Where to Find Court Closing Information
There are four ways to find information about court closures:
Jury Duty. Depending on the circumstances, weather closings or other court cancellations are announced on the juror line listed on your reminder notice, MAjury.gov, at mass.gov/courts/jury-info, or on local radio and television stations. Those who have provided an email address to the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC) may also receive email updates. The OJC juror information line is updated as necessary, and should be checked just before leaving for the courthouse. If you do not feel safe traveling to the courthouse due to weather or snow, you can reschedule your service by calling the juror information line at 800-THE-JURY (800-843-5879) within a few days after your scheduled service date or by visiting this webpage.
Online. Notices of court closures due to weather or other emergencies are also posted as quickly as possible on www.mass.gov/courts.
Phone. For information on weather-related closing due to snow or emergency court closures, call the Judiciary’s automated phone lines. The phone lines are typically updated in the evening the day before anticipated inclement weather or early the next morning. Always call the relevant number below or check one of the above resources before heading to the courthouse:
|Court||Phone Line Number|
|Supreme Judicial Court||617-557-1000|
Please note that in order to address high call volumes due to weather closings, all four Trial Court phone lines feature the same information on closures across the state.
Court Closings: Process
In accordance with G.L.c.220, §6, the courts of the Commonwealth must be open for court business on all days except Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.
However, in cases of extreme weather conditions or other emergencies, courts may need to close. A court or court offices will close only in those rare circumstances when the safety of the public or court employees is at risk.
Before closings, the courts will take into account any announcements by the Governor declaring a state of emergency. Such a declaration does not automatically lead to a court closing due to snow. In the event that the Governor declares a state of emergency as a result of the Civil Defense Act, the courts must close.
The Trial Court includes seven court departments (Boston Municipal, District, Superior, Housing, Land, Juvenile, Probate & Family) located in 100 court locations across the state. Emergency conditions may vary the closings required across the area. The Court Administrator consults with the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Regional Administrative Justices of the Superior Court to determine if weather or other conditions exist to warrant closure or delayed opening.
Appellate Courts (Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court)
John Adams Courthouse: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court will determine whether or not the John Adams Courthouse will close due to severe weather or other emergency.
Should the John Adams Courthouse close due to severe weather or other emergency, the Appeals Court will not be open for business.
Supreme Judicial Court
In the event of Full Court or Single Justice court session cancellations, the Clerk for the Commonwealth or Clerk for Suffolk County will leave a message on their respective general numbers, whenever necessary, indicating whether the session will be held.
In the event of emergency or weather closings, any parties who need to leave an urgent message for the Supreme Judicial Court should contact:
- The Clerk for the Commonwealth for Full Court matters at 617-557-1020, or
- The Clerk for Suffolk County for Single Justice matters at 617-557-1180