For the most up-to-date information regarding continuation of judicial operations, please refer to jud.ct.gov.
Limited Operations to Resume in Three Currently Closed Courthouses
Limited Operations to Resume in Three Currently Closed Courthouses
The Connecticut Judicial Branch is targeting the partial resumption of operations in three courthouses starting Monday, June 8, 2020, guided first and foremost by the overarching goal of protecting the health and safety of the public, bar, staff and judges, Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll III said today.
The three courthouses are: the Middlesex Judicial District Courthouse in Middletown, Rockville’s Geographical Area No. 19 Courthouse, and the Litchfield Judicial District Courthouse at Torrington.
Judge Carroll cautioned, “Given the nature of the pandemic, plans can change but our current expectation is to resume limited operations on June 8.”
“This pandemic has created many challenges for the Judicial Branch but it has also created new opportunities – opportunities to develop and leverage innovative technologies to allow us to do more court business remotely, resulting in greater convenience and greater efficiency,” Judge Carroll said.
“The Judicial Branch we left behind as this crisis emerged will not be the same Judicial Branch we return to,” he added. “Masks, social distancing, hand sanitizers, limitations on the number of people allowed in courtrooms and courthouses, and enhanced sanitization protocols are all going to be with us for the foreseeable future. The remote processing and handling of court matters via video conference will all now be routine components of the court system. The Judicial Branch, in a short time, has significantly increased its virtual capacity and, with the required funding to do so, our hope is to expand virtual capabilities across all divisions, criminal, family, civil and juvenile matters.”
Ten courts have remained open through the pandemic: the Supreme and Appellate Courts, the Judicial District courthouses in Bridgeport, New Britain, New Haven, New London and the Geographical Area Courthouses in Hartford (No. 14) and Waterbury (No. 4); and the juvenile courts in Hartford and Bridgeport. Beyond these locations and the three courthouses resuming partial operations effective June 8, all other courts will remain closed until further notice.
Priority 1 business – for example, arraignments of defendants held on bond; arraignments of defendants in any domestic violence cases, emergency child custody matters and juvenile detention hearings, and significantly, all other emergency matters – will continue to be handled in the open courthouses. With the partial resumption of limited court operations in these three, cases from those courts that had been transferred elsewhere will return to their original jurisdiction. Other logistics include the following:
- In the physical courthouses, the Judicial Branch will continue to concentrate on Priority 1 and emergency business.
- Juvenile Court business will resume in the Middletown, New Britain, and Torrington courthouses, effective June 8. Cases from the Waterbury Juvenile Court will go to Torrington; cases from the Waterford Juvenile Court will go to Middletown.
- The days and hours of court business at all open courthouses will be Mondays, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. All courts will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice. These days and hours of operation are subject to further change in the coming days and weeks.
- Cases from the Geographical Area Courthouse No. 12 in Manchester will be transferred to the Rockville Courthouse until further notice.
Judge Carroll noted that other developments, including updated information regarding the Branch’s expansion of remote capabilities and functions, will continue to be posted on the Judicial Branch website and tweeted.
“This remains a fluid situation, and frankly, there are some issues for which we don’t yet have solutions,” he said. “As such, our planning process will be deliberate and careful, guided by the desire to provide for the health and safety of everyone who works in or enters a courthouse. There is no other way to do it.”
Judge Carroll also thanked Deputy Chief Court Administrator Elizabeth A. Bozzuto, Chief Administrative Judges James W. Abrams (civil), Michael A. Albis (family), Joan K. Alexander (criminal), and Bernadette Conway (juvenile), and employees for all their hard work.
“We have made remarkable progress considering the circumstances, and it would not have occurred without the dedication of our judges and employees,” he added.
Family Matters Update
Effective the week of May 11, 2020, family pretrials and status conferences will be held telephonically. These remotely held events will be scheduled in cases from all Judicial District courts, whether or not the court location is currently open. Please check your E-Services inbox regularly for notices of these events. Any such notice will require you to send your preferred e-mail address to a designated court employee, who will then forward you instructions on how to access the conference.
DO NOT COME TO COURT FOR THE CONFERENCE. It will be conducted remotely.
All conferences will be accessed using Microsoft Teams, which you can download to your computer or mobile device from the internet at https://teams.microsoft.com/downloads.
Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 7CC, the Judicial Branch is also taking requests for the entry of judgments by agreement, or for the approval of any final agreement, in divorces, legal separations or custody/visitation actions without a court hearing. More information can be obtained on the requirements to make such a request at www.jud.ct.gov/family/FArequest.htm .
Please be advised that in a custody action, a document establishing the legal relationship between the parents seeking judgment and the child is required before any such judgment can enter. If you represent the applicant in a custody action in which the required document has not been filed, even if the case is not yet ready to proceed to judgment by agreement, obtaining the document from your client now and filing it will facilitate the entry of judgment later.
Judicial Branch Continues to Expand Types of Cases Handled Remotely
Ralph Monaco is the point of contact for the CBA regarding federal and State financial assistance and loan information for area law firms that may need to inquire.
Ralph J. Monaco, Esq.
Conway, Londregan, Sheehan & Monaco, P.C.
38 Huntington Street
New London, CT 06320
Resources available from Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association
CTLA continues to think of ways to provide services and support to help weather this crisis. Be sure to visit the CTLA website to view a list of CLE Programs, including today’s Webinar, Remote Depositions: Technology, Tactics and Ethics, that are part of our Food For Thought – Free Webinar series. Instead of charging a fee, you are asked to consider a voluntary donation in support of CTLA’s Help For the Hungry Initiative that benefits Foodshare and The Connecticut Food Bank. You will also find a list of helpful Resources with links to timely information.
Connecticut Bar Association Offering Non-Members Free Access to Casemaker
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) is now offering non-members the opportunity to conduct online legal research for free. Interested attorneys and legal professionals will be granted a one-month trial membership to access Casemaker, an extensive and advanced legal research taxonomy and search engine online software. To take advantage of this offer, available during the duration of the pandemic, non-members should visit ctbar.org/casemakertrial.
3.31.20 COURTHOUSE HOURS OF OPERATIONS
Monday 9am-5pm; Tuesday-Friday 9am to 1pm. No court personnel available after closing hours by telephone or in person.
3.20.20 LAW LIBRARY SERVICE CHANGE
Effective March 20, 2020, library services are available through JB FEEDBACK “Ask Us A Question”, or “Ask a Librarian” or by contacting the Law Library Services Administrative Office, telephone number 860-706-5145
3.19.20 LIST OF COURTHOUSES THAT WILL REMAIN OPEN https://www.jud.ct.gov/HomePDFs/CourthousesOpened.pdf?v1
3.18.20 LAW LIBRARY SERVICE
Although the law library is closed to attorneys walking in, Law Librarian Peter Jenkins will still be providing service remotely. Attorneys can call, email or get the assistance of a librarian using one of these remote services listed below.
JB FEEDBACK “Ask Us A Question”,
Telephone and email assistance and response will also be available by contacting a law library.
Peter Jenkins, M.S.L.S.
Law Librarian II
Connecticut Judicial Branch
Law Library at New London
Courthouse, 70 Huntington Street
New London, CT 06320
Telephone: (860) 442-7561 Fax: (860)442-9416