Judicial Division COVID-19 Resources

In response to the unprecedented demands on the legal system in general and the judiciary in specific, the Judicial Division has gathered resources from its members and outside entities to provide assistance to judges who are operating in uncertain conditions.

Sample Orders from around the country

State Specific Orders

The Iowa Judicial Branch has launched interactive small claims forms statewide, the second set of Iowa Interactive Court Forms.

Chief Justice Christensen signed an order postponing all jury trials until February 1, 2021. 

A public service announcement (PSA) released today informs Iowans called for jury service about the safety measures the Iowa Judicial Branch and counties are providing to ensure the health and safety of Iowans serving on juries.

Federal Court Orders

  • For the most current Federal information visit the Administrative Office of the Courts website. 
  • The Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure hand its five advisory committees have posted Public Input Received on Possible Emergency Procedures.
  • The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit announced that all in-person arguments remain suspended, and that cases set for argument after the June 2020 session will be argued telephonically unless counsel is notified by separate a order that oral argument is unnecessary.  See full order.          
  • Notice of Extension of Paper Filing Deadlines (June 8, 2020)
    Due to ongoing activity in the vicinity of the National Courts Building limiting the ability of mail and physical delivery of filings to the courthouse, the Clerk’s Office for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has been, and will be, inaccessible within the meaning of Fed. R. App. P. 26(a)(3), for the period of time beginning on June 5, 2020, through June 10, 2020.  All deadlines for paper filings during this period are extended to June 11, 2020.

    All electronic filing deadlines remain in effect.  Arguments scheduled for Monday, June 8, 2020, will proceed as scheduled.  The full order is available on the court’s website.

    The Clerk’s Office continues to perform all other essential functions through limited on-site staff and expanded teleworking implemented as part of the court’s response to the ongoing public health emergencies impacting the National Capital Region.  See Administrative Order 20-01 (Mar. 20, 2020)
  • Notice regarding oral arguments US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 
  • News articles for COVID-19 and the Federal Courts.
  • Information from the Eastern District of Texas.


  • Arizona

    The Court has adopted the following General Order(s):

    20-35 -- Resumption of Grand Juries in the District of Arizona (SUPERSEDES General Order 20-27) -- Filed 09/11/2020

    To view this new general order, please click on the following link, or copy and paste it into your browser:http://www.azd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/general-orders/20-35.pdf 

    For the complete list of General Orders on the District of Arizona website, go to: http://www.azd.uscourts.gov/general-orders
  • California

    Amended General Order 20-06 Reopening Intake Area in The Santa Ana Division

    On September 11, 2020, Chief Judge Maureen A. Tighe issued Amended General Order 20-06 In Re: Procedures for Phased Reopening During COVID-19 Public Emergency in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to more closely align with District Court operations in light of the United States District Court General Order 20-09, entered on August 6, 2020, which closed Courthouses in the Central District of California to the public, with limited exceptions, and United States District Court Notice from the Clerk, dated September 11, 2020, which reopened the Santa Ana Courthouse to the public.

    Effective Monday, September 14, 2020, the Intake area of the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Santa Ana will reopen to the public to accept in-person filings. Additionally, the Intake area of the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles will remain open to the public and will be able to accept in-person emergency filings from any division. All other Intake areas in the other Divisions remain closed. Individuals filing bankruptcy without an attorney may also file by mail or through the Court’s Electronic Self-Representation (eSR) module. Please refer to Amended General Order 20-06 for specific filing requirements.

    Judges will continue to hear matters remotely through telephonic or by video service, except a judge may order an in-person hearing where necessary in an emergency. Previously issued guidance regarding face coverings in Court facilities, mediations, and judges’ or courtesy copies remains in place.

    For further information, please visit the Court’s website at https://www.cacb.uscourts.gov. You may also utilize the website’s Chat Live function or contact the Court’s Call Center at (855) 460-9641, during normal business hours.

    To view the entire Public Notice from the Court's website select the following link: http://www.cacb.uscourts.gov/news
  • California Fourth Circuit

    Suspension of In-Person Oral Arguments for December 7-11, 2020
  • Indiana
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Releases Video on Jury Service During COVID Pandemic
    • Indianapolis, Indiana – August 27, 2020:  Jury duty can induce anxiety even during normal times, but in the midst of a global pandemic, people who receive a summons for federal jury service may have more concerns than usual. In order to allay any worries, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana has posted a video detailing the steps the Court is taking to help protect jurors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The video, featuring Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, provides jurors with an overview of what to expect from the moment they arrive at the courthouse through the conclusion of their service. The Court has a robust plan in place and is following guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as local and state health officials. Some preventive measures the Court is taking include:
      • requiring everyone who enters the courthouse to wear a face covering, unless a valid medical excuse is presented or a judge orders otherwise;
      • requiring social distancing of at least 6 feet throughout the courthouse, courtrooms, and jury rooms. Plexiglass barriers have been installed in the few spaces where social distancing is not possible;
      • requiring all visitors to answer health screening questions before being allowed to enter a courthouse;
      • conducting enhanced cleaning in all public spaces at least once per day. In between enhanced cleaning sessions, court staff will disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

The Court is taking numerous other steps designed to protect jurors, including only starting one jury trial per day and limiting onsite court personnel to just those necessary to maintain court operations. Jurors will receive a packet containing hand sanitizer and other materials when they check in. Jurors are also required take their temperature and do a health self-check before leaving home each day of their jury service. Many other precautions are detailed in the video. Jurors wishing to obtain more information about the steps the court is taking to protect them can be found at https://www.insd.uscourts.gov/covid-19-juror-info.

  • Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland
    • Virtual Hearings Webpage
    • The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maryland will proceed into Phase Three of its recovery plan, effective at 8:30 a.m. on September 28, 2020.  Please note that the Court will continue to conduct almost all proceedings virtually during Phase 3, unless the parties are otherwise notified.

      As part of its move to Phase Three, effective October 1, 2020, the Bankruptcy Court’s public intake counters will reopen, by appointment only, Monday through Friday (except for federal holidays) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Appointments can be made through the Court's website beginning September 28.  The Clerk’s Office remains open to the public through telephone access during regular business hours and the drop boxes located in the lobby of each courthouse.  Unrepresented parties can also electronically submit documents via the Court’s Electronic Document Submission System Pilot Program (EDSS), and CM/ECF will continue to be available for electronic filing.
  • US District Court of Maryland
    • The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has entered Standing Order 2020-20 regarding court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19.  As explained in the Order, the operations of the Court will be reverting back to Phase 1, effective November 16, 2020.  All in-court hearings and proceedings will be  suspended, and the Courthouses will be closed to the public with limited exceptions.  Chambers will contact parties and counsel regarding any scheduled in-court proceedings.  Some of these proceedings will be transferred to virtual formats and all others will be postponed.
    • The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has entered Standing Order 2021-01 regarding the extension of reduced operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19.  
    • As explained in the Order, the duration of the restrictions set out in Standing Order 2020-20 are extended through February 26, 2021.  All provisions of Standing Order 2020-20 shall remain in force during this extended period, except in urgent and extraordinary circumstances as determined by the Chief Judge.
  • Please review the Order for additional details.New Hampshire
    New Standing Order on Civil Jury Trials and Mediations
    The United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire has entered a new Standing Order (20-30) addressing the status of civil jury trials and mediations. 
  • New Jersey
    Notice to the Bar and Public Concerning District of New Jersey COVID-19 Recovery Guidelines (Phase III).  
  • New York

    US District Court Southern District of NY - Standing Order

    The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has enacted procedures for holding proceedings remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Pursuant to General Order M-543, hearings and conferences are conducted telephonically through CourtSolutions LLC absent a request by a party for an in-person hearing or conference.  Evidentiary hearings and trials require prior coordination with chambers and are often held by videoconference through ZoomGov.  To more accurately reflect the virtual location of remote hearings, the Court has added location codes to CM/ECF for use when docketing entries which prompt the input of location information.  Please use the new location codes listed below when docketing matters with remote hearings.
    • Teleconference Line (CourtSolutions) (CGM) 
    • Teleconference Line (CourtSolutions) (JLG)             
    • Teleconference Line (CourtSolutions) (MEW)             
    • Teleconference Line (CourtSolutions) (MG)              
    • Teleconference Line (CourtSolutions) (RDD)             
    • Teleconference Line (CourtSolutions) (SCC)             
    • Teleconference Line (CourtSolutions) (SHL)             
    • Teleconference Line (CourtSolutions) (SMB)               
    • Videoconference (ZoomGov) (CGM)                        
    • Videoconference (ZoomGov) (JLG)                        
    • Videoconference (ZoomGov) (MEW)                        
    • Videoconference (ZoomGov) (MG)                         
    • Videoconference (ZoomGov) (RDD)                        
    • Videoconference (ZoomGov) (SCC)                        
    • Videoconference (ZoomGov) (SHL)                         
    • Videoconference (ZoomGov) (SMB)    
  • North Carolina

    NCMB - Fourth Amended Standing Order Regarding Court Operations under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19
  • North Dakota
    The United States District Court for the District of North Dakota has updated its COVID-19 order to continue grand juries through Dec. 31 and petit juries through Jan. 31, 2021.
  • Federal Bankruptcy Oregon
    The Court's News and Announcements List has an update: 
    Proposed Federal Rule Amendments Published for Public Comment by February 16, 2021 
  • Rhode Island

    The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Rules have proposed amendments to the following rules and have asked that they be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment.

    Appellate Rule: 25
    Bankruptcy Rules: Restyled Rules Parts I and II; Rules 1007, 1020, 2009, 2012, 2015, 3002, 3010, 3011, 3014, 3016, 3017.1, 3017.2 (new), 3018, 3019, 5005, 7004, and 8023; and Official Forms 101, 122B, 201, 309E-1, 309E-2, 309F-1, 309F-2, 314, 315, and 425A

    Civil Rules: Rule 12 and Supplemental Rules for Social Security Review Actions Under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)
    Criminal Rule: 16

    The proposed amendments and the advisory committees’ reports explaining the proposed changes are posted on the Judiciary’s website. The information is posted in a printable format for those who prefer hard-copy documents.
    The public comment period opens on August 14, 2020 and closes on February 16, 2021.
  • In the interests of the efficient and effective administration of justice in civil actions and as part of reasonable public health measures taken to assist with minimizing the spread of COVID-19 during this surge in the pandemic, the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island will conduct all trials and all phases of trial from empanelment to deliberation in civil actions via the zoomgov.com platform until further notice.  More information can be found here.  



Administrative Orders

  • Federal Agencies Response to Covid-19 
  • SUMMARY: The Bureau of Prisons amends its regulations to provide inmates in federal custody with the opportunity for free video-teleconferencing and telephone usage during the national emergency with respect to Coronavirus Disease 2019. Full Text

Service of Process orders - Washington (reserving in person for firearms)

Coming soon

Open Court requirements

Domestic and Sexual Violence Resources  


How to Make Your Virtual Meetings and Events Accessible to the Disability Community

Remote Hearings

Post Pandemic


  • NCSC Resources to help your court during and after the pandemic

    The Pandemic Rapid Response Team (RRT), a group of chief justices and state court administrators established in March, has been working for months to give state courts information to help them operate more efficiently during – and after -- the coronavirus pandemic.

    RRT and its six working groups have produced an enormous amount of work. Here’s one example of what each of the groups has done to help the courts:
    • Appellate – As the pandemic began, state appellate and supreme courts wasted no time conducting oral arguments remotely. This resource provides guidance on what courts have done that have worked well. The document also includes links from states, such as Idaho, Washington and Florida, that have previously shared similar information.
    • Children, Families and Elders – In response to stay-at-home orders in the spring, courthouses in most states were closed for in-person proceedings, creating a huge backlog of cases. If that wasn’t bad enough, courts anticipate a surge in filings in the months to come. This group has produced a document that offers creative solutions to help courts stay on top of backlogs and the anticipated surge.
    • Civil – This working group also tackled the problem of backlogs and an anticipated surge in civil filings due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It will take more than just “working harder” to solve these problems. This document describes 12 practical steps to make civil case processing more effective and efficient, not to mention fairer to litigants.
    • Communications & Funding – To prepare for what could be severe pandemic-related budget cuts, this group examined what did and did not work for state courts during the “Great Recession,” which started in 2008. It compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts based on those experiences that can help courts prepare for – and possibly head off – harsh financial shortfalls.
    • Criminal – As courts used technology to conduct remote hearings, the effort included meeting the needs of people who have limited English-speaking ability. This working group created a document that explains how courts can use virtual platforms to conduct simultaneous interpretation.  It also answers many questions about remote interpretation. 
    • Technology – As more judges and administrators embrace technology to get work done, the pandemic offers a unique opportunity to think creatively about innovating and using technology to operate more efficiently. RRT has adopted six principles to guide decisions for court leaders as they integrate technology in their work.
  • Socially distanced jury trial in Jamestown North Dakota
  • Summary of Remote Hearing Guidance: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous courts have transitioned to remote hearings to adhere to social distancing requirements. This document provides a summary and hyperlinks to articles, guidance, studies and decisions that discuss approaches to remote hearings. Topics include access to justice, accessibility, and due process considerations, among others. Readers should be aware that this document is not exhaustive. 


SRL Help and Online Scheduling

Donate to the Judicial Division

The Judicial Division improves the American judicial system and is the voice for judges and lawyers in their role as guardians of the rule of law. Your donation to the Division will support public service and educational programs that foster collaboration among judges, lawyers, and the public we serve to ensure diversity in the bar and on the bench.