What do I do if I have a hearing scheduled in Probate and Family Court?

Posted by Brian Waller | Mar 16, 2020

First of all - don't panic. Everyone else is in the same situation and trying to figure out what is happening and what to do. There have been several orders issued over the last few days by the Supreme Judicial Court in response to the corona virus pandemic (COVID-19), but below we will try to simplify exactly what they mean.

The order issued by Chief Justice John Casey of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court is effective beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Even since that order was issued, yet another announcement was made that all courthouses are closed on Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th, 2020.

So, now what?? Obviously, if you have a hearing scheduled for Monday and Tuesday (March 16th or 17th) it will be rescheduled to another date. There are specific instructions for hearings from Wednesday through May 1st, 2020 however, we are still trying to figure out how those hearings will be managed. We will post another update as soon as we have more information, but for now, assume it will not be business as usual.

And most importantly, your safety should be the first priority. We expect the courts to be understanding if deadlines are missed, if people aren't able to attend hearings, or if there is general confusion about what to do. Until things shake out and there is better information, just be patient and don't panic because everyone else is in the same boat. 

Stay safe, wash your hands, and be nice to people.

About the Author

Brian Waller

Founder and Principal Attorney

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