Coronavirus: The Latest Court Closures And Restrictions

By Sarah Jarvis
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Law360 (March 12, 2020, 11:19 PM EDT) -- UPDATED Nov. 20, 2020, 1:49 PM EST | As courts across the country take measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some are restricting access and altering their procedures. Here is a roundup of changes.

This list will be updated with new information weekly. Latest updates include California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming and immigration courts.

Click to view interactive version


Federal Appeals Courts


U.S. Supreme Court
The court closed to tourists on March 12 until further notice, but the building remains open for official business. 

The deadline to file any petition for a writ of certiorari due on or after March 19 is extended to 150 days from the date of the lower court judgment, order denying discretionary review, or order denying a timely petition for rehearing. The court said this is the maximum extension allowed, so it will not docket extension requests with respect to cert petitions covered by that order. The court said it will generally grant motions for time extensions if parties have difficulties related to the coronavirus.

Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
In-person arguments are suspended until further notice. All existing deadlines in cases are still in effect. All requirements to provide paper copies of documents submitted electronically are suspended for all documents filed on or after March 2 until further notice. Pro se parties are permitted to submit case-initiating documents by fax or email.

The public is prohibited from entering the National Courts Building complex unless preauthorized by court staff and only as necessary to conduct or support essential court functions, effective March 16. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or had possible exposure to the virus are prohibited from entering the courthouse.

Requests for building access will be handled on a case-by-case basis when submitted in writing at least 24 hours in advance. Requests can be submitted to the Circuit Executive's Office at FSO_helpdesk@cafc.uscourts.gov.

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
The court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit has suspended all in-person onsite oral arguments until further notice. 

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is limiting access to its courthouse to "judges, court staff, members of the media, and visitors with official business with the courts," effective Friday. The court asked that those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have had contact with someone who has been exposed to the virus, been asked to self-quarantine or are experiencing flu-like symptoms not enter the courthouse. Pro se litigants may email filings to ProSeFilings@cadc.uscourts.gov as PDF files and should not send duplicate paper copies to the court. Individuals who enter the courthouse or annex must have a face mask covering their nose and mouth.

First Circuit Court of Appeals
The clerk's office will not accept in-person case filings at its intake window until further notice. Those filing paper documents can use the drop box located by the main entrance on the first floor of the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse in Boston. The court has temporarily suspended a requirement that appendices to briefs must be filed only in paper form. Appendices should be filed electronically, and after an appendix is accepted for filing, the court may set a deadline for paper copies.

The court will hold oral arguments by videoconference during its October/November 2020 session with live audio access through YouTube.

Second Circuit Court of Appeals
The court will hear all oral arguments through teleconference. As of July 1, the court resumed requiring that parties file paper copies of briefs, appendices and documents over 50 pages.

Those who do not have business with the court will not be admitted until further notice.

Lawyers or pro se parties scheduled to argue before the court should contact the clerk of court if they: visited or have been in contact with someone who was in China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea in the past two weeks, have been asked to self-quarantine, have tested positive for the coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, or if they have a verifiable health condition.

Third Circuit Court of Appeals
Oral arguments will continue as scheduled pending further order of the court. The merits panel will determine the manner of argument. Parties may file a motion requesting to appear by audio conference. The majority of staff in the clerk's office will be working remotely. The three-day time limit for requesting extensions is relaxed until the clerk's office resumes normal operations. The filing of paper copies of briefs and appendices resumed for documents filed on Oct. 1 and later.

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
The court temporarily suspended its oral argument requirement for published opinions. 

The Powell Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, is closed to the public. Papers may be filed in the courthouse lobby, but individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus, those with symptoms of COVID-19 and those who may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering the building. People in the courthouse complex must wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
All requirements to file paper copies are suspended until further notice. Extensions with justification may be requested from the clerk's office. All outstanding deadlines for incarcerated and nonincarcerated pro se filers will be extended in 30-day increments until further notice. Oral arguments may be conducted remotely.

The court will not conduct in-person arguments during the December session, scheduled for Dec. 1-4. The clerk will advise on how the panel will proceed, including whether panels will use video or audio conferences. If such conferences are conducted, the clerk will post a link permitting the public to listen to a live feed of the arguments.

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
All nonessential court functions are postponed until further notice. Judges, parties, attorneys and some court staff are allowed to appear via videoconference. The court will livestream audio of oral conferences as of July 28. The requirement that pro se litigants file exclusively in paper format is suspended through 2020. Those litigants may email PDF documents to CA06_Temporary_Pro_Se_Efiling@ca6.uscourts.gov.

Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or come into contact with someone who has tested positive are barred from entering any courtroom. That restriction also applies to those who have been asked to self-quarantine, are exhibiting cold or flu symptoms, have visited Italy, Iran, China or South Korea in the past two weeks, or have had close contact with someone who has visited those countries in the past two weeks.

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
All cases scheduled for oral argument through Dec. 31 will be argued remotely. Audio from oral arguments will be livestreamed on YouTube and recorded and posted on the court's website. The courtroom in Chicago will be closed to the public, and the court is operating with reduced staff. Arguments will be recorded and posted on the court's website. If all parties agree among themselves to waive oral argument, they may jointly file a motion with the court seeking permission to do so.

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
The public is not being admitted to the Eighth Circuit Clerk's Office. Those who come to the Burger Courthouse in St. Paul, Minnesota, or the Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis to file may leave their documents at the front door to the office. Oral argument sessions scheduled for the rest of the year will be conducted by videoconference. The court has not yet reached a decision regarding oral argument formats for 2021.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Ninth Circuit courthouses are closed to the public during noncourt weeks until further notice. The court is evaluating scheduled arguments and will give orders to the cases individually. Panels may exercise their discretion to submit cases without argument, postpone argument to a later date or hold argument via telephone or video. Arguments will be livestreamed for the public.

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
The Tenth Circuit's sole courthouse, which is in Denver, reopened to the general public on July 1. The requirement for parties to submit paper copies of briefs, appendices and petitions for rehearing en banc has been reinstated. Court employees are encouraged to work remotely. Individuals who have experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the past two weeks or may have come into contact with the virus are not permitted inside. The courthouse also requires face masks and social distancing, and everyone must keep track of where they go in the courthouse and whom they encounter for contact tracing.

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
In the Eleventh Circuit, only judges, court staff, members of the media and visitors with official business with the court will be allowed into the two Eleventh Circuit buildings. Paper filing requirements are temporarily waived. Panels can hear oral arguments remotely, and those hearings will be livestreamed for the public when feasible. Recordings of oral arguments will also be available on the court's website. Anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms or who has had a known contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus will not be allowed inside. 

Federal District Courts and State Courts


Alabama
In the Northern District of Alabama, district and magistrate judges shall determine when it is appropriate to conduct in-person hearings on a case-by-case basis. Hearings will be conducted remotely through the coronavirus national emergency unless it is necessary for them to be held in-person. The district is prohibiting those who have tested positive for the coronavirus and those who may have been exposed to the virus from entering its courthouses. Also prohibited are those who have visited China, Italy, Japan, Iran or South Korea in the past two weeks.

In the Middle District of Alabama, initial appearances, arraignments and detention hearings before the magistrate judges will continue remotely. Any proceedings that can't be conducted remotely will be coordinated with the duty magistrate judge.

Access to the Montgomery, Dothan and Opelika courthouses is restricted to judges, court staff, members of the media and visitors with official court business. 

The Middle District is prohibiting those who have tested positive for the coronavirus and those who may have been exposed to the virus from entering its courthouses. Also prohibited are those who have visited China, Italy, Japan, Iran or South Korea in the past two weeks. Face masks are required for courthouse entry.

The Southern District of Alabama is prohibiting those who have tested positive for the coronavirus and those who may have been exposed to the virus from entering its courthouses. Also prohibited are those who have visited Europe, China, Italy, Iran or South Korea in the past two weeks. Everyone must wear a mask while on the courthouse premises, and everyone will be required to submit to COVID-19 screening before being allowed to enter the courthouse, starting May 18.

In the state court system, in-person hearings in the circuit, district, juvenile, municipal and probate courts may proceed at the discretion of the presiding circuit judge.

Alaska
In the District of Alaska, all jury trials are postponed until after Dec. 7. Civil hearings are also postponed until after Dec. 7 unless otherwise scheduled by the presiding judge. Most hearings will be held by telephone.

Everyone over the age of 2 must wear a face mask in public areas of the courthouses. Those who have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for the virus, have been asked to quarantine in the past two weeks or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive in the last two weeks are prohibited from entering the district's courthouses.

In Alaska's state court system, misdemeanor trials may resume as of Nov. 2, but all other jury trials are suspended until at least Jan. 4, 2021. Grand jury proceedings and nonjury proceedings in criminal and civil cases may resume June 1. Court proceedings will be conducted with social distancing and other safety measures.

Arizona 
In the District of Arizona, the moratorium on in-person court proceedings is partially lifted as of June 1 in the Phoenix and Tucson courthouses. The customer service counters in the clerk's offices in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma are closed until further notice. The Flagstaff courthouse will be closed to the public, except for necessary court appearances, until further notice. All Flagstaff jury trials are postponed until further notice. Members of the public admitted to the courtroom will be limited to no more than two people in the public seating area at any time.

Those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are not allowed to enter courthouses. Masks are required to enter district courthouses.

In the state court system, all courts were permitted to begin transitioning to in-person proceedings on June 1. Presiding Superior Court judges will determine how to conduct in-person proceedings. Proceedings in all Arizona Appellate, Superior, Justice, Juvenile and Municipal courts and before the presiding disciplinary judge may be held remotely. Local rules that give litigants the right to change judges are suspended until Dec. 31.

Arkansas
In the Eastern District of Arkansas, any postponements will be handled by presiding judges. Attorneys and parties must provide notice of potential exposure to the coronavirus. The court will use videoconferencing in preliminary criminal proceedings as needed. 

In the Western District of Arkansas, civil and criminal bench and jury trials scheduled to begin before Sept. 8 were postponed until further notice. Everyone over the age of 10 must wear a face mask in public areas of the courthouse.

In the state court system, jury summonses may be issued for jury service that begins after July 1. Starting May 18, Arkansas state courts may resume conducting in-person hearings with certain measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Civil jury trials may be conducted remotely. Criminal jury trials will be conducted in-person, although initial proceedings may be conducted remotely.

California
In the Southern District of California, the court adopted a plan for civil trials and criminal trials with defendants not in custody to proceed, with certain safety protocols. A quorum of grand jurors may be available to serve during limited periods starting on May 20. Beginning June 1, judges can conduct certain in-person criminal proceedings when the defendant is out of custody.

In the Eastern District of California, all courthouses are closed to the public. Only those with official court business or building tenants with official business may enter courthouse property. Face masks are required in common areas of courthouses. The court will not call in jurors for service in criminal or civil jury trials until further notice. All civil matters will be decided on the papers or handled through remote hearings. Pro se parties in civil and bankruptcy matters are encouraged to file documents by mail. If they are unable to do so, they may file at drop boxes in the entrances of the Sacramento, Fresno and Modesto courthouses. Criminal matters may be postponed or held remotely at the judge's discretion. Face masks are required in public areas of courthouses except for those under age 2, those with medical conditions and those who are unable to remove a face mask by themselves.

The Central District of California has adopted a phased reopening plan. The first phase will include the return of certain staff to the courthouse to prepare for limited in-court proceedings and will begin at the recommendation of various agencies and individuals. Hearings in civil cases and certain criminal cases will proceed remotely. Hearings in any criminal matter and emergency civil matters may proceed in person when the court enters Phase 2 of the reopening. Criminal bench matters will continue to take place in the Roybal Courthouse in Los Angeles, remotely with the defendant's consent and in court absent consent. Face masks are required for courthouse entry, with certain exceptions for those under 2 and those with medical conditions. Only emergency, time-sensitive civil matters will go forward and will proceed by telephone. The court has suspended naturalization ceremonies until further notice and granted U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services the authority to perform administrative naturalization ceremonies. All matters before the bankruptcy court will proceed by telephone.

In the Northern District of California, only court staff, jurors, potential jurors and those who have been authorized by a judge or the clerk of court may enter courthouse property. All visitors are required to wear face coverings. Civil hearings and criminal proceedings before magistrate judges will be held remotely.

The Central District and Eastern District of California are prohibiting anyone who visited China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran in the past two weeks from entering any of their courthouses. The restriction also applies to those who have had close contact with someone who has visited those countries in the past two weeks, those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, those who have been asked to self-quarantine and those experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath.

In the state court system, all Los Angeles County Superior Court judges are required to wear face masks in public areas inside courthouses. Criminal jury trials have restarted, but civil jury trials are postponed until January. Civil nonjury trials may not start before Nov. 16. The court reopened to the public on June 15, but the clerk's office and self-help centers in every courthouse are accessible by appointment only.

The California Supreme Court suspended in-person oral argument sessions until further notice. Counsel will only appear remotely. All oral argument sessions will be held in the court's San Francisco headquarters courtroom with limited seating.

Colorado
In the District of Colorado, all civil and criminal trials set to start before Jan. 1 are postponed, excluding certain pilot trials authorized by the chief judge. Hearings will be held remotely when possible. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or may have been exposed to it are prohibited from entering any courthouse. Starting June 22, those entering courthouses are required to wear a face mask. Naturalization ceremonies scheduled after June 19 will proceed on a limited basis and with social distancing.

In the state court system, no one will be summoned for jury service without the authorization of the chief judge of the judicial district, who will determine if the jury pool can safely assemble.

Connecticut
In the District of Connecticut, individual judges will determine whether nonjury civil or criminal proceedings will be held in the courtroom. All participants in in-court proceedings after June 15 must wear masks, unless otherwise ordered by the judge. Grand jury proceedings may begin after June 15. Those who have experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the last 21 days are prohibited from entering the courthouse, as are those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or have come into contact with someone who has in the last 21 days.

All scheduled hearings and conferences in the district's bankruptcy court will be conducted by telephone, unless the matter is withdrawn, resolved, postponed or the court determines the proceeding is not necessary.

In the state court system, all jury service is suspended until further notice. Some courts have remained open through the pandemic while others have closed. Courthouses in New Haven, Waterford and Willimantic are open to the public. Face masks must be worn to enter state courthouses.

Delaware
In the District of Delaware, jury trials may be conducted at the judge's discretion and with certain constraints as of Sept. 15. Individual judges may conduct sentencings, change of plea hearings and bench trials at their discretion. Impaneled grand juries were allowed to resume meeting as of May 27.

Attorneys are asked to inform the appropriate court if they have appeared in court and have since developed symptoms or tested positive for the coronavirus and to inform the courts about any scheduled proceedings that will require the attendance of a person who has tested positive for coronavirus or has been in contact in the past 14 days with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus. Face masks are required in common areas of the district court and bankruptcy court.

Also, the courts will conduct conferences and hearings by phone when possible and will consider any request to change a scheduled in-person proceeding to a telephone proceeding.

In the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, in-person court hearings will be held at the judge's discretion, limited to critical cases only. Remote hearings are encouraged when possible.

The state judiciary began a "soft opening" on June 8, allowing attorneys and some other professionals with court business to return to court buildings. Protocols including entrance screening, a face mask requirement and social distancing are in place. The total number of courthouse visitors will be limited to 25% of the building's total occupancy. Supreme Court oral arguments in the Dover courthouse are allowed again.

Florida
In the Southern District of Florida, anyone entering a court facility must wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines. All jury trials scheduled to begin on or after March 30 are postponed until Jan. 4, 2021. Trial-specific deadlines in criminal cases scheduled to begin before Jan. 4 are postponed until further order of the court, and judges may continue those deadlines for civil cases at their discretion. Grand jury sessions are postponed until Jan. 4. Judges may hold hearings, conferences and bench trials at their discretion, and are encouraged to do so remotely. Criminal matters before magistrate judges will continue to take place as usual. All naturalization ceremonies will be held remotely.

Court security officers are screening people who enter the federal courthouse and denying entry to anyone who has recently visited Italy, Iran, South Korea or China. Anyone who resides with or has had recent close contact with someone who has traveled to one of those countries, has been asked to self-quarantine, has tested positive for the coronavirus or had contact with someone tested positive also will not be able to enter any of the federal courthouses in the district.

In the Middle District of Florida, those with symptoms of COVID-19 and those who may have been exposed to the coronavirus are prohibited from entering any courthouse. A face mask is required for entry at courthouses in all the district's divisions. Some proceedings may be conducted remotely.

In the Northern District of Florida, the U.S. Courthouse and the Winston E. Arnow Federal Building in the Pensacola Division of the court have reopened to the public. Everyone entering a courthouse in the district must wear a face mask, except for children under age 2 and those with a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a face mask. Hearings may be held remotely.

In the state court system, statewide grand jury proceedings were suspended through July 26. All other jury proceedings are suspended until 30 days after the chief judge of a judicial circuit has determined that the circuit or a county within the circuit has transitioned to Phase 2 of reopening. During Phase 2, limited in-person contact is allowed with protective measures. Courts in Jacksonville, Daytona, Orlando, Miami-Dade County and Fort Myers are participating in a pilot program for remote civil jury trials.

Georgia
In the Northern District of Georgia, there will be no jury trials through Jan. 3, but grand jury proceedings may continue. The Gainesville Division courthouse is closed until further notice. Other courthouses are open, with social distancing and face mask requirements. Those who have symptoms, have been asked to self-quarantine or have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus in the past two weeks are prohibited from entering courthouses.

In the Middle District of Georgia, no jury trials will be held until Jan. 3, 2021. Grand juries are not affected by the moratorium. Criminal cases are postponed from March 17 until Jan. 3 — a period excluded under the Speedy Trial Act. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering any courthouse. The clerk's office is closed for in-person business, and face masks are required in public areas of courthouses.

In the Southern District of Georgia, only those with official court business will be admitted into the courthouse. Those who have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive for the coronavirus or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering the building. Grand juries will continue to meet. Criminal matters before magistrate judges will continue to take place as usual.

In the Georgia Supreme Court, almost all new cases docketed on or after May 28 will be subject to normal deadlines, although parties may seek extensions of time related to the pandemic or otherwise. Parties in cases pending as of May 28 have the same amount of time to submit their filings as they had remaining when an emergency order suspending deadlines went into effect on March 14.

Guam
In the District of Guam, courthouse access is limited to employees, building tenants, bar members, public and media attending scheduled proceedings, impaneled federal grand jurors, clerk's office filers and those with appointments. Everyone over the age of 2 is required to wear a face covering in all public areas of the courthouse and adhere to social distancing measures. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are not permitted to enter the court.

Hawaii
In the District of Hawaii, no jury trials will begin before Nov. 16, when the first jury trial is scheduled. Until then, the courthouse will be closed to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, except for emergency matters. The courthouse will be open on Mondays and Thursdays, but only for in-person court hearings. The court has face mask and social distancing requirements in place. Those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms are prohibited from entering the courthouse.

In the state court system, jury trials are postponed in the First Circuit through Dec. 11, unless otherwise ordered by that circuit's chief judge. Jury trials in the Second, Third and Fifth circuits may resume on Nov. 16. Grand jury proceedings may resume as of June 1. Individuals who have symptoms or may have been exposed to the coronavirus are prohibited from entering judicial facilities. Face coverings are required in judicial facilities.

Idaho
In the District of Idaho, the Coeur d'Alene and Pocatello courthouses and the fourth, fifth, and sixth floors of the James A. McClure Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Boise are closed to the public except for essential hearings. All preliminary felony and post-conviction proceedings conducted by a magistrate judge will be held remotely. All visitors are required to wear masks in courthouses.

Those with symptoms of COVID-19 and those who may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from coming to court.

In the state court system, no jury trials in civil cases will begin before Dec. 1. Jury trials in criminal cases and grand jury proceedings may resume with certain precautions. Most court proceedings will be held remotely.

Illinois
In the Northern District of Illinois, civil and criminal jury trials were suspended until further notice as of Nov. 13. All hearings will be conducted remotely unless an in-person hearing is required by law. The court suspended its prohibition on pro se litigants emailing their filings to the clerk's office. Public gatherings at both courthouses are suspended until further notice unless authorized by the chief judge.

In the Central District of Illinois, jury trials are suspended and will be scheduled for a day after Jan. 25, 2021. All public gatherings, including naturalization ceremonies, are suspended until after Jan. 25 unless authorized by the chief judge. Face masks are required for entry into the district's courthouses.

In the Southern District of Illinois, civil and criminal jury trials are canceled through Jan. 24, 2021. The courthouses in East St. Louis and Benton are open, but public access is restricted. Face masks are required in public areas of courthouses. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, have had contact with someone who tested positive, have been asked to self-quarantine or have symptoms are prohibited from entering courthouses. Grand juries will continue to meet. Central Violations Bureau dockets are canceled until January 2021.

In the state court system, face masks must be worn to enter any courthouse. Court operations vary by district, and information on specific circuits can be found here. On Sept. 1, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a temporary order limiting in-person appearances through changes to fee waiver applications and summonses. Details can be found here.

Indiana
In the Southern District of Indiana, in-person jury trials are postponed until at least Jan. 25, 2021. Remote jury trials may proceed at the judge's discretion. Other proceedings can also take place remotely. Naturalization ceremonies are canceled until at least Jan. 25.

In the Northern District of Indiana, jury trials scheduled to begin before Jan. 29, 2021, are postponed unless the presiding judge determines a trial should proceed. Certain criminal proceedings may take place in person or remotely. All in-person civil court proceedings will convert to remote proceedings, with certain exceptions at the discretion of the assigned judge. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms or have had close contact in the last two weeks with someone who may have the virus will be denied courthouse access.

In the state court system, individual trial courts have their own plans to expand court operations, available here

In the Indiana Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals of Indiana, in-person filing through the rotunda drop box is suspended until further notice. Parties can file motions for an extension of time if they can't make certain filing deadlines.

Iowa
In the Northern District of Iowa, jury trials can be conducted as of June 1, but the presiding judge will consider postponement motions filed by any party. Grand jury proceedings scheduled for after May 11 will proceed as scheduled. 

Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are prohibited from entering the courthouse, as are those who have been asked to self-quarantine, those experiencing symptoms, and those who may have been exposed to the virus. There is a face mask requirement for common areas of the courthouses in Sioux City and Cedar Rapids.

In the Southern District of Iowa, civil and criminal jury trials have resumed in the Western and Eastern divisions. Anyone over the age of 2 must wear a face mask to enter the courthouse.

In the state court system, jury trials that have not started as of Nov. 16 and are scheduled to begin before Feb. 1, 2021, are postponed. All grand jury proceedings are suspended until Feb. 1.

The Iowa Supreme Court ordered that attorneys and parties notify their opposing counsel and appropriate clerk of court's office if they suspect a participant in any proceeding has an elevated risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus. No one who has an elevated risk can attend any state court proceeding in person without court authorization. Attorneys must also ask their clients and witnesses whether they have an elevated risk of transmission, the order said.

The court said it will also promptly consider requests from parties to change in-person proceedings to remote proceedings.

Kansas
In the District of Kansas, presiding judges have the discretion to conduct courtroom hearings in civil and criminal cases. Civil and criminal jury trials are suspended until Jan. 4, 2021. Grand jury proceedings are postponed until the national emergency ends or the date when the Judicial Conference of the United States finds that the federal courts are no longer affected, whichever is earlier. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus are prohibited from coming to court.

In the state court system, in-person jury proceedings may be held if certain conditions are met. Courts were ordered to expand the use of remote hearings as much as possible to reduce backlog. Certain deadlines and statutes of limitation are suspended. Individuals with symptoms and those who may have recently had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 are prohibited from entering the courthouse. Face masks are required in public areas of the courthouse and at court proceedings held outdoors.

Kentucky
In the Eastern District of Kentucky, all civil and criminal trials were postponed through May 17. Grand jury proceedings will continue.

All hearings in emergency matters will be conducted remotely "absent exceptional circumstances," according to a district order.

In the Western District of Kentucky, civil and criminal trials scheduled to begin through July 10 were postponed, as were trial-specific deadlines. In-person proceedings in civil and criminal cases may begin June 15. All trials in progress will be completed at the discretion of the presiding judge. Face masks are required in courthouses for everyone over the age of 2. Those who have symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, have had close contact with someone who has tested positive or have been asked to self-quarantine in the past two weeks are prohibited from entering courthouses. Matters involving an attorney or party who is ill or in a high-risk category should immediately be brought to the attention of the presiding judge.

In the state court system, criminal jury trials may resume as of Aug. 2, and civil jury trials may resume after Oct. 1. Jury trials will only resume at the presiding judge's discretion. The Kentucky Supreme Court issued guidance that jury trials should be postponed in counties with 25 or more COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of population. Grand jury proceedings may resume as of June 1 with certain health and safety precautions.

Louisiana
In the Eastern District of Louisiana, all civil and criminal jury trials are postponed until Jan. 1 and will be rescheduled by each presiding judge. The postponements do not include deadlines other than the trial dates.

The court is prohibiting those who have traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran or Italy in the past two weeks from entering the New Orleans courthouse. The restriction also applies to those who have had close contact with someone who recently traveled to those countries, those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, those who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive, those who have been asked to self-quarantine and those with symptoms of COVID-19.

In the Middle District of Louisiana, all criminal and civil trials and other in-court hearings may proceed as of June 30. Grand jury proceedings may resume with the chief judge's approval. Criminal matters before magistrate judges will take place remotely or in person. No in-person filings will be accepted until further notice. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from the courthouses. Face mask and social distancing requirements are in place.

In the Western District of Louisiana, civil and criminal jury trials may begin on Jan. 4. Bench trials, hearings, conferences and other proceedings are subject to the discretion of the trial judge. Public access to clerk of court offices may resume on Jan. 4. Any court filings may be time-stamped and placed in the drop box located in each division. Naturalization ceremonies and other noncase-specific events are canceled through Jan. 3. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from courthouses.

In the state court system, courts may conduct all matters in person. Courts must continue to practice social distancing and limit in-person presence to 50% of total capacity. All matters should continue to be conducted remotely where possible. 

Maine
In the District of Maine, jury trials scheduled to start through 2020 are postponed in the Bangor court. Jury trials scheduled to start through January 2021 are postponed in the Portland court. There are no general extensions or suspensions of court deadlines, but motions for extension and suspension may be filed with the court.

Public access to scheduled hearings will be permitted only with the prior permission of the presiding judge. The clerk's office will be open by appointment only. In-person court proceedings are limited to, among other things, certain criminal matters; the issuance of search warrants; motions seeking immediate, emergency relief; and essential administrative functions.

In the state court system, jury trials will not take place until at least Nov. 9. Court operations will be governed by the judicial branch's COVID-19 management plan.

Maryland
In the District of Maryland, some civil jury trials may start after July 1, and some criminal jury trials may start after Aug. 1. Other proceedings will continue as scheduled, unless ordered by the presiding judge. All filing deadlines for cases originally set to fall between March 16 and June 5 were extended by 84 days, unless otherwise ordered.

The requirement to deliver paper courtesy copies to the clerk's office for all First Step Act cases when the filings are 15 pages or more is temporarily suspended unless otherwise ordered by a presiding judge. Everyone must wear masks to enter any district courthouse. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms or have recently come into contact with someone who has the virus are prohibited from entering the district's courthouses and probation offices.

Courthouse access is limited to litigants with scheduled proceedings, counsel, investigators or employees of counsel and credentialed press. 

In the state court system, courts have entered Phase 4 of their reopening plan. Circuit courts and the District Court of Maryland have resumed nonjury trials statewide and contested hearings in civil, family and juvenile cases.

Massachusetts
In the District of Massachusetts, certain in-person, nonjury proceedings were allowed to take place as of July 15. Proceedings may also be conducted remotely. Face masks must be worn to enter the Donohue Federal Building.

The court is prohibiting visitors who recently traveled to China, Italy, Japan, Iran and South Korea from entering any courthouse or probation office in the district. Those who have had close contact with someone who visited those countries — as well as those who have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive for the virus or have been instructed by a doctor to self-quarantine — are also prohibited from visiting.

In the state court system, courthouses reopened to the public for limited purposes on July 13. Those conducting court business may enter the court, subject to an occupancy limit and social distancing requirements.

Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering any state courthouse.

Michigan
In the Eastern District of Michigan, jury trials may not restart until further notice. Oral arguments, pretrial conferences and settlement conferences in civil cases will be held remotely until further notice, and a variety of criminal proceedings may also be held remotely. Grand jury proceedings will proceed only when necessary and with the approval of the chief judge. Courthouses are closed to the public until further notice, and only those with official court business may enter. The clerk's office intake windows remain closed and in-person pro se filings are suspended. Mass public gatherings are suspended, and naturalization ceremonies will be held at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services building in Detroit. Face masks are required for anyone entering a courthouse.

In the Western District of Michigan, regular in-person hearings resumed on May 18, although each judge continues to assess what matters can be postponed or handled remotely on a case-by-case basis. The court recommends the use of a face covering in a court facility. Those who are sick, have symptoms or have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks should not enter a court building.

In the state court system, trial courts are limiting courtroom access to no more than 10 people at a time, including staff. The courts are practicing social distancing and limiting court activity to essential functions. Judges are required to make a good faith effort to conduct remote proceedings whenever possible.

Minnesota
In the District of Minnesota, all civil trials and criminal trials that have not started as of Nov. 4 are postponed through 2020. The clerk's office intake desks in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Fergus Falls are closed to the public as of Nov. 9. The clerk's office is still accepting electronic filings and filings by mail, and is open for remote assistance on weekdays.

In the state court system, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered that each District Court in every county and appellate courts open at least one public service counter on or before June 15. All state district courts are holding in-person jury trials in accordance with health and safety protocols. Remote hearings continue to take place. Face coverings and social distancing are required in all court facilities.

Mississippi
In the Northern District of Mississippi, all proceedings should be conducted remotely where possible. The court released protocols for reopening courthouses and resuming normal operations, including temperature checks and a health questionnaire for jurors, attorneys and the general public.

In the Southern District of Mississippi, all civil jury trials are postponed until further notice. Criminal cases deemed appropriate for jury trial by the presiding judges may go forward, but all others are postponed until further notice. Other in-court proceedings may go forward at the presiding judge's discretion. Judges and counsel are still encouraged to use videoconferencing and teleconferencing for proceedings. Anyone entering the courthouse must wear a face mask, and hearing participants and spectators must practice social distancing. Counsel must notify the presiding judge if they or anyone they intend to bring to the courthouse has symptoms or would raise a reasonable concern of exposure to the coronavirus.

In the state court system, counties with two or fewer reported COVID-19 deaths may send jury summonses. The state Supreme Court urged limiting in-person courthouse contact through the use of electronic filing, teleconferencing and videoconferencing.

Missouri
In the Eastern District of Missouri, civil and criminal proceedings will take place remotely through 2020, although a limited number of in-person jury trials and other proceedings may take place.

Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from visiting any courthouse.

In the Western District of Missouri, jury selections and trials scheduled to begin between Nov. 13 and Jan. 4, 2021, are postponed. Criminal matters before magistrate judges will continue. All nonemergency hearings are postponed until Jan. 4, although individual judges may continue to hold those hearings at their discretion.

In the state court system, limited in-person court activity may resume starting May 16, although courts will have to meet certain criteria to begin opening.

Montana
In the District of Montana, courthouses are open with limited public access. Civil and criminal hearings may proceed remotely or in-person, depending on the judge's preference, as long as social distancing requirements can be met. Everyone over the age of 12 must wear a mask in public areas of federal court facilities.

In the state court system, courts may hold proceedings remotely and are encouraged to implement physical distancing measures and face mask requirements.

Nebraska
In the District of Nebraska, all jury trials scheduled to begin on or before Jan. 3, 2021, are postponed. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, have traveled internationally in the past two weeks, have had contact with someone who tested positive in the last two weeks or have been asked to self-quarantine are prohibited from entering the district's courthouses. Face masks are required in public areas of courthouses.

In the state court system, attorneys and parties should notify the court and opposing counsel if they suspect that a participant in any court proceeding has tested positive for the coronavirus, has symptoms, or may have been exposed to the virus. No one who falls into those categories can attend a court proceeding without prior authorization. The Nebraska Supreme Court urged people to be familiar with all court orders and notices from the judicial district where they have any pending matter.

Nevada
In the District of Nevada, presiding judges will address the need for postponement of jury trials. All noncase events are postponed. The court is trying to conduct hearings remotely whenever possible.

Public access to the clerk's office is limited. Filings will be processed via the Case Management/Electronic Case Files system, mail, email or in designated drop boxes outside the clerk's office. Requirements for submitting paper copies for chambers are suspended while access to the clerk's office is limited. But each presiding judge may direct a party to submit courtesy copies directly to the judge's chambers. Payments by check or money order will be accepted by mail or in courthouse drop boxes. Cash payments will not be accepted.

Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, may have been exposed to it or show symptoms of COVID-19 are prohibited from visiting any courthouse.

In the district's bankruptcy court, all hearings will be conducted remotely. 

In the state court system, the Nevada Supreme Court and appellate courts have postponed all in-person oral arguments until further notice, although oral arguments may be conducted remotely. Anyone in a public area of the Carson City or Las Vegas appellate courthouses must wear a face mask and comply with social distancing and room occupancy requirements.

New Hampshire
In the District of New Hampshire, all civil jury trials assigned to Judges Landya B. McCafferty, Joseph N. Laplante, Joseph A. DiClerico Jr., Steven J. McAuliffe and Andrea K. Johnstone are postponed, unless otherwise ordered or requested by all participating parties. The presiding judge may postpone or reschedule civil and criminal hearings to be held remotely or in person at the Warren B. Rudman U.S. Courthouse in Concord. Face masks and social distancing are required in public areas of the courthouse.

All civil hearings and conferences scheduled to occur after March 20 will be conducted remotely. The court will conduct in-person hearings at the Rudman Courthouse on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with certain restrictions regarding the number of people who can be in a courtroom.

In the state court system, Circuit courts will be open on a restricted basis through Nov. 30 or the last day of a declared state of emergency. The courthouses will be open only to those filing for emergency relief, those scheduled for in-person proceedings and those who are a party in a landlord-tenant case and need to file required documents or make rental payments. In Superior Court, in-person proceedings are suspended through Nov. 30 or the last day of a declared state of emergency, with exceptions for certain emergency proceedings. The Superior Court will conduct any bench trial remotely. The Supreme Court is open on a restricted basis through Nov. 30 or the last day of a declared state of emergency.

New Jersey
For the New Jersey District Court, all civil and criminal jury selections and trials are postponed until Jan. 4. Judges can continue to hold proceedings at their discretion and are encouraged to conduct proceedings remotely. New grand juries may be impaneled, and sitting grand juries may continue to meet. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering any district courthouse.

In the state court system, in-person civil and criminal jury trials and grand jury sessions are suspended until further notice. One socially distanced, in-person jury trial that was in progress at the time of the New Jersey Supreme Court's Nov. 16 order will continue. Grand juries may continue to meet virtually. Courthouses are open only to those with scheduled proceedings, although an appointment is not necessary for those seeking domestic violence restraining orders.

New Mexico
In the District of New Mexico, grand jury proceedings were permitted to resume at the discretion of the district's U.S. attorney as of May 4. Anyone entering courthouse facilities is required to wear a mask.

In the state court system, no more than 15 people will be allowed in each courtroom. Judges must conduct civil and criminal proceedings remotely except when an emergency requires an in-person appearance. Civil and criminal jury trials were permitted to begin between June 15 and July 15 in each judicial district pursuant to individual district plans, which must incorporate certain precautionary measures such as the 15-person maximum gathering restriction.

New York
The Southern District of New York entered Phase 3 of a reentry plan, which includes the resumption of jury trials, on Sept. 23. A court notice said it is anticipated that "most if not all" matters will be handled remotely, although certain matters may be held on-site.

All bankruptcy hearings and conferences scheduled to be held in the courthouses of the Manhattan Division, White Plains Division and Poughkeepsie Division of the bankruptcy court will be conducted by telephone unless the presiding judge decides otherwise.

The court urges counsel to check individual judges' webpages for possible orders, including orders extending time in civil matters and adjourning conferences.

Those who have had COVID-19 symptoms in the past two weeks, have tested positive for the coronavirus or may have come into contact with the virus in the past two weeks are prohibited from entering the district's courthouses. Anyone in the courthouse is required to wear a face mask. Other health measures are also in place, including social distancing, occupancy restrictions and hygiene requirements.

In the Eastern District of New York, in-person attorney admission ceremonies at all courthouses are suspended until further notice. For all criminal matters that had preliminary hearings before magistrate judges scheduled for April 27 through June 15, preliminary hearing deadlines were extended 60 days after the initial appearance.

The district is allowing video or telephone conferencing for several types of proceedings, including detention hearings, initial appearances and arraignments. Courthouse access is prohibited for those who have traveled internationally or to certain states in the past two weeks; those who have symptoms of COVID-19; those who have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past two weeks; those who have been advised to quarantine; those who live with someone who has had symptoms and those who have been released from a detention facility in the past two weeks, unless they are reporting to be fitted with a location monitoring device.

In the Northern District of New York, all civil and criminal jury selections and trials — including grand juries — scheduled to begin through Dec. 15 may be postponed, unless otherwise directed by the presiding judge. Other criminal matters before magistrate judges will continue to take place as usual. All mass public gatherings, including naturalization ceremonies, are suspended. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering any courthouse. Face masks are required in courthouses.

In the Western District of New York, courthouses are open with certain limitations. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering any courthouse. Anyone not wearing a mask will also be prohibited. Criminal matters may take place in person or remotely. The office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may perform administrative naturalization ceremonies until further notice.

For state courts, social distancing and other measures are being enforced, and anyone entering the courthouses is required to wear a mask. Nonemployee court visitors will be required to undergo COVID-19 screening before entering a courthouse.

The scheduling of new jury trials was paused again across state courts as of Nov. 16 and until further notice, although bench trials and jury trials in progress at that time can finish. Sitting grand juries will proceed for the time being, but the summoning of new prospective grand jurors is postponed until further notice.

The U.S. Court of International Trade in Manhattan is prohibiting entry to those who have visited China, Italy, Iran or South Korea in the past two weeks, as well as those who have been asked to self-quarantine. The restriction also applies to those who have tested positive for the coronavirus or have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive. The court is allowing teleconferencing and video conferencing with the approval of a presiding judge.

North Carolina
In the Eastern District of North Carolina, certain proceedings may be conducted remotely. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from visiting any courthouse without permission from the chief judge.

In the Middle District of North Carolina, all civil trials scheduled to begin before Jan. 4, 2021, are postponed until further notice. Criminal jury trials are postponed until Jan. 4, 2021, unless ordered otherwise by a presiding judge. Grand jury proceedings may continue as of June 8, and naturalization ceremonies may be held from time to time under modified conditions consistent with public health guidance. As of May 13, judges may begin to conduct certain proceedings in court. Face masks are required in courthouse public spaces.

In the Western District of North Carolina, in-person hearings and trials may take place at the discretion of the presiding judge. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, been in contact with someone who has the virus or have had symptoms in the past two weeks are not permitted to enter courthouses. The restriction also applies to those who have traveled outside the U.S. or to a quarantined area in the past two weeks.

In the state court system, jury trials may resume in districts with approved jury trial resumption plans, which must include social distancing, mask wearing, daily screening and other health measures. Hearings and other proceedings may be conducted remotely, and the public is encouraged to conduct as much business as possible online. Anyone who has likely been exposed to COVID-19 should not enter a courthouse.

North Dakota
In the District of North Dakota, all jury trials scheduled to start between Oct. 27 and Jan. 31, 2021, are postponed. Trial deadlines in criminal cases during that period are also postponed, but not in civil cases. Grand jury proceedings scheduled through 2020 are postponed. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive before completing a self-quarantine period are prohibited from entering courthouses, as are those with symptoms and those who have been asked to self-quarantine by a doctor. Face coverings are required in federal courthouses.

In the state court system, some presiding judges of North Dakota's eight judicial districts have issued orders or other guidance on court operations during the pandemic.

Northern Mariana Islands
In the District of the Northern Mariana Islands, all scheduled civil and criminal jury selections and trials are postponed until further notice. All grand jury proceedings are postponed unless otherwise ordered by the chief judge. The schedule for all other civil and criminal hearings will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the presiding judge. All noncase proceedings, including naturalization ceremonies, are postponed. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering the courthouse.

Ohio
In the Southern District of Ohio, courthouses in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton reopened to the public June 1. The court will be available for some on-site proceedings but will make efforts to minimize those. Masks are required to enter the courthouses, and visitors will be subject to temperature screenings. Grand jury proceedings were allowed to resume as of June 1, with social distancing.

In the Northern District of Ohio, courthouses are closed to the public until further notice. Civil and criminal jury trials were allowed to begin as of Sept. 21 if certain conditions are met. The court will continue to handle proceedings remotely. Face masks are required in courthouses. The clerk's office intake windows are closed, but electronic filings can be made. Filings can also be submitted by mail or, in an emergency, submitted to EmergencyFiling@ohnd.uscourts.gov.

The Ohio Supreme Court has provided guidance for state courts, including waiving appearances for pretrial hearings and using video conferencing or other technology to conduct proceedings including arraignments, hearings, pretrial hearings and probation meetings.

Oklahoma
In the Northern District of Oklahoma, civil and criminal trials and hearings are postponed through Nov. 30, although other deadlines remain in effect. Remote and on-site hearings may be held at the judge's discretion. Grand jury proceedings and naturalization ceremonies will continue to be held. All visitors are required to wear masks while on the third and fourth floors of the Page Belcher Building in Tulsa.

In the Western District of Oklahoma, the court will conduct limited criminal jury trials in November. All other jury trials on the November docket are postponed. Courthouse visitors are required to wear cloth face coverings. Most civil hearings will be conducted remotely. Some criminal proceedings will be held in-person or remotely, as appropriate.

In the Eastern District of Oklahoma, jury trials were postponed through Oct. 5. Grand jury proceedings and naturalization ceremonies may go forward with precautionary screening, social distancing and personal protective equipment measures in place. Those who have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for the coronavirus or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering the courthouse. Masks are required to enter the courthouse.

On the state side, the Oklahoma Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals ordered that civil and criminal jury trials be rescheduled on the next available jury docket after July 31. Starting May 16, all rules, procedures and deadlines were enforced. The period from March 16 to May 15 will be treated as a tolling period. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering any courtroom or other facility used by the state courts.

Oregon
In the District of Oregon, civil and criminal jury selections, trials and other matters, including grand jury proceedings, may take place as of July 16, as long as proceedings can be conducted in compliance with health advisories. Face masks are required in courthouses. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19, have symptoms, have been asked to self-quarantine within the past two weeks or have had close physical contact with someone who has tested positive in the last two weeks are prohibited from entering the district's courthouses.

In the state court system, courts in areas where the governor has authorized phase 1 reopening status may conduct in-person bench trials and other proceedings except for jury trials, as of June 1, if certain staffing and social distancing requirements are met. In courts in areas where the governor has authorized gatherings of 50 people or more in one location, courts may conduct jury trials as of July 1, if certain staffing and social distancing requirements are met.

Pennsylvania
In the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the court is in an initial test period for jury trials and anticipates that no more than five jury trials will be conducted between Oct. 30 and Dec. 31. All other criminal and civil jury trials scheduled to start before Dec. 31 are postponed. Access to courthouses is limited to judges, court personnel and those attending court proceedings or who have other official business with the court. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering courthouses. Courthouse visitors must wear a face mask when entering the building and when in public areas of the courthouse. Face masks will be provided for visitors who do not have their own.

In the Western District of Pennsylvania, all civil and criminal jury selections and trials scheduled to begin before Feb. 8, 2021, are postponed until further notice, although the court intends to conduct one or more civil jury trials in each division of the court on an initial basis from November through January. All trial-specific deadlines remain in effect unless altered by the presiding judge. Judges are encouraged to handle proceedings remotely. Criminal matters before magistrate judges may continue, and naturalization proceedings may continue in conformity with public health advisories.

In the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the court began a phased reopening, which it is monitoring on a 15-day evaluation cycle. Various types of criminal proceedings may be conducted remotely. Face masks are required in public areas of the courthouse.

In the state court system, jury trials are suspended until further notice. The state Supreme Court ordered all county courts to resume various court operations while prioritizing critical matters and encouraging remote proceedings that allow public access.

Puerto Rico
In the District of Puerto Rico, certain proceedings will be conducted remotely. Jury trials may resume, and criminal matters before magistrate judges will be conducted remotely with the defendant's consent. All petty offense Central Violations Bureau hearings are postponed until further notice. Employees and visitors are required to wear face masks on the premises of the Clemente Ruiz Nazario U.S. Courthouse and the Federico Degetau Federal Office Building in Hato Rey. The intake area of the bankruptcy court will be closed to the public through Jan. 13, 2021.

Rhode Island
In the District of Rhode Island, the courthouse building at One Exchange Terrace, Providence, and the court portion of the John O. Pastore Building in Providence are closed to the public until further notice. Criminal jury selections and trials are postponed until January. Civil trials will begin in October, and limited, in-person civil hearings will begin in November if safety protocols are met. Grand juries may meet if safety protocols are met. Face masks are required in public areas of the courthouse.

Those who are required to appear in Rhode Island's district court, including those who are called as jurors, must contact the court before appearing if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms. Those who have traveled to China, Italy, Iran and South Korea in the past two weeks are prohibited from entering the courthouse, as are those who may have been exposed to the virus.

In the state Superior Court system, grand jury proceedings were allowed to begin as of May 18. Nonemergency matters that can't be handled remotely may be conducted in person on a limited basis, with staggered calendars, social distancing and face mask protocols. The court will also continue to conduct proceedings remotely. Statutes of limitation are not tolled. 

In the state Supreme Court, those who need additional time to file papers can file a motion consistent with Article I of the Rules of Appellate Procedure. All papers can be filed electronically at SupremeCourtClerksOffice@courts.ri.gov.

South Carolina
In the District of South Carolina, all civil and criminal jury selections and trials are postponed until further notice. All grand jury proceedings are postponed unless otherwise ordered by the chief judge. Individual judges may determine if hearings are handled remotely, in person or rescheduled.

In the state court system, judges may hear pending nonjury matters. All jury trials are postponed and all large gatherings are canceled until further notice. Hearings that can be held by video may be held remotely. In-person hearings will occur only when remote hearings are not feasible. In the appellate courts, oral arguments and hearings will be handled remotely. County grand jury proceedings may be held in person with certain safety measures as of June 1.

South Dakota
In the District of South Dakota, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, have had contact with someone who has tested positive in the past two weeks, have been directed to self-quarantine, have symptoms, or have traveled internationally in the past two weeks are prohibited from entering courthouses. Judges in the Western Division may postpone trial dates.

The South Dakota Supreme Court declared a judicial emergency and authorized the presiding judges of the state's seven judicial circuits to adopt rules and orders regarding court operations. Each circuit put forward policies to address requests from high-risk individuals to be excused from in-person court appearances.

Tennessee
In the Eastern District of Tennessee, limited civil and criminal jury trials may resume after June 14, at the court's discretion. Proceedings will be held remotely when possible. Grand juries will convene as directed by the court.

In the Western District of Tennessee, civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to start between Nov. 2 and Nov. 30 are postponed until further notice. Pilot test jury trials will be allowed in November after success with other pilot tests in September and October. Grand jury proceedings are suspended through Nov. 30 except in certain time-sensitive cases. The court has started a phased resumption of in-person proceedings, although proceedings should be held remotely as much as possible. In-person proceedings should involve no more than 15 people in the courtroom. Everyone in a courtroom must wear a face mask. The public counters in the clerk of court offices in the Eastern and Western divisions will remain closed, and the court encourages attorneys and litigants to review procedures for court business as outlined in an April order.

In the Middle District of Tennessee, criminal and civil jury selections and trials scheduled to begin before Nov. 30 will proceed at the judge's discretion. Grand jury proceedings are postponed through Nov. 30, as are related deadlines, with the exception of one panel that will report for limited purposes. The court will not conduct public naturalization ceremonies before Nov. 30. Petty offense dockets will be scheduled at the discretion of the presiding magistrate judge.

In the state court system, jury trials are suspended from Nov. 23 through Jan. 31, 2021, although the chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court may grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis. That order does not apply to administrative courts within the executive branch. Face masks are required in courthouses for those over the age of 12. All court matters should be conducted remotely, if possible.

Texas
The Northern District of Texas has postponed all civil and criminal bench and jury trials until further notice, except for one specific case. Grand jury proceedings may resume under conditions directed by the court.

Civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to start before Dec. 31 in the McAllen Division are postponed, although certain short jury trials may be allowed on a limited basis with the agreement of the district judges and certain safety protocols. Noncase-specific events in that division are canceled through Dec. 31. The Bob Casey U.S. Courthouse in Houston and the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse in Galveston are open to the public as of July 13. Criminal and civil jury trials there may resume on Oct. 13. In the Corpus Christi Division, all civil and criminal jury trials scheduled before Dec. 31 are postponed, with limited exceptions.

During the closure to the public, employees and contractors who enter either the Houston or Galveston courthouses must wear face masks in public areas of the buildings. Individual judges in the Laredo Division may continue to hold bench trials, in-person hearings, sentencing proceedings, scheduling conferences and other court proceedings, although the court encourages those proceedings to occur remotely.

In the Eastern District, attorneys and parties were ordered to communicate if court proceedings could cause someone to come into contact with an individual exposed to or infected with the coronavirus. Those who have symptoms, have tested positive for the coronavirus and those who may have come in contact with the virus are prohibited from entering any courthouse. Certain criminal proceedings may be held remotely.

In the Western District of Texas, civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin through 2020 are postponed. Grand jury proceedings were permitted to resume on or after July 1. Judges may hold in-person hearings, sentencing proceedings and conferences, but parties are encouraged to participate in proceedings remotely. Other events such as tours that were scheduled to take place before Dec. 31 are canceled. Naturalization ceremonies may take place if social distancing can be ensured.

In the state court system, jury proceedings are prohibited until Feb. 1, 2021, unless they are among the limited number of remote or in-person jury proceedings authorized by the court. Individual courts may modify or suspend all civil and criminal deadlines until Feb. 1.

U.S. Virgin Islands
In the District of the Virgin Islands, civil and criminal jury trials may resume on a limited basis. Grand jury proceedings may resume. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from visiting the courthouses.

The Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands ordered that in-person proceedings scheduled for July 20 or later should be held remotely to the greatest extent possible. No new in-person proceedings will be conducted in Superior Court without the approval of the presiding judge. Jury trials may be held in-person as of Jan. 1, 2021. Clerk's offices for the Supreme Court and Superior Court are open for accepting filings.

Utah
In the District of Utah, all civil and criminal jury trials are postponed through Feb. 1, 2021. Judges have discretion to proceed with civil hearings and bench trials, and "critical" criminal hearings may proceed in person or remotely. Grand jury proceedings have resumed on a limited basis.

In the state court system, those with symptoms of COVID-19 and those who may have been exposed to the coronavirus are not allowed to enter any courthouse. The Utah Supreme Court directed state court judges to grant motions for extensions of time liberally. Hearings will be conducted remotely or on the papers, "absent exigent circumstances," according to the state Supreme Court's order.

Vermont
In the District of Vermont, anyone in public spaces of the courthouse must wear a mask. At individual judges' discretion, in-person hearings in criminal and civil cases may resume on a limited basis in Burlington after May 25 and in Rutland after June 8. Remote hearings will be conducted as often as possible. Before any trial, the court will enter an order tailored to the needs of the case regarding measures to reduce the risk of infection to all participants.

In the state court system, criminal jury trials were suspended until Sept. 1. A committee provided a report on restarting criminal jury trials, and an implementation plan based on the report is forthcoming. Civil jury trials are suspended until Jan. 1, 2021. Nonemergency hearings were permitted to resume as of June 1.

Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering state courthouses.

Virginia
In the Eastern District of Virginia, nonemergency in-person proceedings may begin on June 11, depending on local circumstances, with social distancing and face masks required in courthouse common areas. Judges will continue to handle proceedings remotely as much as possible.

In the Western District of Virginia certain in-person proceedings — including civil and criminal bench trials, misdemeanor, traffic and petty offense proceedings, and other civil and criminal hearings — may resume on June 29, depending on local circumstances of each division and the discretion of the presiding judge. Social distancing measures and a face mask requirement will be in place. The court will conduct remote proceedings as much as possible. Criminal and civil jury trials may resume as of Aug. 31. Naturalization ceremonies are suspended through Dec. 31.

In the state court system, the Virginia Supreme Court and Rose Lafoon Building in Richmond are closed to the public until further notice. Courts are encouraged to hear matters remotely, although they can hear in-person nonemergency matters and nonjury cases at their discretion if they follow certain guidelines. The Supreme Court has approved jury trial resumption plans for the Alleghany, Henrico, Norfolk and Stafford Circuit courts. Individuals who have had symptoms of COVID-19, have traveled internationally, tested positive for the coronavirus or have been in close contact with anyone in those categories in the past two weeks are prohibited from entering state courthouses. Everyone over the age of 10 must wear a face mask when entering courthouses.

Washington
In the Western District of Washington, all in-person civil and criminal hearings and trial dates scheduled to occur before Oct. 5 are postponed until further notice. Individual judges may decide to proceed with remote conferences as appropriate. Individual judges may also proceed with a "very limited" number of in-person hearings and bench trials on a case-by-case basis, the court ordered. Everyone over the age of 2 must wear a face mask at all times in the courthouses. The bankruptcy court will continue with scheduled nonevidentiary hearings by telephone as posted on www.wawb.uscourts.gov and announced by the individual bankruptcy judge.

In the Eastern District of Washington, the Spokane and Yakima federal courthouses and the court floors of the Richland federal courthouse are open to the public. The period of Oct. 26 to Nov. 30 may be excluded from Speedy Trial Act calculations, and civil jury trials are also suspended during that time. Yakima grand jury sessions through Nov. 30 are vacated. Clerk's offices in Yakima and Richland are open but not physically accessible to the public. Staff is available by telephone, mail will be received, and new filings will be processed. Those seeking to make in-person filings or payments may leave those materials at designated drop boxes at the guard stations in the entryway of each courthouse. Naturalization ceremonies are canceled through Nov. 30. Face masks are required for anyone entering the courthouses.

In the state court system, new jury trials may begin as of July 6, and the use of remote technology is encouraged for jury selection.

Washington, D.C.
In the District Court for the District of Columbia, civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials set to start before Jan. 11, 2021, are postponed until further notice, although a limited number of criminal jury trials may take place before then with safety protocols. Grand jury proceedings resumed in late June on a limited schedule. Other proceedings may be held in-person at the judge's discretion. Naturalization ceremonies may be conducted in small groups with safety precautions.

The D.C. Superior Court has only four courtrooms operating to hear adult arraignments and presentments, family court emergencies, neglect and juvenile initial hearings, criminal and domestic violence emergencies, and civil, probate and tax emergencies. Most of the hearings are conducted remotely.

The D.C. Court of Appeals ordered that oral arguments may resume remotely on a limited basis as of May 26. Those entering court buildings must wear face masks. Those with COVID-19 symptoms should not enter the courthouse.

In the Court of Federal Claims, members of the public may access the Howard T. Markey National Courts Building and connecting buildings on a case-by-case basis until Nov. 22. Individuals must submit case filings either through the U.S. Postal Service or by deposit in the court's night box, which is located at the garage entrance on H Street NW between 15th Street and Madison Place. Pro se plaintiffs may also file documents via email to ProSe_case_filings@cfc.uscourts.gov.

The U.S. Tax Court building is closed until further notice, although mail delivery has resumed.

West Virginia
In the Northern District of West Virginia, those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering any courthouse. The period from April 17 through June 30 can be excluded from speedy trial calculations. Face masks are required for those entering courthouses.

In the Southern District of West Virginia, petit and grand jury selections and trials may begin as of July 1. All civil and criminal proceedings may be conducted in person with social distancing. Courthouses will be open to the general public as of July 1. Masks are strongly encouraged for those entering the courthouse. Those who tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus are prohibited from entering any courthouse.

In the state court system, certain courts have begun reopening, while others remain open on a limited basis. Information on specific courts can be found here.

Wisconsin
In the Eastern District of Wisconsin, judges may resume in-person scheduling for civil and criminal jury trials, petty offense hearings and all criminal hearings in which the defendant does not consent to proceeding remotely, beginning July 2. Also starting July 2, parties seeking exclusions of time under the Speedy Trial Act must make specific requests to the presiding judge. Naturalization ceremonies scheduled for before Sept. 30 are canceled. There are face mask and social distancing requirements for the courthouse. Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or may have come into contact with the virus in the past two weeks are prohibited from visiting the courthouse.

In the Western District of Wisconsin, jury trials are suspended through Jan. 31, 2021. A dropbox will be available to litigants in the courthouse's main entrance during business hours. Central Violations Bureau hearings are canceled until further notice. Anyone entering the courthouse must wear a face mask.

In the state court system, all civil and criminal jury trials in each Circuit Court are postponed until that court prepares a plan to resume in-person proceedings and the plan is approved by the chief judge of the applicable judicial administrative district. Orders authorizing in-person proceedings by county can be found here.

Wyoming
In the District of Wyoming, judges are conducting matters remotely where possible. Those who have tested positive for the coronavirus, have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus — including those who have recently visited Iran, China, South Korea or a host of European countries — are prohibited from entering the courthouse.

In the state court system, no jury trials should be conducted until further notice. All other in-person proceedings are suspended, except for civil and criminal jury trials that were in progress as of Nov. 13, certain emergency proceedings and other proceedings approved by the chief justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court or deemed necessary by a district or circuit judge.

Immigration Courts


The U.S. Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review has postponed immigration court hearings for immigrants who aren't in detention through Dec. 4, except where otherwise announced, although hearings on the detained docket are continuing. Hearings for migrants in the "Remain in Mexico" program have also been postponed indefinitely until certain health conditions are met.

The Louisville, Kentucky, immigration court has been closed since August 2019 for reasons unrelated to the virus, but filers can submit to the Memphis, Tennessee, immigration court. A list of each immigration court's operational status is available here.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office


All examiner and examining attorney interviews, Patent Trial and Appeal Board and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board oral hearings and other similar in-person meetings scheduled to take place at USPTO offices on or after March 13 will be conducted remotely by video or telephone until further notice.

--Additional reporting by Stewart Bishop, Dorothy Atkins, Jack Queen, Suzanne Monyak, Matt Chiappardi and Melissa Lipman. Editing by Jill Coffey.

Correction: A previous version of this story included incorrect information for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The error has been corrected.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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