Recently a letter from the Chief Justices has announced a new tentative plan of the courts in Massachusetts regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. The courts have been hearing emergency cases throughout the past two months, and more recently began to hear non-emergency matters that don’t involve an in-court session. The court system is planning to address more and more non-emergency cases virtually as time goes on, as it is currently anticipated that courthouses will remain physically closed through June, 2020.
However, there is the expectation that courthouses will begin to open sometime this summer. The courts plan for this to occur in stages to limit the amount of people in a confined space and overall cases seen. The courts have stated that their tentative plan of reopening the courthouses in stages would mean that in person hearings would only happen for the cases that require it. They have stressed the importance of the unpredictability of the current state of the world, meaning that this plan is in no way concrete. It may be changed as we adapt to life in a pandemic, so keep your eye out for new information.