Emergency or weather-related cancellation of court(s)

Information about where to find court closures during emergencies or inclement weather.

There are four ways to find information about court closures:

See additional information about these options below.  

Jury Duty

  • Depending on the circumstances, weather closings or other court cancellations are announced on the juror line listed on your reminder notice, on the Office of Jury Commissioner homepage, or on local radio and television stations.
  • Those who have provided an email address to the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC) may also receive email updates.
  • The OJC juror information line is updated as necessary, and should be checked just before leaving for the courthouse.
  • If you do not feel safe traveling to the courthouse due to weather or snow, you can reschedule your service by calling the juror information line at 800-THE-JURY (800-843-5879) within a few days after your scheduled service date.

Online

Notices of court closures due to weather or other emergencies are also 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 that can be accessed at the following statewide, toll-free telephone number. The Judicial Information Services Department has engineered this single number to accommodate high call volumes from court staff and court users.    

1-855-MA COURT      (1-855-622-6878)

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, in cases of extreme weather conditions or other emergencies, courts may need to close. A court or court offices will close only in those rare circumstances when the safety of the public or court employees is at risk.

Before closings, the courts will take into account any announcements by the Governor declaring a state of emergency. Such a declaration does not automatically lead to a court closing due to snow. In the event that the Governor declares a state of emergency as a result of the Civil Defense Act, the courts must close.

The Trial Courts

The Trial Court includes seven court departments (Boston Municipal, District, Superior, Housing, Land, Juvenile, Probate & Family) located in 100 court locations across the state. Emergency conditions may vary the closings required across the area. The Court Administrator consults with the Chief Justice of the Trial Court and the Regional Administrative Justices of the Superior Court to determine if weather or other conditions exist to warrant closure or delayed opening.

The Appellate Courts

(Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court)

John Adams Courthouse: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court will determine whether or not the John Adams Courthouse will close due to severe weather or other emergency.

Appeals Court: Should the John Adams Courthouse close due to severe weather or other emergency, the Appeals Court will not be open for business.

Supreme Judicial Court: In the event of Full Court or Single Justice court session cancellations, the Clerk for the Commonwealth or Clerk for Suffolk County will leave a message on their respective general numbers, whenever necessary, indicating whether the session will be held.

In the event of emergency or weather closings, any parties who need 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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