The Judicial Branch has implemented various measures as a result of concern over the spread of the COVID-19/Coronavirus and in recognition of the public health emergency declaration Governor Lamont issued. It is also important to note, in the clearest terms possible, that the courts of the State of Connecticut are open and will remain open.
These measures are:
- Under the terms and provisions of the Judicial Branch’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), the courts will schedule and hear only those matters identified as “Priority 1 Business Functions.”
- The following matters are Priority 1 Business Functions:
- Criminal arraignments of defendants held in lieu of bond and all arraignments involving domestic violence cases;
- Juvenile Detention hearings;
- Family orders of relief from abuse;
- Civil orders of relief from abuse
- Civil protection orders
- Ex parte motions
- Orders of temporary custody (Juvenile Matters)
- Orders to appear (Juvenile Matters)
- Emergency ex parte order of temporary custody
- Juvenile detention operations for detainees held for juvenile court
- Termination of parental rights
- Domestic violence victim notification
- Civil and family capias mittimus execution and bond review
The Judicial Branch last week implemented a mitigation plan that has greatly reduced the daily business at every court location statewide. Consistent with guidance we have received from the CDC and other public health officials, the next step in our mitigation plan is to further shrink the number of people in our facilities each day to further assist in the effort to halt the spread of COVID-19. Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson and Judge Patrick L. Carroll III I have concluded that it is necessary to implement the following unprecedented measures to protect the public, the bar, our employees and judges.
Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Judicial Branch has implemented these changes:
- One building in each of the 13 Judicial Districts will be designated as the location at which only Priority 1 functions (as defined in our Continuity of Operations Plan) will be handled. Here is a list of courthouses that will remain open.
- Juvenile Matters will be heard in the Hartford and Bridgeport juvenile courthouses.
- The Branch’s Executive Directors will reach out to their respective employees to determine who will staff these locations and conduct all other vital functions such as information technology, human resources and payroll.
- All other staff will remain at home. Those whose jobs allow them to work at home will do so.
These are extraordinary times and require extraordinary measures. Our overarching challenge throughout the crisis has been to balance the constitutional obligation of the courts to remain open with protecting the health and safety of every individual who enters a state courthouse. Ultimately, we have determined that the plan announced today is the best option to achieve this balance.
With the exception of jury trials already in progress and criminal jury trials necessitated by the filing and granting of a speedy trial motion, all jury trials, civil and criminal, are suspended.
If jurors have any questions please contact Jury Administration by:
- Going on the Judicial Branch’s website
- Speaking with jury administration through the Live Chat feature, or
- By call or texting jury administration at 1-800-842-8175
Governor’s Executive Order No. 7G Suspension of Non-Critical Court Operations and Associated Requirements.
(Excerpts directly from Executive Order No. 7G) Click here for the full order
WHEREAS, in consultation with the Chief Court Administrator on behalf of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch, I have determined that there exists a compelling state interest that courts conduct only essential business in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, NED LAMONT, Governor of the State of Connecticut, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Connecticut, do hereby ORDER AND DIRECT:
Suspension of Non-Critical Court Operations and Associated Requirements. Notwithstanding any provision of the Connecticut General Statutes or of any regulation, local rule or other provision of law, I hereby suspend, for the duration of this public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless earlier modified or terminated by me, all statutory (1) location or venue requirements; (2) time requirements, statutes of limitation or other limitations or deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings or court filings; and (3) all time requirements or deadlines related to the Supreme, Appellate and Superior courts or their judicial officials to issue notices, hold court, hear matters and/or render decisions including, but not limited to, the following:
- All time limitations in Chapters 959, 959a, 960 and 961 of the General Statutes including, but not limited to, C.G.S. § 54-lg concerning the time of arraignments
- and C.G.S. § 54-82m concerning the right to a speedy trial;
- All time limitations for rendering judgments in civil actions provided in C.G.S. § 51-183b;
- All time limitations concerning civil process, service and return provided in Chapter 896 of the General Statutes;
- All statutes of limitations provided in Chapter 926 of the General Statutes;
- All time limitations concerning the automatic review of terms of probation provided in C.G.S. §53a-29(g);
- All time constraints for the filing of administrative appeals provided in C.G.S. § 4-183;
- All time limitations concerning hearings and rulings pertaining to primary and election disputes provided in Chapter 149 of the General Statutes;
- All time limitations in Title 46b of the General Statutes including, but not limited to, family, juvenile and child support matters;
- All venue and filing requirements including, but not limited to, C.G.S.§§ 51-345, 51-348, 51-352 and 51-353, provided in Chapter 890 of the General Statutes;
- The times and places for the sitting of the Superior Court provided in C.G.S. § 51-181;
- The notice of sessions provided in C.G.S. § 51-182
Update on Civil and Housing Matters including Evictions and Foreclosures
March 19, 2020: Consistent with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s recently enacted 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions, the Court is hereby extending its previous Orders cancelling some foreclosure sales with the following Orders: ALL foreclosure sales previously scheduled to have occurred in April or May are hereby rescheduled to Saturday, June 6, 2020, with no appointed Committee to begin working on the sale (i.e. place foreclosure signs on properties, etc.) prior to May 1, 2020. The judgment in ANY foreclosure action in which the Court set a “law day” to run on any date in April or May is hereby amended with the first law day now set for June 2, 2020. There shall be an immediate stay of all issued executions on evictions and ejectments through May 1, 2020. Finally, all civil trials, trial management conferences, pre-trials, status conferences, J-ADR mediations and short calendars, arguable and non-arguable, have been cancelled so long as Judicial Branch operations are limited to Priority 1 functions only. Per order of Hon. James W. Abrams, Chief Administrative Judge for Civil Matters.
To promote public and personal health during the COVID-19 crisis, the Connecticut Supreme Court has postponed oral arguments in cases scheduled to have been heard between March 24-April 2, 2020. These matters will be heard at a future date and time to be determined.
At this time, the Connecticut Appellate Court has not scheduled any cases for the seventh term (April 6-April 24, 2020). Information regarding the scheduling of cases will be posted on the Judicial Branch website as soon as it becomes available.
Law Libraries Closed
March 16, 2020 – Effective immediately, the Connecticut Judicial Branch, Law Library Services’ courthouse law libraries will be closed until further notice.
Law Library Services will continue to provide services remotely, to the best of its ability, through those programs currently managed and maintained by the law librarians: JB Feedback “Ask Us A Question”, and “Ask a Librarian”.
We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our patrons.
Changes Related to Bid Opportunities
Due to the current issues related to COVID-19, the Judicial Branch has changed its procedures as it relates to Bid Opportunities. All changes are applicable for 30 days, beginning on March 17, 2020 and ending on April 17, 2020, unless modified in writing. For more information, please read the notice.
Posters have been placed at all entrances of Judicial Branch’s facilities urging people who are at risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19 to avoid entering the facility.