ALL TRIALS IN MASSACHUSETTS STATE COURTS POSTPONED UNTIL AFTER MAY 4 DUE
TO COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS. COURTS TO REMAIN OPEN FOR EMERGENCY MATTERS AND
MATTERS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE IN-PERSON APPEARANCES.
All jury and non-jury trials scheduled to begin in Massachusetts courts
prior to May 1 are now postponed until after May 4 based on an
April 1 Order issued by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. In-person access to
state courthouses is also restricted, by the Order, to emergency matters
only. During this emergency period, non-jury trials may be conducted without
in-person appearances (by video or telephone conference) if agreed to
by all of the parties and the trial judge. Each trial court has issued
standing orders, protocols and guidelines addressing their operation and
what constitutes an emergency matter. These orders can be found at on the
Massachusetts Courts' Website.
This new Order, repealing and replacing two earlier court orders, also
extends various case events and deadlines, and tolls all statutes of limitation
from March 17, 2020 through May 3, 2020.
While court offices will remain open to conduct court business, accept
the filing of pleadings and other documents in emergency matters, schedule
and facilitate hearings in emergency matters, issue orders in emergency
matters, answer questions from attorneys, parties, and the public, and
conduct the necessary business of each court, all of these tasks are to
be conducted virtually, except where the circumstances do not permit it.
The Administrative Office of the Massachusetts Trial Courts has established
a Help Line for attorneys, parties and the public to call regarding their
civil or criminal cases. The Help Line can be reached at 833-91COURT and
will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For emergency matters, the
Trial Court urges parties to call their local court clerks' offices
at the numbers published on the
Courthouse Locator Page.