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 September 24, 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 adjust operations. Most courts suspended jury trials and many began conducting other hearings remotely. But the legal system remained up and running.

With the vaccine rollout, most courts substantially eased restrictions and returned to in-person operations. But the emergence of the Delta Variant is forcing some courts to re-implement safety plans. Many courts continue to conduct hearings remotely (including some virtual civil jury trials), and others are pivoting to address the new threat—contact your court directly 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 visit 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 Jury trials proceeding. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, per 8/20/21 Administrative Order No. 13 a temporary state of emergency is in place until 11/29/21. With some exceptions, most appearances are to be conducted remotely. Check local court for more information.
Alaska AK Court Website In response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, other than via special motion all civil trials are suspended until 11/1/21. Individual local courts have implemented total trial suspensions. Check with local court. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, per 8/9/21 order in-person proceedings are subject to increased safety requirements. Access to many local court clerks may be by appointment only. Check with local court.
Arizona AZ Court Website Jury trials may proceed at the discretion of presiding judge. Check with local court. Courts are transitioning back to in-person pursuant to a four-phased plan. Activities are subject to very location-specific safety considerations. Check with local court.
Arkansas AR Court Website Jury trials proceeding. In-person hearings are being conducted. Remote hearings may be held at presiding judge's discretion.
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 Jury trials are allowed in courts where chief judge determines health guidelines can be met, but local restrictions are tightening in response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases. Check local court for more information.. Procedures/limitations are court-specific, but as of 9/2/21 most courts are are again requiring face coverings. Check local court for more information.
Connecticut CT Court Website Jury trials proceeding. Many proceedings are online. Most facilities are open to the public, but face coverings are required. Check local court for more information.
Delaware DE Court Website Jury trials proceeding with criminal cases prioritized. See Court Website. Currently operating in Phase III of Five-phased reopening plan initiated 6/8/20. In response to surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, as of 8/16/21 masks are again required at all court facilities. Vaccination/testing mandate in place for court employees. See Court Website.
District of Columbia DC Court Website Jury trials proceeding pursuant to detailed plan. Pursuant to 9/11/21 Amended Chief Judge Order 9-1-21, deadlines and limits have been extended, and non priority matters originally scheduled through 9/10/21 have been re-prioritized. All clerks offices and the child-care center are open to the public. Civil hearings will continue to be conducted primarily remotely. Criminal hearings may be in person. Safety measures, including face covering requirements, remain in effect. See 7/14/21 Amended Order and 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. As of 8/2/21, vaccinated individuals are exempt from mask/social distancing requirements. See 6/4/21 Chief Justice Order. Phase II of 4-phased plan currently in effect otherwise. Check local court.
Georgia GA Court Website Jury trials proceeding subject to safety guidelines and local discretion. Check local court. Courts continue to discourage in-person hearings. Effective 8/4/21 masks are required in some facilities. Check local court for more information.
Hawaii HI Court Website Effective 8/6/21 jury trials are re-suspended through 10/4/21. Check local court. Conducting in-person hearings with safety protocols. Many matters still handled remotely. Check local court for more information.
Idaho ID Court Website Jury trials underway may continue subject to local COVID metrics. However, In response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, no jury trials may commence between 9/27/21 and 12/6/21. Check local court for more information. 9/22/21 Re-emergency Order issued in response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases. in person hearings are limited to enumerated matters only, all others held electronically. Effective 8/12/21 masks are required in most facilities. Check local court for more information.
Illinois IL Court Website Very court specific. Jury 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. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, effective 9/2/21 masks are required in all courthouses. Check local court for more information.
Indiana IN Court Website Jury trials proceeding. Trial courts are operating under individual transition plans. Check IN Court Website and local court for more information.
Iowa IA Court Website Jury trials proceeding. In-person hearings and non-jury trials proceeding provided safety protocols are met. Per 6/27/21 order, masks are required in court-controlled areas. Non-jury trials via remote if parties agree. The Supreme Court is closely monitoring the recent COVID-19 Delta variant surge, and may take further action at any point. Check local court for more information.
Kansas KS Court Website

Jury trials proceeding 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 Jury trials are proceeding 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

Jury trials proceeding subject to local health restrictions.

Check local court for more information.

Very court specific. Check local court for more information.

Maine ME Court Website Limited criminal jury trials have resumed. See Management Plan. Operating pursuant to five-phased Management Plan. Enumerated matter-types conducted in person. in response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, effective 8/16/21 ALL members of public must wear masks irregardless of immunization status. The public is advised that Court and clerk's facilities may close unexpectedly. Judges may also continue to defer to remote hearings. Check ME Court Website.
Maryland MD Court Website Jury trials proceeding. Resumed full operations pursuant to Phase V of five-phased Resumption of Operations Plan. in response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, social distancing and health measures remain in effect. Check local court for more information.
Massachusetts MA Court Website Jury trials proceeding, with criminal, youthful offender and sexually dangerous person cases prioritized. See 7/1/21 Supreme Court Seventh Updated Order.

Operating pursuant to the 7/1/21 Supreme Court Seventh Updated Order. Courts are open for in-person business, including criminal bench trials. Masks are required. Other matters may be conducted in person or remotely at the presiding judge's discretion. Check local court for more information.

Michigan MI Court Website Currently in Phase Four of four phases. Check local court for more information. Courts are following a four-phase "Return to Full Capacity Guide" dependent on meeting health benchmarks. All courts are currently at Phase Four, and are following local public health guidelines. Limited in-person proceedings subject to presiding judge's discretion. Check local court for more information.
Minnesota MN Court Website Jury trials proceeding. Civil jury trials may be conducted remotely if all parties agree. Check local court for more information. "Transitional case strategies" under the judicial "Preparedness Plan" are underway. In-person restrictions based upon type of hearing: Criminal Settlement Conferences; and Grand Jury Proceedings continue to take place in-person. All other proceedings are remote barring extenuating circumstances. Mandatory misdemeanor criminal trials and contested hearings are in person as of August 2, 2021. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, the chief judge of a district may require face coverings. Check local court for more information.
Mississippi MS Court Website Jury trials are proceeding in counties that meet health benchmarks. However, in response to the Delta variety COVID resurgence, judges have the discretion to postpone jury trials scheduled through 10/8/21 and to postpone returnable jury summonses to 10/11/21. Check local court for more information.

In response to the surge in COVID-19 Delta variant cases, 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

Jury trials have resumed.

Decisions to be made at the local level. Check local court information.

In-person hearings have resumed.

Decisions to be made at the local level. Check local court information.

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.

Most health and safety decisions to be made at the local level. Minimum measures in place statewide.

In-person hearings have resumed.

Scroll down on this page to find local court orders.

Most health and safety decisions to be made at the local level. Minimum measures in place statewide.

Nevada NV Court Website

Jury trials are being conducted.

Certain mask mandates in effect.

Check local courts.

Appearance by alternative means is preferred over in-person hearings.

Certain mask mandates in effect.

Check local courts.

New Hampshire NH Court Website

Final emergency COVID-19 order expired 6/7/21.

Jury trials moving forward in person. Find live stream links for public access here.

Additional information found here.

Final emergency COVID-19 order expired 6/7/21.

In-person hearings and operations returned to normal status as of 6/8/21. Remote hearings still allowed.

Check local courts.

New Jersey NJ Court Website

Jury trials and grand juries resumed in-person in June 2021.

Criminal jury trials will receive top priority.

Some civil trials will be in-person but most to continue virtually.

Mask requirements back into effect.

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.

Mask requirements back into effect.

New Mexico NM Court Website

Jury trials resumed.

Mask requirements in effect.

Certain criminal and civil hearings are presumed to be in-person. Remote hearings are still allowed.

Mask requirements in effect.

Check local court.

New York NY Court Website

Resumption of in-person civil and criminal jury trials resumed started in March 2021.

Check local court orders.

Mask and Covid screening protocols in effect to enter courthouses.

Resumption of in-person hearings began in March 2021. Remote hearings are still allowed.

Check local court orders.

Mask and Covid screening protocols in effect to enter courthouses.

North Carolina NC Court Website

All emergency directives expired as of 6/21/21.

Decisions to be made at the local level.

Check local courts, including temporary court closings.

All emergency directives expired as of 6/21/21.

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

Check local courts, including temporary court closings.

North Dakota ND Court Website

Statewide emergency orders regarding coronavirus pandemic repealed as of July 1, 2021.

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

Check local courts.

Statewide emergency orders regarding coronavirus pandemic repealed as of July 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

Jury trials proceeding.

Chief Justice recommends all court participants mask regardless of vaccination status.

Check local court orders.

In-person hearing proceeding.

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

Chief Justice recommends all court participants mask regardless of vaccination status.

Check local court orders.

Oklahoma OK Court Website

Jury trials resumed.

Check county notices. Some jury dockets have been postponed due to recent spike in Covid cases (delta varient).

In-person hearings resumed.

Check county notices. Local courts updating rules due to recent spike in Covid cases (delta varient).

Oregon OR Court Website

Jury trials may be conducted in person or remotely as determined by the presiding judge.

Mask mandates and social distancing requirements have been reinstated.

Check local court orders.

Hearings may be conducted in person or remotely as determined by the presiding judge.

Mask mandates and social distancing requirements have been reinstated.

Check local court orders.

Pennsylvania PA Court Website

Jury trials resumed. Decisions made at the local court level.

Check local courts.

In-person hearings resumed. Decisions made at the local court level.

Check local courts.

Rhode Island RI Court Website

Jury trials may resume in-person without restrictions. Remote bench trials still allowed.

Mask mandate reinstated.

Court links found here.

In-person hearings to resume in all courts effective 9/7/21. Remote hearings still allowed.

Mask mandate reinstated.

Court links found here.

South Carolina SC Court Website

Statewide restrictions expired 8/31/21.

Decisions on jury trials to be made at the local level.

Check local court status.

Statewide restrictions expired 8/31/21.

Decisions on in-person hearings to be made at the local level.

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.

Local courts encouraged to require masks.

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

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

Use of remote hearings and masking encouraged.

Texas TX Court Website

Effective 8/1/21, all courts are permitted to hold in-person jury trials. Limited virtual jury proceedings allowed.

Effective 8/1/21, all courts are permitted to hold in-person hearings. Remote proceedings still encouraged.

Utah UT Court Website

Check individual court status. (All counties moved to yellow.)

Adopted a three-phase system for counties.

Red phase: very limited jury trials

Yellow phase: limited trials

Green phase: new normal court operations

As of Aug. 2021: Mask mandate reinstated in counties designated as moderate or high risk.

Check individual court status. (All counties moved to yellow.)

Adopted a three-phase system for counties.

Red phase: only emergency in-person hearings

Yellow phase: in-person allowed (but preference for remote hearings) if social distancing can be maintained

Green phase: new normal court operations

As of Aug. 2021: Mask mandate reinstated in counties designated as moderate or high risk.

Vermont VT Court Website

Judicial emergency extended to 11/1/21 (due to climbing COVID infections).

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

Social distancing and mask mandates may be enforced.

Check local court status.

Judicial emergency extended to 11/1/21 (due to climbing COVID infections).

Limited in-person hearings permitted. Remote hearings encouraged. (Certain courthouses can only accommodate a limited number of in-person hearings due to ventilation systems.)

Social distancing and mask mandates may be enforced.

Check local court status.

Virginia VA Court Website

Judicial emergency extended to 10/13/21.

Decisions to be made at the local level.

Check local courts.

Judicial emergency extended to 10/13/21.

Decisions to be made at the local level.

Check local courts.

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

Decisions to be made at the local level.

Check local court status.

Decisions to be made at the local level. Remote hearings still allowed.

Check local court status.
Wisconsin WI Court Website

Statewide mandates rescinded.

Check local court orders (scroll down), revised orders, and closures.

Statewide mandates rescinded.

Check local court orders (scroll down), revised orders, and closures.

Wyoming WY Court Website

Jury trials proceeding but cannot be conducted without an approved operating plan.

Check local court status at the bottom of this page.

In-person hearings may proceed. Remote appearances encouraged.

Check local court status at the bottom of this page.

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