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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.

Disaster Resources for Courts

The following are resources for courts and other public entities to help prepare for and ensure continuity of essential business operations following a disaster.


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

Courts and Pandemics

Bench Books

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