1. Are all of the District Courts open during this public health crisis?
Yes, all District Courts are open to conduct business and hearings. Physical access to a courthouse is subject to the orders regarding health and safety protocols established by the Supreme Judicial Court and Executive Office of the Trial Court. For further details, please see the Supreme Judicial Court’s Fifth Order Regarding Public Access to State Courthouses and Court Facilities.
2. Which matters will the District Courts be conducting in person?
District Courts will conduct most cases in-person in courtrooms. However, certain events will be conducted virtually unless a party requests, and the court orders, that the hearing be conducted in-person. For further details on in-person and virtual court events, please see Joint Standing Order 2-22: Court operational order. Rather than traveling to the court, persons seeking court action on a designated matter, or those who are uncertain as to whether their matter is a matter being heard by the court, should contact the local district court by telephone.
3. What do I do if my local courthouse is temporarily closed due to COVID 19?
You can find information regarding temporary court closures at: Temporary court closures due to COVID-19.
In the event of a temporary court closure, any court order set to expire during the closure of the courthouse is automatically extended until the matter can be addressed by the court.
4. What happens when weather conditions, including snow result in the court being closed for the day?
Any order set to expire during the closure of the courthouse shall automatically be extended until the matter can be addressed by the court.
5. How do I know whether to come to the court for a specific matter?
Rather than traveling to the court, persons seeking court action on a designated matter, or those who are uncertain as to whether their matter is a matter being heard by the court, should contact the local district court by telephone.
6. Who is allowed to be in the courtroom during a court event?
Members of the public are permitted to attend all in-person hearings subject to building and courtroom occupancy limitations.
Judges may, upon request, authorize a participant in a court event (an attorney, party, or witness) to appear virtually while other participants appear in-person, so long as it is consistent with the protection of constitutional rights.
7. How can I file something in the District Court?
Every District Court Clerk’s Office is open to conduct court business. Some courts also have options for the filing of documents without having to come into the Clerk’s Office, such as electronic filing. For information on electronic filing, please visit eFiling in the Trial Court. Filings are not accepted by email unless pre-approval has been obtained from the Clerk’s Office. Clerk’s Offices continue to receive mail, and the electronic filing system continues to operate in regular civil matters. The public access index on MassCourts.org will display all new filings added to our case management system, and you may wish to check this site location.
8. Can I speak to someone in person at a specific Clerk’s Office?
If the matter you are calling about is not an emergency, and if you are not in urgent need of a response, the best way to communicate directly with a specific Clerk’s Office is to email them using the email address listed on each of the District Court pages on Mass.gov. Court contact pages are found here. If you find it necessary to call the court, you will find the main number to the courthouse listed on each of the District Court location information pages.
9. My event has been scheduled for a virtual/zoom conference. How do I access the Zoom hearing?
The notice of hearing that was sent to you should contain instructions on how to access the hearing, including a meeting ID and, to the extent that there is one, a meeting password. You may also call the Clerk’s Office to obtain instruction on how to access the videoconference hearing.
10. My case is supposed to go to trial – will I be able to have a jury trial?
As of February 14, 2022, jury trials have resumed in Massachusetts courts. Please continue to check the Massachusetts judiciary’s COVID-19 webpage for any further information regarding jury trials as your trial date approaches. If you’re represented by an attorney, you should contact your attorney about the status of your case. If you are not represented, you may contact the Clerk’s Office in unsure about the status of your case.
11. What should I do if I was scheduled for jury duty?
As of February 14, 2022, jury trials have resumed in Massachusetts courts. For further information, including juror resources, please visit the Office of the Jury Commissioner webpage.
12. I tried to email the Clerk’s Office, but no one responded. How can I make sure my email is being received by the Clerk’s Office?
We have created a general email account for each Clerk’s office, and a member of the Clerk’s office staff will respond to you as soon as possible. If you have not heard from the Clerk’s Office within a reasonable period of time, you may call the general phone number or email the general email account again. Email information is located on each of the District Court location information pages, click on the courthouse you are looking for to access the email address.
13. How long will this pandemic affect court business?
We will continue to update the public here.
|Last updated:||September 6, 2022|