Press Release

Press Release Supreme Judicial Court Issues New Order on Public Access to Courthouses and Facilities

For immediate release:
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
  • Appeals Court
  • Executive Office of the Trial Court
  • Superior Court
  • Boston Municipal Court
  • District Court
  • Probate and Family Court
  • Juvenile Court
  • Housing Court
  • Land Court
  • Massachusetts Court System
  • Massachusetts Probation Service

Media Contact for Supreme Judicial Court Issues New Order on Public Access to Courthouses and Facilities

Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago

BOSTON, MAThe Supreme Judicial Court today issued an updated order regarding public access to Massachusetts state courthouses and court facilities during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The order will go into effect August 3, 2020. The new order is updated to include the restrictions arising from the Governor's Mandatory 14 Day Quarantine Requirement for Travelers Arriving in Massachusetts (COVID--19 Order No. 45) or any updates of that order.

Persons who are required to quarantine under the Governor's order will be prohibited from entering courthouses.

Like the previous orders regarding access to court facilities, the order issued today lists persons who are prohibited from entering and remaining in courthouses and requires persons seeking entry to be subject to a screening process. It also establishes rules that must be followed by persons entering courthouses. Court personnel are governed by separate protocols established by the relevant Trial or Appellate Court.

All orders, standing orders, guidelines, and notices issued by any court department or appellate court in response to the pandemic, as well as all amendments, modifications, and supplements are posted upon issuance on the judiciary's COVID-19 webpage, found here.


Media Contact for Supreme Judicial Court Issues New Order on Public Access to Courthouses and Facilities

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court 

The Supreme Judicial Court is the Commonwealth's highest appellate court.

Appeals Court 

The Appeals Court is the Commonwealth's intermediate appellate court.

Executive Office of the Trial Court 

The Executive Office of the Trial Court facilitates communication and enables joint leadership of the Trial Court by the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Court Administrator.

Superior Court 

The Superior Court Department is a statewide court that handles both criminal and civil actions.

Boston Municipal Court 

The Boston Municipal Court Department serves the City of Boston, and handles both criminal and civil matters.

District Court 

The District Court Department hears a wide range of criminal, civil, housing, juvenile, mental health, and other types of cases.

Probate and Family Court 

The Probate and Family Court Department handles matters involving families and children, like divorce, child support, and wills.

Juvenile Court 

The Juvenile Court Department oversees civil and criminal matters statewide involving children including youthful offender, care and protection, and delinquency cases.

Housing Court 

Summary Process, Small Claims and Supplementary process matters are now available for eFiling. Efiling for Civil cases will be introduced in August 2020. For more information, please see the section below titled ‘eFiling in the Housing Court’.

Land Court 

The Land Court hears a wide range of cases involving real estate and land use, and oversees the Commonwealth’s system for the registration of title to real property.

Massachusetts Court System 

The Massachusetts court system consists of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Appeals Court, the Executive Office of the Trial Court, the 7 Trial Court departments, the Massachusetts Probation Service, and the Office of Jury Commissioner.

Massachusetts Probation Service 

MPS's main goal is to keep communities safe and to provide people on probation with the rehabilitative tools they need to live a productive and law-abiding life.

Effective Monday, July 20, 2020, the Office of the Commissioner of Probation will be open to the public by appointment only. If you wish to make an appointment or speak with someone regarding sealing or expunging a record or have questions for the Records Unit, please call (617) 557-0225.