Resources for Courts

National Center for State Courts

NCSC has a developed and collected a rich body of disaster related information, including information on upcoming training opportunities, and sample court continuation of operations plans, which can be accessed online.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Resource Guide includes sample court disaster plans as well as general guidelines and materials. 

The Continuity of Court Operations Planning Guide  walks a court through the entire process, with worksheets and templates as well as A Comprehensive Emergency Management Program: A Model for State & Territorial Courts.

Model Court Rules and Orders

An ABA Model Court Rule on Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of Major Disaster (Katrina Rule). (ABA 2007) The model rule would allow out-of-state lawyers to provide pro bono legal services in an affected jurisdiction. Lawyers in the affected jurisdiction whose legal practices had been disrupted by a major disaster would also be allowed to practice law on a temporary basis in an unaffected jurisdiction.

In times of disaster courts are often called upon to issue orders on a variety of matters, such as suspension of filing deadlines and relocation of the court.

Sample federal court orders:

Court Information

Federal and state courts utilize their websites to convey critical information to lawyers and victims following a disaster. 

To assess a federal court’s website visit

Bench Books

A number of jurisdictions have developed bench books for use in  Public Health emergencies.