraging or requiring remote proceedings, restricting entry to courthouses, temporarily closing courthouses for cleaning, and extending court deadlines.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Courts may conduct jury trials, but each court has the discretion to restrict or end jury trials as needed.
Court Operating Status: Courts are open for in-person hearings only in essential cases, and they are encouraged to conduct proceedings in these cases remotely when possible. Examples of essential cases include certain non-trial proceedings involving criminal defendants in custody, as well as certain cases involving protection orders, restraining orders, emergency child custody motions, juvenile delinquency, and guardianships. All non-essential cases must be conducted remotely, decided on the papers, or continued, unless directed otherwise by a district court judge.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials are suspended until 30 days after the order declaring a judicial emergency due to the coronavirus is lifted.
Court Operating Status: Courts are open for in-person proceedings only in essential cases, and courts should seek to conduct these proceedings remotely when possible. Examples of essential cases include proceedings to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants, as well as emergency injunctions, protection orders, certain family law and juvenile matters, guardianships, mental health matters, and certain landlord-tenant cases. Proceedings in non-essential cases have been suspended through July 15, 2020 or the last day of a declared state of emergency related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials and grand jury proceedings have been suspended indefinitely.
Court Operating Status: Courts are not holding in-person hearings, but they are conducting hearings remotely. In certain types of cases, the parties must agree to remote proceedings, or the case will be suspended. These cases include sentencing hearings, evidentiary hearings, and bench trials in criminal courts, as well as sentencing hearings, evidentiary hearings, and trials that may result in jail time in municipal courts. Final hearings in guardianship and juvenile delinquency cases require consent to remote proceedings, as do proceedings involving the termination of parental rights.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials and most grand jury proceedings have been suspended through at least May 31, 2020 due to COVID-19. Two counties are participating in a pilot program to hold grand jury sessions by video conference.
Court Operating Status: Courts must conduct non-jury civil and criminal proceedings remotely, unless an emergency requires in-person appearances. In addition to imposing social distancing measures, the New Mexico Supreme Court has ordered that anyone entering a courthouse must wear a face covering to help control the spread of COVID-19.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials may resume between June 15 and July 15, 2020, subject to approval by the New Mexico Supreme Court of plans by courts for protecting public health and safety.
Court Operating Status: Courts remain open to address the essential and critical needs of the public. Judges and courthouse staff have started to resume in-person courthouse operations in counties that meet the health benchmarks provided by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Social distancing, the use of face coverings, and other COVID-19 precautions are strictly enforced. Courts in other counties continue to use virtual court models. Temporary orders of protection that were due to expire on or after March 19, 2020 are extended until further notice.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: New jury trials have been suspended until further notice, but grand jury proceedings may begin in some counties. Jurors who are already serving in a criminal trial, on a grand jury, or in a civil trial in which opening statements have been made must appear to continue their service.
Court Operating Status: Courts may not conduct sessions that would result in violations of social distancing rules or otherwise increase risks of coronavirus exposure. Courts should continue to limit in-person appearances and use remote technology to the extent possible.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials have been postponed until after July 31, 2020. If a court facility lacks adequate space to hold a jury trial while adhering to social distancing rules, appropriate alternative facilities must be identified by July 1, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Civil and criminal bench trials are not suspended, but presiding judges are given discretion until July 1, 2020 to postpone bench trials or hearings due to the novel coronavirus. Specialty courts may resume convening in-person at the discretion of the presiding judge and subject to the North Dakota Department of Health's guidelines for social distancing, but can continue to use electronic communication, small meetings, or individual hearings with participants instead of group meetings or hearings. Judicial officers are encouraged to continue holding hearings through remote means, but to also grant continuances as requested by the parties except for certain mandatory hearings.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Civil and criminal jury trials are suspended through July 1, 2020.
Court Operating Status: The Supreme Court of Ohio has published operational guidance and recommendations for local courts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courts are to hold hearings remotely whenever possible, including arraignments, pre-trials, status conferences, mediations, probation, and specialized dockets appointments. Policies developed by local courts must include a face covering requirement for court employees and the public.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: The status of jury proceedings varies by local jurisdiction; visit the Supreme Court of Ohio & The Ohio Judicial System website for county-specific updates. On March 19, 2020, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued an opinion stating that courts may suspend jury trials to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Ohio Jury Trial Advisory Group published a report on May 12, 2020, containing recommendations for resuming jury trials.
Court Operating Status: All civil and criminal non-jury hearings and other matters may be set after May 16, 2020. Judges are encouraged to continue using remote means of participation due to coronavirus concerns. To the extent that in-person dockets are being held, not more than 10 people including the judge and court personnel shall be in a courtroom or other area at one time. This recommendation will remain in effect until public and health officials expand this number to 50 or more. County-specific operating updates are available on the Oklahoma State Courts Network website.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: All civil and criminal jury trials are to be rescheduled on the next available jury docket after July 31, 2020.
Court Operating Status: All courts must continue to conduct, with social distancing requirements, in-custody juvenile delinquency adjudications and proceedings defined as Category 1 and 2 essential proceedings (e.g., civil commitment hearings, protective order applications). All courts may conduct proceedings defined as Category 3 essential proceedings (e.g., TROs, certain family law matters and juvenile dependency proceedings) and motion hearings that do not require witness testimony. In courts where Governor Kate Brown has authorized Phase One reopening status, courts also may conduct bench trials and all other court proceedings, except jury trials and FED first appearances and trials. Courts in counties where the Governor has not yet authorized Phase One reopening status must continue to operate under Level 3 restrictions that have been in place since March. All courts and offices of the Oregon Judicial Department will be closed for public business on June 26 and July 17, 2020 due to COVID-19.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: All courts must continue to conduct, with social distancing requirements, trials necessary to comply with speedy trial requirements. Courts may conduct jury trials in all civil and criminal cases after July 1, 2020 in counties where the Governor has authorized gatherings of at least 50 people.
Court Operating Status: The general statewide judicial emergency related to the coronavirus ended as of June 1, 2020. However, local courts are empowered to declare local emergencies. Under such local emergencies, limits may be imposed upon in-person proceedings and access to court facilities. Check local courts for updates.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: The general statewide judicial emergency ended on June 1, 2020. However, local courts are empowered to declare local emergencies. Under such local emergencies jury trials may be suspended. Check local courts for updates.
Court Operating Status: All courts shall continue to limit in-person hearings to the greatest extent possible. Only those matters that are critical in nature and/or which cannot be handled by remote means should be conducted in-person. Non-emergency in-person hearings which cannot be conducted remotely may take place after June 1, 2020. In-person bench trials may be restarted after June 1, 2020, provided that social distancing and other safety precautions are implemented. Every person entering a judicial building shall be expected to wear a face covering or mask, and shall be subject to verbal screening for COVID-19 exposure.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Superior Court grand jury proceedings were allowed to resume after May 17, 2020, provided that social distancing and other precautions are implemented for the safety of the grand jurors, attorneys, staff and witnesses. All criminal trials scheduled to start between March 16, 2020 and August 1, 2020 can start no earlier than August 1, 2020. Civil jury trials are postponed until at least August 1, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Judges are working to return to handling as much of their previously scheduled dockets as is practical. Hearings and non-jury trials can occur remotely, or in-person under certain circumstances. Visit the South Carolina Judicial Branch website for court operating updates for each judicial circuit.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: All jury selections and jury trials in criminal and civil cases are postponed until further notice due to COVID-19. County grand juries may convene in-person beginning on June 1, 2020, as long as grand jurors can be safely distanced and equipped with protective gear, and meeting rooms and courtrooms sanitized. An indictment to a county grand jury may be presented using remote means, and any necessary oaths may be administered remotely.
Court Operating Status: The South Dakota Supreme Court declared a judicial emergency on March 13, 2020, and granted the Presiding Judge of each of South Dakota’s seven judicial circuits the authority to enter orders to respond to the public health emergency in their respective jurisdictions. These orders are to include policies to address requests from people who meet the public health criteria for high-risk populations for COVID-19 to be excused from jury service or in-person appearances in court (they should be allowed to appear via remote means).
Jury Trials/Proceedings: On March 13, 2020, the South Dakota Supreme Court declared a judicial emergency and granted the Presiding Judge of each of South Dakota’s seven judicial circuits the authority to enter orders to respond to the public health emergency in their respective jurisdictions. These orders should include policies to address requests from people who meet the public health criteria for high-risk populations for COVID-19 to be excused from jury service or in-person appearances in court (they should be allowed to appear via remote means). The South Dakota Supreme Court has also suspended provisions of South Dakota Codified Laws section 23A-44-5-1 (commonly known as the 180-day rule), which requires a defendant to be brought to trial within 180 days of his first appearance before a judicial officer on an indictment, information or complaint.
Court Operating Status: Judges’ offices and court clerks’ offices must remain open, but may limit in-person contact with the public due to coronavirus concerns. Courts are encouraged to conduct as much business as possible by means other than in-person court proceedings. Court operating plans to gradually resume in-person proceedings are being developed by each judicial district and must be approved by the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court in order to be valid. Plans have been approved for a majority of judicial districts and are available on the Tennessee State Courts website.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: The suspension of jury trials remains in effect through July 3, 2020.
Court Operating Status: Courts may begin holding non-essential in-person hearings, but should use all reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely. Local administrative district judges in each county and the presiding judge of each municipal court are required to submit to the Regional Presiding Judge for their administrative judicial region a court operating plan for all courts in their county or city. In-person hearings, other than essential hearings that cannot be conducted remotely, may not be held unless an operating plan has been submitted and acknowledged in writing by the Regional Presiding Judge. County and municipal court operating plans are available via the Texas Judicial Branch website.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: With limited exceptions, courts must not hold jury proceedings, including jury selection or a jury trial, prior to August 1, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Court Operating Status: On May 11, 2020, Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant issued an updated administrative order which expands the types of hearings, including bench trials, that can be held remotely. Courthouses remain open to accept filings, but certain individuals (such as those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not recovered) may not enter the courthouse. Courts can be contacted by phone and email.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: istrict court and justice court judges are not to conduct any criminal jury trials or civil jury trials until further notice.
Court Operating Status: The Vermont Supreme Court has extended the Judicial Emergency until September 1, 2020, but effective June 1, 2020, non-emergency hearings in all dockets may begin. Priority will be given to juvenile cases and those involving defendants detained pre-trial. Judicial Bureau hearings could resume on June 1, 2020 at the discretion of the State Court Administrator. All individuals entering Vermont Judiciary buildings must wear cloth masks. Social distancing and assembly restrictions will be in place for any activities in courthouses, including jury trials. On May 13, 2020, the Vermont Supreme Court approved the recommendations contained in a long term planning committee report that provides a blueprint for expanding the Vermont Judiciary’s operations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials in criminal cases are suspended until at least September 1, 2020. Jury summonses will not be sent before August 3, 2020. Jury trials in civil cases are suspended until January 1, 2021.
Court Operating Status: As of May 18, 2020, all courts may hear in-person non-emergency matters if they determine it is safe to do so, and provided that they comply with specific guidance developed to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19. Courts are encouraged to conduct as much business as possible by means other than in-person proceedings. Individuals are prohibited from entering courthouses under certain conditions, such as if they have been directed to quarantine, isolate, or self-monitor within the previous 14 days.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Through at least June 7, 2020, all civil and criminal jury trials are suspended and no jury trials shall take place in the Commonwealth. Judges should exercise their discretion with regard to holding grand jury proceedings.
Court Operating Status: Non-emergency civil matters may be postponed until after June 1, 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak. However, courts should begin to hear non-emergency civil matters if they can be conducted remotely or in person with social distancing and other public health protocols. Courts shall continue to hear emergency civil protection order and restraining order matters. Non-jury trials in criminal and juvenile offender matters may be conducted by remote means or in person in accordance with social distancing and other public health protocols.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: All jury trials in Washington are suspended until after July 6, 2020. Civil jury trials already in session where a jury has been sworn and social distancing and other public health measures are strictly observed may proceed or, at the discretion of the trial court or upon agreement of the parties, be postponed to a later date. Criminal jury trials already in session where a jury has been sworn and social distancing and other public health measures are strictly observed may proceed or be postponed if the defendant agrees to a continuance.
Court Operating Status: On May 6, 2020, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia issued protocols to guide the resumption of court operations, including distinct requirements for counties designated as “Hot Spots” by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and other counties designated as “Green Counties”. In-person hearings or proceedings were allowed to commence on or after May 18, 2020. Remote hearings and proceedings are still permitted and encouraged in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: In “Green Counties,” grand jury proceedings may commence on or after June 15, 2020, and jury trials may commence on or after June 29, 2020.
Court Operating Status: In-person proceedings can resume at a municipal or circuit court once an operational plan for the safe resumption of in-person proceedings and jury trials has been approved by the chief judge of the applicable judicial administrative district. The operational plan must contain public health protocols, including a requirement that everyone present in courtrooms, jury rooms, and other court-related confined spaces shall wear face coverings, with limited exceptions. Courts are encouraged to incorporate into their operational plans the recommendations in the Chief Justice’s COVID-19 Task Force Final Report, which was issued on May 15, 2020.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Civil and criminal jury trials can resume at a circuit court once an operational plan for the safe resumption of in-person proceedings and jury trials has been approved by the chief judge of the applicable judicial administrative district. The operational plan must contain public health protocols including a requirement that everyone present in courtrooms, jury rooms, and other court-related confined spaces shall wear face coverings, with limited exceptions. Courts are encouraged to incorporate into their operational plans the recommendations in the Chief Justice’s COVID-19 Task Force Final Report, which was issued on May 15, 2020.
Court Operating Status: All in-person proceedings in Circuit and District Courts and the Supreme Court in Wyoming are suspended until August 3, 2020, with exceptions such as proceedings necessary to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants. Courts should use all reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely. On May 15, 2020, the Wyoming Supreme Court issued reopening guidelines for court employees and public proceedings that include hygiene and social distancing protocols. Judges in local courthouses are instructed to develop and adopt a COVID-19 operating plan for their location.
Jury Trials/Proceedings: Jury trials are suspended until August 3, 2020, except for those that were in progress as of March 18, 2020.