Press Release

Press Release Trial Court Issues Emergency Administrative Order Concerning Emergency Protection Orders

For immediate release:
3/19/2020
  • 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, MAIn 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

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Media Contact for Trial Court Issues Emergency Administrative Order Concerning Emergency Protection Orders

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.

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.
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