Emergency or weather-related court closings

Find out where you can get court closures information during emergencies or severe weather.

There are 4 ways to find information about court closures:

See additional information about these options below.  

Table of Contents

Jury duty

Depending on the circumstances, weather closings and other court cancellations will be announced on the juror line listed on your reminder notice, on the Office of Jury Commissioner homepage, or on local radio and television stations. The OJC juror information line is updated as necessary, and you should check it just before leaving for the courthouse. You may also receive email updates if you gave the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC) an email address.

If you don’t feel safe traveling to the courthouse due to weather or snow, you can reschedule your service by calling the juror information line at (800) 843-5879 (800 THE-JURY) within a few days after your scheduled service date.

Online

Notices of court closings because of the weather or other emergencies are posted as quickly as possible on the Massachusetts Court System homepage.

Email & Twitter

Subscribe by email to the Trial Court Closure ListServ for court closure announcements or follow the courts on Twitter @macourtclosings.

Phone message

The Executive Office will record a message at the statewide, toll-free phone number 1 (855) 622-6878 (1 855 MA COURT). The Judicial Information Services Department has made sure this number can accommodate high call volumes from court staff and users.

The court closing 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, courts may need to close during extreme weather conditions or other emergencies. Courts and court offices will only close when the safety of the public or court employees is at risk.

If a court where you have a scheduled event has a delayed start or is closed, please don’t worry. The Clerk’s Office will work with you to reschedule your court event. 

Before closings, the courts take into account the Governor’s announcements about Executive Branch closures, although the Governor’s declaration doesn’t always mean that courts will be closed.

Court closings and delayed starts

The Trial Court may not always be closed when federal courts are closed. To find out if courts are closed, please visit the Massachusetts Court System homepage. Continue to check the homepage for updates on when courts will reopen.

Policies for whether your hearing or case will be rescheduled or cancelled because of a closing or delayed start vary depending on the court. Please contact your court to find information about rescheduling and individual court schedules.

The Trial Courts

The Trial Court includes 7 court departments (Boston Municipal, District, Superior, Housing, Land, Juvenile, and Probate & Family) located in 100 court locations across the state. Depending on the emergency conditions, the closings may vary across the state. The Court Administrator consults with the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Regional Administrative Justices of the Superior Court to decide if there should be closures or delayed openings based on weather or other conditions.

The Appellate Courts

(Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court)

John Adams Courthouse & the Appeals Court: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court will decide whether or not the John Adams Courthouse will close because of severe weather or another emergency. If the John Adams Courthouse closes, the Appeals Court will be closed.

Supreme Judicial Court: If Full Court or Single Justice court sessions are cancelled, the Clerk for the Commonwealth or Clerk for Suffolk County will leave messages on their general numbers when necessary explaining whether the session will be held.

If there are emergency or weather-related closings, anyone who needs 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
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