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 January 28, 2022

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.

For the most part, courts have reopened across the country. Justice may look slightly different with masks, social distancing, plexiglass barriers, and more video conferencing equipment. Depending on where you live, your courthouse might be conducting most hearings in person. Other courts continue to triage cases—prioritizing many criminal hearings and trials for in-person appearances. Most courts continue to conduct some hearings remotely (including some virtual civil jury trials).

Make sure to contact your local court directly for the latest information on court openings, closings, and remote access capabilities.

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.

State State Court Website Jury Trials In-Person Proceedings
Alabama AL Court Website Some counties (e.g., Montgomery) have canceled January jury terms. Check local court for more information.The Alabama State Bar Association also tracks the status of individual counties. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, per 8/20/21 Administrative Order No. 13 and 11/29/21 Administrative Order No. 15, a temporary state of emergency is in place until 3/31/22. With limited exceptions, appearances must be conducted remotely. Check local court for more information. The Alabama State Bar Association also tracks the status of individual counties.
Alaska AK Court Website Pursuant to 12/2/21 Order No. 8352, as of 1/10/22 all jury trials are proceeding: "...there will be no further suspensions of criminal jury trials absent extraordinary circumstances". Check with local court. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, in-person proceedings are subject to increased safety requirements. Remote appearances are strongly preferred. 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 are proceeding with location-specific limitations. Check local court for more information. In-person hearings are being conducted. Remote hearings may be held at presiding judge's discretion. Check local court for more information.
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 proceeding in courts where the chief judge determines health guidelines can be met, but local restrictions are tightening in response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases. Many courts have re-suspended jury trials. Check local court for more information.. Procedures/limitations are court-specific, but in response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases most courts are -at a minimum- again requiring face coverings. Many courts have returned to remote hearings except for designated matter-types. Check local court for more information.
Connecticut CT Court Website Jury trials are 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 are 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 the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, masks are again required at all court facilities. A vaccination/testing mandate is in place for court employees. See Court Website.
District of Columbia DC Court Website In response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, civil trials scheduled through 2/11/22 are continued to the earliest possible date after 2/11/22. New criminal jury trials scheduled through 2/10/22 are continued to the earliest possible date after 2/11/22. Ongoing jury trials will be completed as soon as possible. Preliminary hearings, detention
hearings, and non-jury trials will continue as scheduled pursuant to detailed plan.
In response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, pursuant to Amended Chief Judge Order 12-30-21, matters will be heard remotely or in person depending on specific matter type. Safety measures, including face covering requirements, remain in effect. 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. Mask/social distancing requirements in effect for non-vaccinated individuals. 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. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, masks are required in some facilities. Check local court for more information.
Hawaii HI Court Website Jury trials are proceeding pursuant to circuit-specific plans in compliance with social distancing and other safety requirements. Check local court. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, pursuant to the 1/27/22 Order Regarding Judiciary Operations courthouse access remains limited to those with official business as defined. In-person hearings remain subject to safety protocols (including masks and social distancing) Many matters are still being handled remotely with an increased emphasis on remote technology. Presiding judges have scheduling discretion to ensure health and safety. Check local court for more information.
Idaho ID Court Website Jury trials underway subject to local COVID metrics. Witnesses may testify remotely in criminal trials via consent; all testimony can be remote in civil trials via agreement. Check local court for more information.

Per 11/29/21 Order issued in response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases; local protocols are based on weekly COVID-19 metrics for each county. Each district administrative judge issues orders regarding appropriate safety protocols, which at a minimum includes the use of masks. In-person hearings are limited to enumerated matters only, all others held electronically. Masks are required in most facilities. Check local court for more information.

Illinois IL Court Website Very court specific. Local courts are authorized to suspend jury trials, but 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 Omicron variant cases, masks are required in all courthouses. Check local court for more information.
Indiana IN Court Website Jury trials may proceed under individual transition plans and at discretion of local courts. However, the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases is restricting activities. Check IN Court Website and local court for more information.. Trial courts are operating under individual transition plans.However, the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases is restricting activities. Check IN Court Website and local court for more information.
Iowa IA Court Website Jury trials are proceeding. In-person hearings and non-jury trials are proceeding provided safety protocols are met. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases per 12/8/21 order, masks are required in court-controlled areas, remote hearings are strongly encouraged, and non-jury trials may be via remote if parties agree. The Supreme Court is closely monitoring the recent 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 in response to surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases. The use of masks is strongly encouraged. 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 Post-Pandemic Management Order PPMO-SJC-1 in response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, ALL members of public must wear 3-ply surgical or KN-95 masks regardless of immunization status.Those who cannot comply should call 207-753-2999. The public is advised that Court and clerk's facilities may close unexpectedly. Judges may also continue to defer to remote hearings. See Post-Pandemic Management Order PPMO-SJC-1 and check ME Court Website.
Maryland MD Court Website Currently reverted to Phase Three of five phases. Jury trials underway as of 12/27/21 can proceed to conclusion; trials scheduled for after that date will be rescheduled to 3/7/22 or thereafter. Check local court for more information. Courts were following a five-phase "Progressive Resumption of Operations Plan" dependent on meeting health benchmarks. However, in response to the COVID-19 Omicron and Omicron surges, all courts have reverted to Phase III through at least 3/6/22. Certain deadlines have been extended.Limited in-person proceedings of enumerated hearing-types subject to presiding judge's discretion. Check local court for more information.
Massachusetts MA Court Website In response to the COVID-19 Omicron surges, on 1/24/22 the Supreme Judicial Court extended the pause on all jury trials until 2/14/22.

Pursuant to 1/3/22 court order, proceedings will be held remotely wherever possible. Courts may continue to hold in-person proceedings in matters where a virtual proceeding is not practicable or would be inconsistent with the protection of constitutional rights. Staffing has been reduced by 50%.

In light of the ongoing reduction in statewide positive case counts, effective 1/31/22, Trial Court Emergency Interim Order 22-1: Interim Order Concerning Trial Court Operations will be revoked. Courts will resume full staffing capacity with operations controlled by the departmental standing orders concerning court operations.

Masks, health screening and social distancing requirements are and will remain in effect until further notice. Check local court for more information.

Michigan MI Court Website Currently in Phase Four of four phases. Jury trials proceeding subject to local health restrictions 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, mandatory misdemeanor criminal trials and contested hearings, and Grand Jury Proceedings continue to take place in-person. All other proceedings are remote barring extenuating circumstances. In response to the surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases, face masks are required. Check local court for more information.
Mississippi MS Court Website In response to the surge first in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases followed by Omicron, pursuant to 1/27/22 Order, jury trials are proceeding in counties that meet health benchmarks. Individual judges have discretion to postpone jury trials scheduled through 2/25/22. Check local court for more information.

In response to the surge first in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases followed by Omicron, pursuant to 1/11/22 Order, individual judges have discretion to control their general dockets, and safety requirements have been extended through 1/31/22. 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.

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

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

Jury trials moving forward in person.

Additional information found here.

In-person hearings and operations returned to normal status. Remote hearings still allowed.

Check local courts.

New Jersey NJ Court Website

Jury trials and grand juries resumed.

Check court closings.

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 and court closings.

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

In-person civil and criminal jury trials have resumed.

Check local court orders.

Mask and COVID-19 screening protocols in effect to enter courthouses.

In-person hearings resumed. Remote hearings are still allowed.

Check local court orders.

Mask and COVID-19 screening protocols in effect to enter courthouses.

North Carolina NC Court Website

Decisions to be made at the local level.

Check local courts, including temporary court closings.

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

Check local courts, including temporary court closings.

North Dakota ND Court Website

Check local courts. Several counties and districts have temporarily suspended jury trials through February and/or March due to the Omicron surge.

Live stream available here.

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

Check local courts. Several counties and districts have temporarily suspended in-person hearings through February and/or March 2022 due to the Omicron surge.

Live stream available here.

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

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.

In-person hearings resumed.

Check county notices.

Oregon OR Court Website

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

Find live streams here.

Mask mandates are in effect.

Check local court orders.

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

Find live streams here.

Mask mandates are in effect.

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. Public access to trials available on live stream.

In-person hearings to resume in all courts. Remote hearings still allowed.

Mask mandate reinstated.

Court links found here.

Public access to hearings available on live stream.

South Carolina SC Court Website

Statewide restrictions expired.

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

Check local court status.

Statewide restrictions expired.

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. (At least one county has modified jury trial proceedings due to the Omicron surge.)

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

Check local court orders.

Tennessee TN Court Website

Jury trials resumed.

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

Local courts encouraged to require masks.

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

Use of remote hearings and masking encouraged.

Texas TX Court Website

All courts are permitted to hold in-person jury trials. Limited virtual jury proceedings allowed.

Live stream available.

Judicial emergency extended through 3/1/22.

All courts are permitted to hold in-person hearings. Remote proceedings still encouraged.

Live stream available.

Judicial emergency extended through 3/1/22.

Utah UT Court Website

Check individual court status.

All counties are currently in the medium-level risk response phase (yellow).

Limited jury trials allowed.

Mask mandate reinstated in counties designated as moderate or high risk.

Check individual court status.

All counties are currently in the medium-level risk response phase (yellow).

In-person hearings allowed if social distancing can be maintained. Preference remains for remote hearings.

Mask mandate reinstated in counties designated as moderate or high risk.

Vermont VT Court Website

Judicial emergency extended to 3/1/22.

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 3/1/22.

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 2/16/22. Courts must screen individuals prior to entering the courthouse.

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

Check local courts.

Judicial emergency extended to 2/16/22. Courts must screen individuals prior to entering the courthouse.

Decisions regarding in-person hearings 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

In-person jury trials resumed.

Decisions to be made at the local level.

Check local court status.

In-person hearings resumed. 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.

Current emergency order effective until 4/15/22.

In-person hearings may proceed. Remote appearances encouraged.

Check local court status at the bottom of this page.

Current emergency order effective until 4/15/22.

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