How Every State's Legal System Is Responding to COVID-19

Use our 50-state tracker to check out how your state's legal system is responding to COVID-19.

Updated April 30, 2021

Access to justice isn't just a concept—it's a constitutional right. People depend on the legal system for custody rights, business disputes, violence protection orders, tenants' rights, and much more.

Initially, COVID-19 emergency orders shuttered many courthouse doors, forcing the legal system to quickly adjust operations. Most courts suspended jury trials and many began conducting other judicial hearings remotely. But the legal system remained up and running.

Many courts implemented phased-in reopening plans last fall, placing court operation decisions primarily at the local level. The winter spike in COVID-19 infection rates, however, brought most of those plans to a halt. Now that the vaccine rollout is fully underway, courts are re-implementing their reopening plans. Most courts continue to conduct many hearings remotely (including some virtual civil jury trials), while also expanding the availability of in-person hearings and jury trials. Overall, states and local communities are easing restrictions—be sure to check your court's status for the latest information.

50-State Tracker: COVID-19 Legal System Responses

Check out your state's response in the chart below. The chart provides links to each state's government and judicial COVID-19 response pages, as well as general information on the resumption of in-court hearings and jury trials (note that criminal cases generally resume sooner than civil cases). We continue to update the chart, and you'll find the date of the most recent update above. But information changes rapidly, and you should check your state's website for the most current information. You'll likely need to find links for your city, county, or local courthouse to learn information specific to your area.

For more information on specific legal issues relating to COVID-19, check out our center for coronavirus coverage.

State State Court Website Jury Trials In-Person Proceedings
Alabama AL Court Website Resumed on 3/9/21, but check with local court. In-person hearings are subject to the discretion of the presiding judge, but most hearings conducted online. Check individual court for more information.
Alaska AK Court Website Misdemeanor jury trials resumed 4/19/21, Category B/C felony trials tentatively scheduled to resume 6/1/21, and A/B felony trials resume 7/6/21 subject to presiding judge's discretion. In-person civil trials are tentatively suspended through 9/7/21. Parties may agree to proceed via video conference or in person at presiding judge's discretion. Subject to presiding judge's discretion. In-person proceedings are subject to strict safety requirements. Check with local court.
Arizona AZ Court Website At discretion of presiding judge. Check with local court. Courts are transitioning back to in-person pursuant to phase one of a four-phased plan, after restrictions were re-imposed in response to the winter surge. Activities are subject to very location-specific safety considerations. Check with local court.
Arkansas AR Court Website Civil trials can be conducted in whole/part remotely. in-person trials resume 5/1/21. Criminal and civil matters continue in person or preferably via videoconference. The AR Supreme Court has noted the 'encouraging downward trend' of COVID-19 cases, and continues to ease restrictions. Court staff have been prioritized for vaccination.
California CA Court Website Status is very court-specific. Individual court status is available online. Very court specific. See Pandemic Continuity of Operations Resource Guide and check individual court for more information.
Colorado CO Court Website Allowed in courts where chief judges determine health guidelines can be met. Check local court for more information.. Procedures/limitations are court-specific.Check local court for more information.
Connecticut CT Court Website Jury trials suspended until 5/31/21. Officials are revising strategies. Many proceedings are online. All matters except jury trials are being heard, and many facilities remain open to the public. Check local court for more information.
Delaware DE Court Website Currently re-suspended. Will resume upon return to Phase 3 on 6/1/21, with criminal cases prioritized. See Court Website. Five-phased reopening plan initiated 6/8/20. Judicial emergency extended through 5/3/21 and courts remain in phase 2. Courts anticipate moving to Phase 3 on 6/1/21, which will increase the amount of in-person hearings. See Court Website.
District of Columbia DC Court Website Criminal trials resumed 4/1/21 pursuant to detailed plan. Civil jury trials tentatively scheduled to resume in May 2021. As of 1/13/21 deadlines and limits further extended to-and non priority matters will be rescheduled after- 5/20/21. Except for limited criminal and domestic violence hearings, matters will be conducted remotely. Check local court for more information.
Florida FL Court Website Jury proceedings have/can resume(d) 30 days after a circuit/county transitions to Phase II of four-phased plan. Multiple courts are conducting civil juries via videoconferencing. Check local court. Courts are implementing individual operating plans based on four-phased reopening guidelines. Some courts remain in Phase 1, allowing "essential and critical trial court proceedings" and designated matters only. Most courts are in Phase II, with expanded in-person proceedings. Check local court.
Georgia GA Court Website Subject to safety guidelines and local discretion. Check local court. Courts have greatly expanded remote proceedings and continue to discourage in-person hearings. Check local court for more information.
Hawaii HI Court Website Trial suspensions vary by circuit. Check local court. Conducting in-person hearings with social distancing mandates. Many matters still handled remotely. Check local court for more information.
Idaho ID Court Website Subject to health limitations and local COVID metrics. Check local court for more information. In person for enumerated matters only, all others held electronically.
Illinois IL Court Website Very court specific. Trials have resumed in some jurisdictions. Check local court for more information. Varies by circuit, but courts have significant latitude to restrict in-person hearings. Enumerated matters (e.g. bench trials) can be heard remotely with defendant/party consent. Check local court for more information.
Indiana IN Court Website Resumed 3/1/21. Trial courts are operating under individual transition plans. Check IN Court Website and local court for more information.
Iowa IA Court Website Resumed 2/1/21. In-person emergency hearings, non-emergency hearings and non-jury trials proceeding provided safety protocols are met. Non-jury trials via remote if parties agree. Check local court for more information.
Kansas KS Court Website

Courts may conduct pursuant to safety plans. Check local court for details.

Essential functions have priority, with additional matters added pursuant to regional re-opening plans. Remote hearings encouraged to the extent possible. Check local court for more information.
Kentucky KY Court Website Resume(d) 5/1/21 subject to health restrictions and presiding judge's discretion, with in-custody criminal trials having priority.

Each district implementing localized protocol for easing restrictions. Check local court for more information.

Louisiana LA Court Website

Resumed 4/1/21 subject to local health restrictions.

Check local court for more information.

Remote hearings preferred.

Very court specific. Check local court for more information.

Maine ME Court Website Limited criminal jury trials have resumed, but full return to jury trials scheduled for 9/9/21. See Management Plan. Operating pursuant to five-phased Management Plan. Enumerated matter-types conducted in person. All others conducted remotely. Check ME Court Website.
Maryland MD Court Website Resumed 4/26/21 with Phase V return to full operations. On 4/26/21 resumed full operations pursuant to Phase V of five-phased Resumption of Operations Plan. Check local court for more information.
Massachusetts MA Court Website Phase 2 of a 4-phase "gradual trial resumption" began 3/1/21 following health and safety protocols.

Operating pursuant to phased "Trial Court 90-day Plan for Operations Through April 5, 2021". as modified by the 2/24/21 Fifth Updated Order. Local plans in effect and in-person reduced through May 2021 Check local court for more information.

Michigan MI Court Website Resume when a court reaches Phase Three. Check local court for more information. Individual courts are implementing a four-phase "Return to Full Capacity Guide" dependent on meeting health benchmarks. Check local court for more information.
Minnesota MN Court Website Criminal trials resumed 3/15/21, and absent exception civil trials resume 6/14/21. Civil trials may proceed remotely if all parties agree. Check local court for more information. "Transitional case strategies" under the judicial "Preparedness Plan" are being implemented. All but enumerated hearings conducted remotely. Limited access to court facilities in effect until 6/14/21. Check local court for more information.
Mississippi MS Court Website Trials may proceed in counties that meet health benchmarks. Judges are utilizing public arenas and auditoriums for jury selection and related activities. Check local court for more information. Individual judges granted discretion to control their general dockets, as well as safe practices. In-person hearings must be limited to attorneys, parties, witnesses, security officers, the press, and other necessary persons. Check local court for more information.
Missouri MO Court Website

Phased benchmarks (0-4) statewide operational directives must be met at individual courts.

Majority of courts in Phases 3 & 4 as of April 2021.

Check with local court.

Phase 0: suspended with only emergency exceptions

Phase 1: only jury trials that are extraordinary, pressing, and urgent

Phase 2: increased but still strictly limited

Phase 3: resume jury trials with social distancing

Phase 4: social distancing and masks only required in court proceedings and public areas of court facility

Phased benchmarks (0-4) statewide operational directives must be met at individual courts.

Majority of courts in Phases 3 & 4 as of April 2021.

Check with local court.

Phase 0: suspended, only emergency in-person hearings allowed

Phase 1: suspended, only critical proceedings allowed

Phase 2: increased in-person hearings

Phase 3: resume in-person hearings with social distancing

Phase 4: social distancing and masks only required in court proceedings and public areas of court facility

Montana MT Court Website

Plans to conduct jury trials are decided at the local level and must meet health and social distancing requirements.

Check local courts.

In-person hearings allowed with protective measures. Remote hearings will continue as well.

Check local courts for health and social distancing requirements.

Nebraska NE Court Website

Jury trials resumed.

Scroll down on this page to find local court orders.

In-person hearings resumed.

Scroll down on this page to find local court orders.

Nevada NV Court Website

No statewide restrictions.

Check local courts.

Essential matters only, but check local courts. Nonessential matters to be conducted remotely or continued.

Check local courts.

New Hampshire NH Court Website

Courts open on a restricted basis for essential matters (Effective through 5/17/21).

Some jury trials moving forward. Find live stream links here.

Additional information found here.

Courts open on a restricted basis for essential matters (Effective through 5/17/21).

Some in-person hearings moving forward. Preference for remote hearings.

Check local courts.

New Jersey NJ Court Website

Criminal jury trials remain suspended. Tentative plans to resume after 5/17/21.

Virtual civil jury trials to begin on 2/1/21 in certain vicinages. Expanding to all counties on 4/5/21.

Grand juries are convening virtually.

Continuing preference for remote hearings. Check local court.

Certain county courthouses provide private courthouse rooms where litigants with limited or no access to technology can participate remotely in hearings.

New Mexico NM Court Website

Jury trials were allowed to resume as of 2/1/21.

Judges continuing to conduct hearings remotely unless a compelling need exists.

Check local court.

New York NY Court Website

Limited number of civil and criminal jury trials resumed 3/22/21.

Virtual bench trials taking place.

Check local court orders.

Limited and gradual resumption of in-person hearings began in March 2021.

Virtual proceedings taking place.

Check local court orders.

North Carolina NC Court Website

Judicial emergency extended until 5/9/21.

Decisions to be made at the local level.

Check local courts, including temporary court closings.

Judicial emergency extended until 5/9/21.

Decisions to be made at the local level. Remote proceedings remain authorized.

Check local courts, including temporary court closings.

North Dakota ND Court Website

At the discretion of the presiding judge.

Statewide emergency order regarding coronavirus pandemic repealed as of April 1, 2021.

Orders on the use of remote technology, face coverings, and public health requirements remain in effect.

Check local courts.

At the discretion of the presiding judge.

Statewide emergency order regarding coronavirus pandemic repealed as of April 1, 2021.

Orders on the use of remote technology, face coverings, and public health requirements remain in effect.

Check local courts.

Ohio OH Court Website

Check local court orders.

When essential, conducted in accordance with the best legal and medical practices, and honoring "... the fundamental rights of the parties."

Check local court orders.

Courts are empowered and encouraged to hold electronic hearings where appropriate.

Oklahoma OK Court Website

No statewide order addressing jury trials.

Check county notices.

In-person hearings resumed.

Check county notices.

Oregon OR Court Website

Jury trials in criminal and civil cases shall be conducted in person unless county is designated as Extreme High-Risk Level by Governor. (See Chief Justice Order, effective Mar. 15, 2021.)

Check local court orders.

No in-person hearings may be held unless all safety requirements identified by the Supreme Court can be met. (See Chief Justice Order, effective Mar. 15, 2021.)

Check local court orders.

Pennsylvania PA Court Website

Jury trials resumed, but courts following restrictions.

Check local courts.

In-person hearings resumed, but courts following restrictions.

Check local courts.

Rhode Island RI Court Website

Jury trials cannot be scheduled without the express, written authorization of the Presiding Justice where a constitutional, statutory, or other highly critical need is established.

Court links found here.

In-person proceedings allowed but remote hearings still encouraged.

Court links found here.

South Carolina SC Court Website

Ban on jury trials lifted. Courts may conduct jury trials if Chief Justice approves operating plan.

Check local court status.

Ban on in-person hearings lifted. Courts may conduct in-person hearings in accordance with Judicial Branch Guidance.

Check local court status.

South Dakota SD Court Website

Jury trials resumed.

Check local court orders.

In-person hearings resumed. Restrictions on remote hearings suspended.

Check local court orders.

Tennessee TN Court Website

Jury trials resumed April 2021.

Judicial district plans on conducting in-person jury trials found here.

Beginning in March 2021, the suspension of in-person proceedings were partially lifted.

Judicial district plans on conducting in-person hearings found here.

Texas TX Court Website

Courts may conduct in-person jury trials upon approval and adoption of health protocols by the individual district, county, or municipal court.

Judicial branch issued Best Practices for All Court Proceedings (effective March 2021) with metrics for local jurisdictions to consult when deciding whether to conduct hearings in-person, remote, or both.

In-person proceedings are allowed, but judges must continue to use reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely.

Check local courts. Find an interactive map by county here.

Judicial branch issued Best Practices for All Court Proceedings (effective March 2021) with metrics for local jurisdictions to consult when deciding whether to conduct hearings in-person, remote, or both.

Utah UT Court Website

Check individual court status. (Most courts remain in the red phase, but several have been moved to yellow.)

Adopted a three-phase system for counties.

Red phase: no jury trials

Yellow phase: limited trials

Green phase: new normal court operations

Check individual court status. (Most courts remain in the red phase, but several have been moved to yellow.)

Adopted a three-phase system for counties.

Red phase: only emergency in-person hearings

Yellow phase: in-person allowed (but not encouraged) if social distancing can be maintained

Green phase: new normal court operations

Vermont VT Court Website

Judicial emergency extended to 5/31/21.

Jury trials may be held with authorization from Chief Superior Judge and Court Administrator.

Check local court status, including closings.

Judicial emergency extended to 5/31/21.

In-person hearings permitted; however, remote hearings preferred and mandatory in certain cases.

Check local court status, including closings.

Virginia VA Court Website

Judicial emergency extended to 5/9/21.

No jury trials may start without approval from judicial panel.

Link to approved jury trial resumption plans can be found on this page.

Check local courts, including court closings (link on this page).

Judicial emergency extended to 5/9/21.

Judges may conduct in-person hearings if safe to do so. Preference for conducting hearings remotely.

Check local courts, including court closings (link can be found on this page).

Washington WA Court Website

Jury trial resumption decided at the local level.

Supreme Court Covid-19 related orders found here.

Check local court closures.

In-person hearings resumed. Remote preferred. Certain counties providing virtual court hearings.

Supreme Court Covid-19 related orders found here.

Check local court closures.

West Virginia WV Court Website

Resumed subject to individual court safety considerations. No large-scale jury trials allowed.

Check with local court, including court closures.

In-person hearings resumed. Remote hearings still permitted and encouraged. Judicial officers encouraged to collaborate with local health officials.

Check with local court, including court closures.
Wisconsin WI Court Website

Jury trials may resume in courts with approved operational plans.

Check local court orders, revised orders, and closures.

In-person hearings may resume upon approval of court's operational plan.

Check local court orders, revised orders, and closures.

Wyoming WY Court Website

Jury trials proceeding but cannot be conducted without an approved operating plan. (Criminal trials to receive preference over civil trials.)

Check local court status at the bottom of this page.

Some in-person hearings proceeding. Remote appearances encouraged.

Check local court status at the bottom of this page.

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