Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-20
Please look at the links for the
most up to date information. This is not official.
Triage or Standing Order regarding the Exigent
Circumstances by Coronavirus by the Probate and Family Court. Again, the
Probate and Family Court is closed along with all the trial courts on March 16th
and March 17th.
Telephone/Videoconferences/virtual Hearings: To be used whenever possible, in order to
avoid having people appear in court or rescheduling events at a later date.
Restraining Orders & Request to Vacate: All restraining
order request and requests for orders to vacate and their review dates shall be
heard in the normal course. This is under
G.L. c. 209A or Motion to Vacate pursuant to G.L. 208A, Section 34B.
Specific cases such as motions, case management conferences
and status conferences that are already scheduled between March 18th
and May 1st will be heard by telephone or videoconference.
Cases scheduled for Pre-trial conferences between
March 18th and May 1st shall be reviewed by the Judicial
Case Manager or Assistant Judicial Case Manager in that division. After consulting with the judge assigned to
the particular case, a determination shall be made as to whether the pre-trial
conference shall be heard in the manner described by telephone or videoconferencing.
If a trial has already started or in progress it will
proceed. The trials that have yet to
begin will be continued after May 1st.
Complaints and modification seeking an increase or
reduction in child support and/or alimony will be continued beyond May 1st. A party may in certain circumstances or
exigent circumstances seek to bring the matter forward earlier if there is good
cause shown. The request may be decided on the pleadings.
If it is a case the includes Department of Revenue, they
have certain block days and that will be limited to 30 cases per day and shall
be presented on a staggered schedule.
Adoption hearings shall be held as scheduled unless
the petitioner(s) requests that the hearing be rescheduled. If heard between
March 18th and May 1st the adoptive parents shall limit
the number of attendees to four (4), not including the children and the
Treatment plan orders that expire between March 18th
and May 1st will be administratively extended for 60 days from the expiration
Temporary orders of appointment in guardianship and
conservator cases that expire between March 18th and May 1st
will be administratively extended for 60 days from the expiration date.
If it is a Sua sponte custody order to the DCF
that would expire between March 18th and May 1st will be
extended for 45 days from the expiration date.
A party may, for good cause shown, seek to bring the matter forward either
upon a demonstration of exigent circumstances. The request may be decided on
the pleadings. All permanency hearings conferences scheduled between
March 18th and May 1st will be continued beyond May 1st.
New Filings: Parties should be encouraged to file
new, non-emergency matters by mail or by e-filing where available. Filings will be docketed, but no event shall
be scheduled before May 1st.
If not addressed in these other matters it would be considered on a case-by-case matter brought to the Judicial
Case Manager, an Assistant Judicial Case Manager, Assistant Register or
Magistrate to determine whether there is an actual emergency or whether the
person can be helped in another way.
There is a list in
the press release about what may be filed and heard unless the court requires
Education Classes: All Parent Education courses that have
already begun shall be suspended until after May 1st and be
rescheduled. No new Parent Education courses shall begin until after May 1st.
Any person who was
been ordered to perform community service shall not have to perform such
community service until after May 1st.
As always, these
standing orders can be amended or changed so it is good to look at the direct