- Massachusetts Court System
- Executive Office of the Trial Court
Media Contact for Trial Court Issues Emergency Administrative Order Concerning Emergency Protection Orders
Jennifer Donahue and Erika Gully-Santiago
BOSTON, MA — In accordance with the Order issued by the Supreme Judicial Court on March 17, 2020, and the departmental Trial Court Standing Orders issued on the same date, Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey has issued Trial Court Emergency Administrative Order 20-5: Modified Procedures Concerning Protection Orders as a Result of COVID-19.
This emergency order will permit judges serving on after-hours judicial response to issue emergency restraining orders, harassment prevention orders, and extreme risk protection orders for ten (10) days, rather than making the orders returnable to court the day following issuance.
As provided in the departmental standing orders, all hearings on protective orders will be conducted by telephone (or videoconference where available). Parties scheduled for a hearing on an emergency protection order will be instructed to call the court at 9:00 a.m. on the scheduled hearing date, at which point the hearing will be held, or will be scheduled to be held later that day by telephone. Parties will be provided with the phone number for the courthouse, or they can find the number on the Court Locator page.
Individuals against whom orders are issued will be provided notice that they may seek an in-person hearing on the issuance of the order once courts have resumed normal operations.
Updates regarding the court's response to the COVID-19 pandemic are available on the court's website: https://www.mass.gov/guides/court-system-response-to-covid-19