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 February 26, 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 summer and fall, placing court operation decisions primarily at the local level. As infection rates spiked in the winter, many of those plans came to a halt. With infection rates starting to decrease, some courts are revisiting their phased-in return plans. Courts continue to conduct many hearings remotely (including some virtual civil jury trials), but some are expanding the availability of in-person hearings and jury trials. Overall, states and local communities continue to adjust their COVID-19 orders—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 Suspension ended on 9/14/20, but some courts re-postponing trials in response to surge. Check with local court. Subject to the discretion of the presiding judge. Check individual court for more information.
Alaska AK Court Website Barring 'exceptional circumstances' in-person criminal trials are suspended through 3/15/21; in-person civil juries are suspended through 9/7/21. Parties may agree to proceed via video conference. 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. Some courts (e.g., Maricopa County) have suspended in response to surge. Procedural rules have been modified. Check with local court. Courts were transitioning back to in-person pursuant to the first phase of a four-phased plan, but restrictions are being re-implemented in response to the recent surge. Limited in-person proceedings. 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; criminal trials remain in person. However, in response to the surge, per 2/12/21 order trials are suspended until 4/30/21. Per 11/20/20 order, criminal and civil matters will continue in person or preferably via videoconference.
California CA Court Website Status is very court-specific, and courts are responding to the recent surge. 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, but surge is impacting operations. Check individual court for more information. Procedures/limitations are court-specific. Check individual court for more information.
Connecticut CT Court Website Jury service cancelled through 5/30/21. Officials are revising strategies. Many proceedings have been moved online since resuming on 5/18/20. All matters except jury trials are being heard, and many facilities remain open to the public. Check individual court for more information.
Delaware DE Court Website Currently re-suspended pursuant to Phase 2 of reopening plan. See Court Website. Five-phased reopening plan initiated 6/8/20. Reached "Modified Phase 3" but on 12/3/20 returned to and remain in Phase 2 in response to the surge. The judicial emergency is extended through 3/4/21. See Court Website.
District of Columbia DC Court Website Non-jury trials via remote; civil jury trials suspended until further notice. As of 1/13/21 deadlines and limits further extended to-and non priority matters will be rescheduled after- 3/31/21. Except for limited criminal and domestic violence cases, matters will be conducted remotely. Check individual 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. However, surge has resulted in court-specific renewed-suspensions and limitations. 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. However, the recent surge is impacting reopening plans. Check local court.
Georgia GA Court Website On 12/9/20 jury trials not already in progress were suspended in response to the surge. Because the surge appears to be declining, trials may be re-authorized with the next extension order scheduled for 3/9/21. A statewide judicial emergency was extended an 11th time until 3/9/21. Courts have greatly expanded remote proceedings and are discouraging in-person hearings. Check individual court for more information.
Hawaii HI Court Website Trial suspensions vary by circuit. Check local court. In-person proceedings resuming with social distancing mandates. Many matters still handled remotely; Numerous court employees have tested positive-which is delaying re-openings. First Circuit is the most heavily restricted. Check individual court for more information.
Idaho ID Court Website Tentatively set to resume 3/1/21 subject to health limitations and local COVID metrics. Check individual court for more information. Enumerated critical matters only, all others to be held electronically.
Illinois IL Court Website Each circuit may suspend trials, including in-custody trials. Check circuits for details. Varies by circuit, but courts have significant latitude to restrict hearings, and many are open only for emergency matters in response to the surge. Deadlines have been extended. Check individual court for more information.
Indiana IN Court Website Re-suspended until 3/1/21 in response to surge. Trial courts operating under individual transition plans, and are responding to surge. Check IN Court Website and individual court for more information.
Iowa IA Court Website Trials resumed 2/1/21. In-person emergency hearings, non-emergency hearings and non-jury trials proceeding in specific counties provided safety protocols are met. Non-jury trials via remote if parties agree. Check individual court for more information.
Kansas KS Court Website

Courts may conduct pursuant to pre-approved safety plan. Check local court for details.

State of emergency extended through 3/31/21. Essential functions have priority, with additional matters being added pursuant to regional re-opening plans. However, surge is re-tightening restrictions. Remote hearings encouraged to the extent possible. Check individual court for more information.
Kentucky KY Court Website As of 1/6/21 all jury trials postponed until after 4/1/21 with in-custody criminal trials having priority. Grand juries will be conducted remotely.

Effective 1/6/21 access restricted combined with return to primarily remote hearings in response to Covid surge. Check individual court for more information.

Louisiana LA Court Website

Statewide order issued postponing all civil and criminal jury trials not already underway until 4/1/21.

Check individual court for more information.

Remote hearings preferred.

Very court specific, but many courts have re-suspended in-person hearings in response to surge. Check individual court for more information.

Maine ME Court Website Resumed on 11/9/20 pursuant to Phase 5, but many courts are re-suspending in response to surge. Surge is impacting operations. Effective 12/21/20 public access hours restricted. Check ME Court Website.
Maryland MD Court Website Resumed 10/5/20 pursuant to Phase 5, but temporarily suspended again with the move back to Phase 2. As of 11/30/20 courts returned to Phase 2 (emergency matters and via appointments only) from Phase 5 (fully operational) of a five-phased management plan, and will remain in Phase 2 until 3/14/21. Check individual court for more information.
Massachusetts MA Court Website Phase 2 of a 4-phase "gradual trial resumption" begins 3/1/21. Phase 1 began 1/11/21 for 6 person juries 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. Check individual court for more information.

Michigan MI Court Website Resume when a court reaches Phase Three. Check individual court for more information. Individual courts were implementing a four-phase "Return to Full Capacity Guide" dependent on meeting health benchmarks. However, on 11/16/20 "reverse-gating criteria" were added to address the Covid "surge" and many courts ratcheted back operations. Check individual court for more information.
Minnesota MN Court Website Trials already underway will continue, but barring exceptions, no new criminal trials will begin until 3/15/21, and no civil trials until 4/30/21. Civil trials may proceed remotely if all parties agree. Check local court for more information. "Transitional case strategies" under the judicial "Preparedness Plan" were being implemented. However, as of 11/20/20 courts have been dramatically restricting access in response to the surge. Check individual court for more information.
Mississippi MS Court Website Counties with two or fewer COVID-19 deaths resumed trials 5/18/20. Judges are utilizing public arenas and auditoriums for jury selection and related activities. Check individual 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 individual court for more information.
Missouri MO Court Website

Phased benchmarks (0-3) statewide operational directives must be met at individual courts.

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

Phased benchmarks (0-3) statewide operational directives must be met at individual courts.

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

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, with some districts temporarily limiting jury trials.

Scroll down on this page to find local court orders.

In-person hearings resumed, with some districts temporarily limiting in-person hearings.

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 emergency matters (Effective through 3/15/21).

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

Additional information found here.

Courts open on a restricted basis for emergency matters (Effective through 3/15/21).

Most in-person hearings suspended through 3/15/21 with exceptions for essential case types. Preference for remote hearings.

Check local courts.

New Jersey NJ Court Website

Criminal jury trials remain suspended.

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.

New Mexico NM Court Website

Jury trials allowed to resume on 2/1/21.

Judges continuing to conduct hearings remotely unless an emergency exists.

Check local court.

New York NY Court Website

Jury trials remain suspended but anticipating resuming jury trials and in-person proceedings in the near future (Feb. 25, 2021).

Virtual bench trials taking place.

Check local court orders.

In-person proceedings remain suspended but anticipating resuming in the near future (Feb. 25, 2021).

Virtual proceedings taking place.

Check local court orders.

North Carolina NC Court Website

Judicial emergency extended.

Decisions to be made at the local level.

Check local courts, including temporary court closings.

Judicial emergency extended.

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

Check local courts, including temporary court closings.

North Dakota ND Court Website

Jury trials suspended in certain districts.

Check local courts.

At the presiding judge's discretion. Electronic appearances or continuances are encouraged.

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

Certain in-person trials allowed in criminal cases involving constitutional rights. Other jury trials may begin in March unless district is placed in the Extreme Risk category.

Check local court orders.

In-person hearings being held. Preference for remote hearings.

Check local court orders.

Pennsylvania PA Court Website

Statewide judicial emergency ended. Jury trials resumed, but courts following restrictions.

Check local courts. Local counties suspending jury trials.

Statewide judicial emergency ended. 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.

Only priority matters that cannot be handled remotely may be conducted in-person.

Court links found here.

South Carolina SC Court Website

Jury trials suspended.

Check court status, including closures.

All in-person hearings to begin after 1/10/21 are suspended until further notice. Exceptions for certain emergency matters.

Check court status, including closures.

South Dakota SD Court Website

Individual circuits suspending jury trials.

Check local court orders.

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

Check local court orders.

Tennessee TN Court Website

Jury trials remain suspended until 3/31/2021 (exceptions must be approved by Chief Justice).

Scroll down on this page to see local court plans.

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

Scroll down on this page to see local court plans.

Texas TX Court Website

District courts must have authorization from the Office of Court Administration to conduct jury trials.

Jury trials are not permitted in justice and municipal courts until after 4/1/21.

In-person proceedings are not permitted unless the trial judge has used all reasonable efforts to conduct proceeding remotely.

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

Utah UT Court Website

Check individual court status. (Most courts are in the red phase.)

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 are in the red phase.)

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 3/31/21.

Restarting jury trials delayed.

Check local court status, including closings.

Judicial emergency extended to 3/31/21.

Remote hearings mandatory with limited exceptions.

Check local court status, including closings.

Virginia VA Court Website

Judicial emergency extended to 3/7/21.

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

No jury trials may start without approval from judicial panel.

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

Judicial emergency extended to 3/7/21.

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

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

Washington WA Court Website

Many courts have modified operations.

Supreme Court Covid-19 related orders found here.

Check local court closures.

Many courts have modified operations.

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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