COVID-19 Massachusetts Court Update May 18

On May 14, 2020 the Chief Justices of the Massachusetts courts issued a letter to all attorneys in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While the most recent order issued by the Supreme Judicial Court indicated that courts around the Commonwealth would re-open on June 1, 2020 with jury trials resuming on July 1, 2020, the Justices have determined that changes would be needed to ensure people’s safety in the courthouses. As a result, the courthouses will remain closed through the month of June. While the Justices have not set a firm date for re-opening of the courthouses, they hope to begin a phased re-opening this summer, with jury trials possibly returning in September.

This is not the news all of us had hoped to hear, but frankly, there is no other way to keep people safe. This is especially true in busy courthouses like the Brockton District Court or the Central Division of the Boston Municipal Court.

We are still awaiting more guidance on how this will affect the scheduling of cases. However, it appears that unlike the earlier delays where cases were simply given new dates, the courts will likely hold status dates on phone or through video conferencing on the dates that cases are currently scheduled. Attorney James G. DeGiacomo represents clients throughout the Commonwealth, and expects that each court will have different procedures. He will be reaching out to each of his clients as the process for their particular case.