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 its operations. Most courts suspended jury trials and many began conducting other judicial hearings remotely. But the legal system remained up and running.
As we approach summer, states are gradually beginning to lift emergency COVID-19 orders. Restrictions on court operations are beginning to ease, as well. Each state continues to make decisions based on its resources and the pandemic's impact on the community. In general, though, we're seeing courts develop phased reopening plans, expand the use of in-person hearings, and plan for jury trials to resume.
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 suspended in-court hearings and jury trials (note that criminal cases might have fewer suspensions than civil cases). We continue to update the chart, and you'll find the date of the most recent update below. 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||Suspended until 9/14.||In-person resumed 5/15 subject to discretion of presiding judge, but no court may remain closed to in-person beyond 8/15. Check individual court for more information.|
|Alaska||AK Court Website||Grand jury proceedings resumed 6/1. Jury trials suspended through "at least" 7/6.||Non-jury proceedings resumed 6/1, subject to presiding judge discretion.|
|Arizona||AZ Court Website||Resuming 6/15.||In-person proceedings resumed 6/1 subject to safety considerations.|
|Arkansas||AR Court Website||Resumed, but limited to 10 people. Alternative venues like auditoriums, gymnasiums or civic centers may be used. Circuit court civil jury trials may be conducted with 6 jurors.
Jury panel summonses suspended through 6/30.
|Resumed 5/18 at discretion of presiding judge.|
|California||CA Court Website||Criminal trials suspended for 90 days from the last date on which trial could have been conducted between 3/16 and 6/15, unless good cause shown or conducted via remote technology. Civil trials extended by 6 months.||See Pandemic Continuity of Operations Resource Guide and check individual court for more information.|
|Colorado||CO Court Website||Suspended through 7/6, except jury calls for criminal trials facing imminent speedy trial
|Check individual court for more information.|
|Connecticut||CT Court Website||Suspended until further notice.||Remote trial management conferences, status conferences and civil pretrials resumed 5/18. Facilities are expanding limited operations. Check individual court for more information.|
|Delaware||DE Court Website||Scheduled for "Phase III" of reopening plan. See Court Website.||5-phased reopening plan, starting with current "soft opening" Phase I. No firm dates set as of 6/5. Check DE Court Website.|
|District of Columbia||DC Court Website||Suspended until further notice.||Primarily essential and limited matters; other matters as capacity allows/expands.|
|Florida||FL Court Website||Suspended until 7/2.||"Essential court proceedings" only. All others postponed, unless they can be conducted electronically.|
|Georgia||GA Court Website||Suspended until further notice.||Essential functions/matters "necessary to protect health, safety, and liberty of individuals". Judicial emergency in place until 6/12.|
|Hawaii||HI Court Website||Suspended until end of Governor's state of emergency.||Emergency and time-sensitive matters only. Check HI Court Website.|
|Idaho||ID Court Website||Criminal suspended until 8/3, civil until 10/5.||Enumerated critical matters only, all others to be held electronically.|
|Illinois||IL Court Website||Each circuit may suspend trials, including in-custody trials, until further order by the Supreme Court. Some circuits may resume as soon as 6/18. Check circuits for details.||Varies by circuit, but courts are granted significant latitude to restrict hearings. Check individual court for more information.|
|Indiana||IN Court Website||No jury trials before 7/1 unless approved by IN Supreme Court.||Trial courts operating under individual transition plans. Check individual court for more information.|
|Iowa||IA Court Website||Civil trials suspended until 9/14. Criminal trials and civil non-jury trials resume 7/13.||Emergency and essential matters only. Check IA Court Website.|
|Kansas||KS Court Website||Limited to courts with approved reopening plans. Check local court for details.||Essential functions have priority, with additional matters being added pursuant to regional re-opening plans. Check individual court for more information.|
|Kentucky||KY Court Website||Jury trials suspended until 9/1. In-custody criminal trials to have priority. Grand jury proceedings resumed 5/19.||
Chief district and circuit judges are encouraged to develop local plans.
Check individual court for more information.
|Louisiana||LA Court Website||Suspended until 6/30.||Courts conducting in-person proceedings on all matters.|
|Maine||ME Court Website||Suspended until 9/7.||Governed by 5-phased management plan. Check ME Court Website.|
|Maryland||MD Court Website||Resume in Phase V starting 10/5.||Limited matters at presiding judge's discretion (Phase I). Phase II of 5-phased plan begins 6/5 with expanded matters in phases. Courts return to normal operations with Phase V on 10/5. Check individual court for more information.|
|Massachusetts||MA Court Website||Suspended until 9/8, bench trials until 7/1 unless parties agree to electronic bench trial (check individual courts for availability of this option).||Local plans in effect. Check individual court for more information.|
|Michigan||MI Court Website||Suspended until 6/22.||Individual courts implementing a 4-stage "Return to Full Capacity Guide" dependent on meeting health benchmarks. Check individual court for more information..|
|Minnesota||MN Court Website||On 6/1/20, approved counties began criminal trial pilot program. All other criminal trials suspended until 7/6, and civil trials suspended until 9/1.||"Transitional case strategies" are being implemented. Check individual court for more information.|
|Mississippi||MS Court Website||Jury trials to be phased in by county. Counties with two or fewer COVID-19 deaths resumed trials 5/18. All other counties postponed until 6/15.||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.|
|Missouri||MO Court Website||As of 5/16, operational directives in place statewide to ease COVID-19 restrictions. Phased benchmarks must be met at individual courts. Check with local court.||
As of 5/16, operational directives in place statewide to ease COVID-19 restrictions. Phased benchmarks must be met at individual courts. Check with local court.
|Montana||MT Court Website||Court operations resumed 5/4. Check local courts. Plans to conduct "necessary jury trials" are decided at the local level and must meet health and social distancing requirements.||Court operations resumed 5/4. Check local courts for health and social distancing requirements.|
|Nebraska||NE Court Website||Discretion of local courts. Check local court.||Check local court.|
|Nevada||NV Court Website||Stayed 30 days after judicial emergency lifted.||Essential matters only, but check local courts. Nonessential matters to be conducted remotely or continued.|
|New Hampshire||NH Court Website||Suspended until further notice.||Suspended through 6/15, with exceptions for essential case types. Preference for remote hearings.|
|New Jersey||NJ Court Website||Suspended until 6/14.||Emergency cases have priority with more court matters resuming using remote technology as capacity allows.|
|New Mexico||NM Court Website||Scheduled to resume between 5/15 and 7/15 subject to approval of individual court safety plans.||Judges are still conducting hearings remotely unless an emergency exists.|
|New York||NY Court Website||Current trials to conclude, and no new trials to begin until further notice.||Many courts returning to limited in-person appearances pursuant to Phase II of gradual return plan. Check with local court.|
|North Carolina||NC Court Website||Suspended until 8/1.||Limited matters only. All other matters conducted remotely.|
|North Dakota||ND Court Website||Suspended until 7/1.||At presiding judge's discretion. Electronic appearances or continuances are encouraged.|
|Ohio||OH Court Website||No statewide order. Guidance only. Check local courts.||Check local courts. Courts are empowered and encouraged to hold electronic hearings where appropriate.|
|Oklahoma||OK Court Website||Jury terms canceled through 7/31. All jury trials continued to next available dockets.||In-person hearings resumed 5/16.|
|Oregon||OR Court Website||Limited to criminal defendants and juveniles in custody and where constitutional rights are at stake; otherwise, all civil and criminal jury trials suspended until 7/1.||
In-person proceedings resumed 6/1 in courts where the governor has authorized Phase 1 reopening status.
|Pennsylvania||PA Court Website||Statewide judicial emergency ended 6/1, but courts following restrictions. Check local courts.||
Statewide judicial emergency ended 6/1, but courts following restrictions. Check local courts.
|Rhode Island||RI Court Website||Suspended until after 8/1.||
In-person bench trials resumed 6/2.
Restricted to Emergency in-person hearings or non-emergency hearings that cannot be conducted remotely.
|South Carolina||SC Court Website||Suspended until further notice.||Certain hearings resumed 5/4—use of remote communication technology preferred. If an in-person hearing is conducted, only attorneys, parties, necessary witnesses, and a limited number of press members will be allowed. Hearings must be staggered.|
|South Dakota||SD Court Website||Check local courts.||Check local courts. Restrictions on remote hearings suspended.|
|Tennessee||TN Court Website||Suspended through 7/3, with exceptions for extraordinary circumstances.||
Remote appearances preferred. Local plans to expand the use of in-person proceedings must be approved by the Chief Justice. Check local courts.
|Texas||TX Court Website||Suspended until 8/1 unless authorized by Office of Court Administration.||Essential proceedings allowed. On 6/1 courts began holding in-person hearings for nonessential matters if court's operational plan is approved. Preference for remote hearings. Check local courts.|
|Utah||UT Court Website||Suspended until further notice.||Emergency matters only. All other hearings should be conducted remotely.|
|Vermont||VT Court Website||Jury trials in criminal cases suspended until 9/1. Civil jury trials suspended until 1/1/21.||Courts started hearing non-emergency matters on 6/1. Preference remains for remote hearings.|
|Virginia||VA Court Website||Suspended until 6/7.||Starting 5/18, judges may conduct in-person hearings, if safe to do so. Preference for conducting hearings remotely.|
|Washington||WA Court Website||Suspended until at least 7/6. Check local courts.||In person allowed with strict observance of heath measures. Courts encouraged to hear more cases remotely. Check local courts.|
|West Virginia||WV Court Website||Suspended through 6/28. Grand juries may start on 6/15. Petit trial juries may start 6/29.||In-person hearings resumed on 5/18. Remote hearings still permitted and encouraged.|
|Wisconsin||WI Court Website||Suspended, unless the court's operational plan to resume jury trials is approved. Check local court.||
Limited essential hearings only. All nonessential, in-person hearings should be conducted remotely or suspended.
In-person hearings may resume upon approval of court's operational plan to resume in-person hearings. Check local court.
|Wyoming||WY Court Website||
Suspended until 8/3.
|Suspended until 8/3 with limited exceptions. Remote appearances encouraged. Check local courts.|