Until July 13, 2020, entry into a courthouse for the purpose of an emergency in-person proceeding shall continue to be limited to court personnel, attorneys, parties, witnesses, and other necessary persons as determined by the judge presiding over the proceeding, plus no more than three members of the "news media" as defined in Supreme Judicial Court Rule 1:19(2).
Further, in cases where a trial court judge has ordered electronic monitoring in the form of either GPS or remote alcohol monitoring or in cases where, pursuant to an earlier court order, previously installed electronic monitoring equipment requires maintenance or removal, all installations, maintenance, or removals of such equipment may occur in the courthouse to ensure security and access to personal protective equipment by probation personnel.
Beginning on July 13, 2020, entry into a courthouse will be limited to personnel who work in the courthouse and persons who are present for one or more of the following purposes: attending in-person court proceedings (see paragraph 5); conducting in-person business with a clerk's, register's, or recorder's office (see paragraph 6); meeting with a probation officer or probation staff person; or conducting business at other offices that are open to the public and housed in the courthouse.
The physical reopening of courthouses to the public on July 13, 2020 shall be undertaken with diligent regard for the health and safety of court users and personnel, in accordance with protocols established by the Trial Court or the relevant appellate court, as applicable. All court users and personnel shall be subject to appropriate screening before they are allowed to enter a courthouse for purposes of preventing the spread of COVID-19. For the same reason, courthouse staff may monitor the number of people entering and leaving a courthouse to ensure that the number within the courthouse does not exceed the occupancy limits established to protect public health and permit physical distancing. To limit the number of people in a courthouse at any given time, all departments and offices within a courthouse shall coordinate with each other and schedule proceedings in a staggered fashion throughout the day. If the number of court users entering a courthouse needs to be limited to avoid exceeding occupancy limits, the following court users shall be given priority to enter, in the following order of priority:
(i) persons seeking to address emergencies; (ii) persons participating in a scheduled in-person proceeding, including, without limitation, a bench trial, hearing, conference, or grand jury sitting; (iii) persons with scheduled or otherwise required meetings between probationers and probation staff for purposes of supervision, including but not limited to GPS, DNA or case supervision matters; (iv) persons having a scheduled appointment within the courthouse; and, then, (v) all others.