PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT
John Adams Courthouse
One Pemberton Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
Jennifer Donahue/Erika Gully-Santiago
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2020
Trial Court and Trial Court Departments Issue Orders Concerning Court Operations and Implementation of Supreme Judicial Court Decision
In accordance with the Supreme Judicial Court Order, effective April 6, 2020, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey has issued Trial Court Emergency Administrative Order 20-7 to address court operations under the exigent circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The emergency administrative order helps to protect the public, our court employees, and our justice partners from the COVID-19 pandemic by making sure that all matters that can be heard virtually are heard without an in-person appearance and allows the public in to Trial Court courthouses only with the express permission of a Regional Administrative Justice or First Justice," said Trial Court Chief Justice Paula Carey.
Also in light of the Supreme Judicial Court’s Order, each Trial Court department has issued a standing order establishing specific operational protocols until at least May 4, 2020. These standing orders are consistent with the Emergency Administrative Order and ensure that all Trial Court Departments continue to hear emergency matters within their jurisdiction. The individual standing orders are linked below.
Boston Municipal Court Standing Order 4-20: https://www.mass.gov/boston-municipal-court-standing-orders/boston-municipal-court-standing-order-4-20-limiting-in
District Court Standing Order 3-20: https://www.mass.gov/districtmunicipal-court-rules/district-court-standing-order-3-20-court-operations-under-the-exigent
Housing Court Standing Order 4-20: https://www.mass.gov/housing-court-rules/housing-court-standing-order-4-20-supplement-to-housing-court-standing-orders-2
Juvenile Court Standing Order 4-20: https://www.mass.gov/juvenile-court-rules/juvenile-court-standing-order-4-20-extension-of-emergency-court-operations
Land Court Standing Order 4-20: https://www.mass.gov/land-court-rules/land-court-standing-order-4-20-emergency-measures-in-response-to-coronavirus
Probate and Family Court Standing Order 2-20: https://www.mass.gov/probate-and-family-court-rules/probate-and-family-court-standing-order-2-20-court-operations-under
Superior Court Standing Order 4-20: https://www.mass.gov/superior-court-rules/superior-court-standing-order-4-20-superior-court-operations-during-the
Court users with emergency matters should call their local court Clerk’s Office, Register’s Office or Recorder’s Office. Contact numbers for individual courts and offices can be found online on the Courthouse Locator webpage. If a court user is unable to reach those offices or has general questions about cases, they can call the Trial Court Help Line at 833-91COURT. The Help Line is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Click here to learn more about the Help Line.
The Boston Municipal Court, District Court, Juvenile Court, and Superior Court departments also have each issued a standing order outlining procedures for implementation of the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in the matter of Committee for Public Counsel Services v. Chief Justice of the Trial Court (SJC-12926) (April 3, 2020) (CPCS v. Chief Justice). In CPCS v. Chief Justice, the Supreme Judicial Court set forth procedures permitting certain pretrial detainees and individuals serving sentences to seek release from detention or custody in order to decrease the exposure to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) within correctional institutions. The Trial Court departmental standing orders are listed below.
Boston Municipal Court Standing Order 5-20: COVID-19 Designated Session
District Court Standing Order 4-20: Protocol Governing Requests for Release from Detention, and Requests to Revise or Revoke or to Stay Sentence, based on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risks
Juvenile Court Standing Order 5-20: Protocol Governing Requests for Release from Detention, and Requests to Revise or Revoke or to Stay Sentence, based on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risks
Superior Court Standing Order 5-20: Protocol Governing Requests for Release from Detention, and Requests to Revise or Revoke or to Stay Sentence, based on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risks
Updates regarding the court system's response to the COVID-19 pandemic are available on the court’s website.