COVID-19 message from Trial Court leadership to employees

A message from Chief Justice Paula Carey and Court Administrator Jon Williams to Trial Court employees about COVID-19.

Table of Contents

Message from leadership

Trial Court Colleagues,

By now you should be aware of the responsive actions underway in your workplace to support the SJC and Trial Court orders that limit access to court facilities for emergency matters only.  

Managing the court system amid such a public health emergency is uncharted territory for all of us.  We certainly understand and share your concerns and appreciate your support as we find ways to limit staffing levels, rotate personnel, and expand work-from-home options.  

A very loud shout-out to the judges, clerks, probation, and security staff who are on site to serve the public during these challenging times.  And special kudos to our Facilities Management team that is working hard to keep our buildings virus free. These many efforts ensure the delivery of justice through this unsettling time.

You should know that we have taken steps at all courthouses to provide the safest possible work conditions, such as:

  • Opening courts for emergency matters only, as defined by each court department.
  • Posting signs at all entrances with guidance on the status of courts, and instructions to those who should not enter for health reasons.  
  • Conducting security screening of the public with questions to assess the level of risk they pose and not admit anyone who poses a high risk. 
  • Creating six-foot distance from any counters.  The distance is measured and marked to make the boundaries clear.
  • Cleaning facilities thoroughly each day.  Although some supplies, such as hand sanitizer are not currently available, there is no shortage of industrial cleaning supplies.
  • Engaging an epidemiologist to provide consultative services relative to the coronavirus.  We will consult with him on scenarios that arise, and to ensure that we are employing all appropriate practices to protect the health and safety of our employees and the public.

Communication is critical during this time.  We are sending frequent email and RAVE alerts, so we need to know how best to reach you.  As soon as possible please enter your preferred contact method and information into the RAVE secure emergency notification platform. 

All Trial Court staff can now remotely access Trial Court email, the Courtyard, eLearning, and SSTA, via links just posted on our coronavirus employee resources page on COVID-19: Information, resources, and links for Trial Court staff. 

The Judicial Institute had begun to introduce an expansive online curriculum and we have accelerated your ability to access the coronavirus part of that curriculum.  

The Trial Court wants you to have access to credible guidance and information so you can protect yourself and your family, and hopefully, have a positive impact on reducing the spread of this major public health threat.  Links for easy access to some of these reliable resources are provided with this message: Coronavirus health & safety guidance for court employees.

In the coming days and weeks it is critical that we all take precautions and model best practices as outlined by the CDC and other officials for reducing the spread of the coronavirus. We continue to add these links to the Courtyard to share health and safety precautions that may be helpful.

In these difficult times it is essential that we continue to support one another. Thank you for helping us to employ best practices to contain the spread of the coronavirus in our communities.

Chief Justice Carey             

Court Administrator Jon Williams

Date published: March 19, 2020