Updates for the D.C. Court of Appeals and D.C.Superior Court. Further updates available on the DC Court’s website.
GENERAL UPDATE – MARCH 30, 2020
CURRENT DC COURTS OPERATING STATUS
- DC Court of Appeals has no oral arguments through May 31, but will be handling emergency matters. The Court asks parties to eFile or to email filings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Committee on Admissions: February DC Bar exams are being graded and applications are being processed. It is unclear whether the July exam will have to be rescheduled.
DC Superior Court has only four courtrooms operating to hear adult arraignments and presentments; family court emergencies, neglect and juvenile initial hearings; criminal and domestic violence emergencies and civil, probate and tax emergencies. Most of these hearings are conducted remotely.
- Temporary Protection Orders (Stay away orders) that were issued for two weeks and were to expire in March will not expire until May 15th or the next assigned court date.
- Jurors need not report. Questions can be answered by emailing email@example.com; calling 879-4604 or going to www.dccourts.gov/jury and clicking on the ‘live chat’ button (8:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday)
- The Marriage Bureau is closed.
D.C. Court of Appeals
UPDATED March 23, 2020:
DC Court of Appeals Order 3/23/2020 -3pm
March 18, 2020
Statement of DC Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, chair of the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration – March 18 – 1:30pm
This morning the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration issued this order invoking emergency authority under the DC Code to give DC Superior Court Chief Judge Morin and me the authority to take needed steps during this public health crisis to toll deadlines and make other necessary changes to our respective court operations and rules to address the coronavirus risk. The DC Courts are endeavoring to meet emergency needs of the community, while minimizing exposure risk to the greatest extent possible.
Statement of Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby/DC Court of Appeals coronavirus advisory – March 16, 2pm
As Chair of the DC Courts’ Joint Committee on Judicial Administration, I want to assure the public that the DC Courts understand the urgency of addressing the Coronavirus emergency. I also want to keep the public informed of the latest steps the DC Courts are taking to reduce risks of the Coronavirus while also ensuring that urgent criminal justice and public safety matters are handled and access to justice is maintained.
As you can see in the advisories posted in the last few days on www.dccourts.gov/coronavirus, the DC Superior Court has significantly reduced its operations, and only those matters that are urgent and crucial to public safety will go forward.
The DC Court of Appeals has just posted an updated and more detailed Coronavirus operations plan. The Court is not closing and is open for all new filings, through our eFiling process and via email for pro se parties who are not registered eFilers. The court will continue to decide motions and issue decisions on already argued and submitted cases during this time. However, all oral arguments scheduled through March 31, 2020, are cancelled. The Court will continue to decide cases on the summary calendar. Filing deadlines are being tolled until March 31, meaning if a filing is due 3/16 to 3/30, it may be filed on 3/31. The Court’s eFiling rules that require that two paper copies be provided to the court are suspended. The Committee on Admissions (CoA) and the Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law offices will be closed to the public until 3/31. However, the CoA Office will continue to receive and process applications, and grade the February 2020 bar exam. Appellate mediations will be rescheduled. Please see the order below (it’s also available on https://www.dccourts.gov/court-of-appeals).
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all collectively deal with this unprecedented health crisis.
UPDATED March 13, 2020:
This is an update on the status of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals’ operations in light of the current public health emergency due to the coronavirus. The Court of Appeals is not closing, but will remain open with some precautionary measures in place. To reduce the spread of the virus, we encourage all counsel and members of the public to increase their use of the court’s online services, such as e-filing and live-streaming oral arguments. On Monday, March 16, 2020, the Court of Appeals will be posting additional details regarding measures the court is taking in light of the coronavirus.
Specifically with respect to e-filing, starting Monday, March 16, 2020, the court will suspend the requirement for the filing of paper copies of electronically filed documents. See Electronic Filing and Service (ESF) Procedure 8. See also DCCA Administrative Order 1-18.
At this time, all oral arguments will go forward as scheduled, but requests for continuances by counsel because of particularized health concerns will be given special consideration. If you would like to observe oral arguments remotely, this weblink contains instructions for accessing live audio and video streams.
We encourage all visitors of the courthouse to take appropriate safety and health precautions and practice personal safety behaviors. If you (a) have been diagnosed with COVID-19, (b) have had known contact with a person with the virus, (c) have been asked to self-quarantine, or (d) are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please do not enter the courthouse to conduct business. Instead, please call the Clerk of the Court or the Public Office for assistance: (202) 879-2700.
For counsel and pro se parties who need to file an emergency pleading in this court, continue to follow the procedures outlined in this court’s rules.
The DC Courts posted a coronavirus advisory, below, which contains updates on the courts’ efforts to respond to this public health emergency. We encourage you to review that advisory, in addition to other public health warnings issued by the District.
DC Superior Court
UPDATED March 27, 2020:
The following two orders were issued this afternoon:
- Order Suspending Weekend Jail Sentences until June 5
- Order Suspending Execution of Certain Misdemeanor Bench Warrants
D.C. Superior Court Clerk’s Offices Remote Operations
In response to COVID-19 all clerk’s offices for Superior Court are operating in a remote status with no staff on-site. We have employees available to answer questions via telephone, email and Live Chat. Due to the limited resources for processing mail, please call or email a request, document or image of a document to avoid a delay in processing your request. Below is information regarding operations that will be conducted remotely by the Clerk’s Offices. All emergency hearings will be conducted by the judge remotely.
March 25, 2020
DC Courts Update – 3/25/2020 – 6pm
DC Superior Court Update 3/25/2020, 10:30am
The Standing Order Establishing Procedures to File Emergency Motions has been updated, please see below:
ORDER ESTABLISHING PROCEDURES FOR FILING EMERGENCY MOTIONS FOR RELEASE FROM CUSTODY DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – 3/22 as updated 3/25.
March 23, 2020
DC Superior Court Advisory re: Jurors Office 3/23/2020 – 2pm
The Jurors’ Office is operating remotely until further notice. Jurors are encouraged to visit www.dccourts.gov/jurorservices to complete their juror questionnaire, defer service, or upload requests for excuse. Please do not send mail to the office. Staff may be reached in the following ways:
Live Chat: www.dccourts.gov/jury (8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
On average, response time is 24 business hours (or less).
March 22, 2020
DC Superior Court Update – Sunday 3/22, 2:30pm
March 20, 2020
DC Superior Court Advisory – 3/20/2020, 3pm
Due to the current public health emergency, the Office of Court Interpreting Services is operating remotely. If you need language access assistance, please call 202-879-4828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DC Superior Court Advisory – 3/20/2020 – 12:15pm
Individuals summoned for jury service and individuals summoned or previously selected for grand jury service are not required to report to court or to the United States Attorney’s Office until further notice.
March 19, 2020
DC Superior Court Update, 3/19/2020 – 4:30pm
The Court Reporting Division is now operating fully remotely. For transcript requests, see detailed information here.
DC Superior Update 3/19, 4:15pm
The Library in the Moultrie Courthouse will be closed until further notice. Please continue to check this page for updates.
DC Superior Court Advisory – 3/19/2020 – 3pm
All hearings scheduled by the Office of the Auditor-Master through May 15, 2020 have been continued (postponed), and parties are not to appear. All orders that have been issued directing parties to produce documents are also continued. For more detailed information, see the order below.
March 18, 2020
DC Superior Court Order Suspending Additional Court Proceedings – 3/18/2020 at 6pm
Pursuant to the authority given to the Chief Judges by the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration this morning, DC Superior Court Chief Judge Morin has further reduced the number of courtrooms that will be operational in the Moultrie Courthouse. The order provides details on the limited operations that will go forward, which include: adult arraignments and presentments (courtroom C-10); juvenile, neglect and abuse initial hearings (courtroom JM-15); emergency matters – one courtroom for criminal, a second for civil and probate; extraditions; and judge in chambers. Show cause hearings will come before the judge hearing criminal emergency matters.
Temporary Protection Order (TPO) requests will go through the Emergency Temporary Protection Order (ETPO) process which will be accessible 24/7 during the time of reduced court operations. If you are in DC and are in immediate danger, please call the Metropolitan Police Department or the DC SAFE Critical Response Team (800) 407-5048 to access the ETPO process and find out you qualify for a TPO
March 19 – 4pm – The update is a clarification, made in response to inquiries the court has received and to ensure understanding of the full scope of the suspension of time limits imposed by statutes and court rules.
DC Superior Court update – 3/18/2020, 5:30pm
Chief Judge Morin Signs Administrative Order 20-07 Provides MPD with Authority to Release Juveniles Arrested on Warrants for Failure to Appear and Abscondence
DC Superior Court Advisory – March 18, 11am
The Marriage Bureau is now closed.
March 17, 3pm
The Child Care Center is closed until further notice. Please check for updates.
DC Superior Court Emergency Declaration – March 16, 5pm
This emergency order allows police and prosecutors to exercise their discretion in determining whether a person should be held until their first court appearance or be given citation release with notice of their court date.
DC Superior Court coronavirus advisory – March 16, 9am
Citation Arraignments- scheduled between March 17 and April 15, 2020 are continued for eight weeks from the originally scheduled date, as reflected in the chart below:
|ORIGINAL CITATION ARRAIGNMENT DATE||CONTINUED CITATION ARRAIGNMENT DATE|
|Tuesday, March 17, 2020||May 12, 2020|
|Wednesday, March 18, 2020||May 13, 2020|
|Thursday, March 19, 2020||May 21, 2020*|
|Tuesday, March 24, 2020||May 19, 2020|
|Wednesday, March 25, 2020||May 20, 2020|
|Thursday, March 26, 2020||May 21, 2020|
|Tuesday, March 31, 2020||May 26, 2020|
|Wednesday, April 1, 2020||May 27, 2020|
|Thursday, April 2, 2020||May 28, 2020|
|Tuesday, April 7, 2020||June 2, 2020|
|Wednesday, April 8, 2020||June 3, 2020|
|Thursday, April 9, 2020||June 4, 2020|
|Tuesday, April 14, 2020||June 9, 2020|
|Wednesday, April 15, 2020||June 10, 2020|
DC Superior Court Advisory – March 15, 6pm
Individuals with grand jury duty beginning on Monday, March 16, need not report. Those individuals currently serving on a grand jury are excused for a two-week period of time and should report to the US attorney’s office on March 30 absent further instruction from the court.
DC Superior Court Advisory – March 15, 3pm
Statement of Chief Judge Robert Morin:
The DC Superior Court places great priority the safety and well-being of the more than 10,000 people who enter our court buildings each workday. In light of concerns regarding COVID and guidance to avoid non-essential public interactions, the Court will suspend a number of its usual activities for the next several weeks. Here is an overview of the plan, as well as a court order, with more details.
Please note that the Court will still be open and judges will be available to hear emergency matters, as well as those outlined in the plan as not being postponed.
We appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation.
March 13, 2020:
On Monday morning, March 16, the DC Superior Court will post a detailed announcement in light of COVID 19 concerns.
The Court is not closing, but will be changing its operations to postpone all non-urgent matters or to conduct them telephonically. The announcement will provide information regarding trials and urgent matters.
The Court will keep the number of people, including jurors, who need to report to the courthouse to a minimum. Those with jury duty should call in the night before their service to 879-4604 (select Option 5) to find out if they need to report.
The Court will suspend evictions of all tenants and foreclosed homeowners.
Counsel should check the Court’s website for more information on how particular case types will be handled during this time. A detailed announcement on these changes will be posted here, as will changes to the plan as the situation evolves.