Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-20
Please look at the links for the
most up to date information. This is not official.
Given the actual circumstances by the Coronavirus for Care
& Protection matters or DCF cases the custody hearings the Judge may have done
by video conference or telephone.
Temporary Custody hearings or 72-hour hearings are
listed to proceed in the ordinary course of business.
Waiver of Appearance:
The Juvenile Court may allow the parties such as children, attorneys
and employees of DCF shall be waived wherever practicable. No adverse inference to a party shall be drawn
from that individual’s failure to appear in court where that person has been
advised to stay home.
Additional hearings and trials that are non-evidentiary that
include such things as status hearings, pre-trial hearings, and permanency
hearings as well as adjudication, in the best interest of child shall be continued
to May 4th or a date thereafter.
Delinquency & Youthful Offender Matters: The Judge can have the discretion to
determine that it is an immediate or urgent matter regarding delinquencies and youthful
offender matters scheduled for an event between March 18th and May 1st
for a person who is not in custody shall be continued to after May 4th
or a date thereafter. Counsel or parties
should contact the clerk’s office by telephone to schedule an event that has
Jury Trials: If
they are scheduled to start between March 13th and April 17th
shall be continued to April 21st or a date thereafter unless there
is a showing of exceptional circumstances, and there maybe motions or other
orders if there is a need that has laid out the details more in the hearing.
Probable Cause or Show Cause Hearings: Show cause or
probable cause hearings that are scheduled between March 18th and
May 1st shall be continued to a date set by the Clerk-Magistrate and
not before May 4th. Show
cause hearings on all applications for complaints filed between March 18th
and May 1st shall be scheduled to take place after May 4th.
Summons arraignments on
complaints issued between March 18th and May 1st shall be
continued to May 4th or a date thereafter.
Custody Matters: If the juvenile is in custody upon
the agreement of the parties and within the judge’s discretion it will be continued
to May 4th or a date thereafter. However, videoconferencing should
be used where available and practicable.
Child Requiring Assistance (“CRA”) or (“CHINS”) Matters: This
will be heard at the judge’s discretion.
All non-custodial hearings shall be continued to May 4th or a
date thereafter. Waiver of appearance of
the parties, including subject children, attorneys, and employees of DCF shall
be considered whenever practicable.
All adoption matters shall be continued to the first business day no less
than sixty (60) days from the date of the scheduled event or to a date by
agreement of the parties and the respective clerk’s office not before May 4th. Adoptions scheduled between March 18th
and May 4th may be heard during that time at the discretion of the judge
and by agreement of the parties. Videoconferencing should be used where
available and practicable.
Harassment Prevention Orders: The courts shall still hear emergency petitions
filed under the G.L. c. 258E and the subsequent “10 day” hearing. Videoconferencing should be used where available
This just describes a portion of the standing order.