As federal and state courts issue new court orders regarding the gradual reopening of court operations due to COVID-19, Williams Kastner has created a court status tracker resource page to help provide timely court updates on future availability of court services. We will be monitoring federal and state courts across Washington and Oregon and deliver updates accordingly. We hope the site will also allow you to monitor and stay informed on updates surrounding our legal system.
Thursday, June 11, 2020 – Supreme Court Updates:
- Out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees, the Supreme Court Building will be closed to the public until further notice. The Building will remain open for official business. Please see all COVID-19 announcements here.
- All public lectures and visitor programs are temporarily suspended.
- The Court will release an order list at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 15.
- The Court may announce opinions on Monday, June 15 and Thursday, June 18. The Court will not take the Bench. Opinions will be posted on the homepage beginning at 10 a.m.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 – The U.S. Supreme Court heard two cases involving states ‘faithless electors’ where there have been attempts to penalize Electoral College delegates who fail to vote for the presidential candidate they were pledged to support. Electoral College delegates are selected by each party, and under state laws, they are pledged to cast their ballots for the candidate who carries the popular vote. Individual states have tried to prevent “faithless elector” votes by enacting laws to remove them or fine them or both. Now, just as the presidential campaign is heating up, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear challenges to such state laws in Washington and Colorado.
The presidential electors are represented by Harvard Law Professor and Equal Citizens Founder Lawrence Lessig, his colleague at Equal Citizens Jason Harrow, and his colleagues, Sumeer Singla, Daniel Brown and Hunter Abell at Williams Kastner, and Jonah Harrison of Arête Law in Seattle.
To learn more regarding the recent updates to the U.S. Supreme Court, please click on the following link https://www.supremecourt.gov/.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Updates (Updated June 11):
In light of the rapidly expanding limitations on social interactions in public spaces due to the spread of COVID-19, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is making the following adjustments to its operations, including:
Oral Arguments scheduled for June 2020 will be evaluated one at a time and orders will issue in those cases giving direction to the parties. Panels may exercise their discretion under the rules to submit cases without argument; to postpone argument to a later date; or to hold argument via telephone or video. When argument is held, it will be live streamed to facilitate public access.
Because of limited staff available to answer phone calls, the court is also accepting queries sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more regarding updates from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, click here.
On May 29, 2020, the Court issued General Order 20-101-6 further guiding court operations as follows:
- Effective June 1, 2020, the Spokane Clerk’s Office in Spokane is open and physically accessible.
- Through June 30, 2020, the Clerk’s Offices in Yakima and Richland will not be physically accessible to the public but will remain open. Staff will be available by telephone & new filings will be processed. Attendees of in-court proceedings and at Clerk’s Office required to wear masks.
- Hearings in civil and criminal matters set for telephonic appearance by all parties or hearings set without oral argument remain unaffected;
- Magistrate Judge hearings and functions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
To learn more about the court, click on the following link https://www.waed.uscourts.gov/.
The U.S. District Court – Western District of Washington Updates (As of June 11):
- Civil hearings are postponed until after July 31, 2020 unless otherwise scheduled by the presiding judge, and most hearings held will be telephonically.
- All jury trials are postponed until after July 31, 2020. Potential jurors will be notified when to report to the courthouse
- Court operations within the Western District of Washington are currently governed by General Order 08-20, General Order 07-20, General Order 04-20, General Order 03-20 and General Order 02-20.
- The court’s electronic filing system continues to be available 24/7 and may be used by anyone who has registered with the court. Check individual judges’ pages for courtesy copy requirements during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Emergency filings should follow the established procedures as outlined on our web site.
- All CVB matters are postponed until after July 31, 2020. If you received a CVB citation, visit the CVB page of our website for details on postponements.
- Archival records requests are suspended as the Federal Records Center is currently closed.
- All non-case related events scheduled to be held prior to August 3, 2020, in the District’s courthouses are postponed pending further order of the Court.
- 5/13/2020: courthouses remain closed; civil in-person hearings and trials scheduled to occur before August 3, 2020: are continued pending further order; courthouse visitors to wear masks.
- To learn more about the court, click on the following link https://www.wawd.uscourts.gov/.
Effective June 1, 2020, the court’s physical facilities have reopened, however, court users are encouraged to continue to access court services electronically whenever possible.
- For those visiting the Clerk’s Office or participating in courtroom proceedings, facial coverings are required in the court’s public spaces. If visitors do not have a facial covering, one will be provided at the court security checkpoint.
- The Clerk of Court and staff are available to answer questions and assist with all methods of accessing the court’s services at 509-458-5300 during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm).
To learn more in regards to court updates click here.
On May 14, 2020, the court issued the following guidance:
Updated Guidance for Matters Scheduled Through July 31, 2020
The District Court has issued General Order 08-20 related to courthouse operations in the continued COVID-19 outbreak. The order extends the closure of the courthouses to the public through July 31, 2020. In addition, the order provides that effective immediately, those entering the courthouse will be required to wear appropriate face coverings.
In the Bankruptcy Court, all scheduled non-evidentiary hearings will continue to be held telephonically, except as specifically directed by the individual judge, per General Order 2020-3. The guidance for noticing such hearings is extended accordingly.
For non-evidentiary matters scheduled through July 31, 2020:
- Hearings should be set in ECF using the correct physical location for the assigned judge.
- The hearing information listed in the upper right-hand corner of the pleading, per LBR 9013-1(d)(1)(B), should state “telephonic” as the location.
- A Notice of Motion, per LBR 9013-1(c), should state the place of hearing as “telephonic” and include the dial in information for the specific judge.
Non-evidentiary hearings scheduled for August 1 and later should be noted for the assigned judge’s physical courtroom location, both in ECF and on the notice. If it becomes necessary to hold these matters telephonically, the parties will be notified by chambers.
Vancouver hearings: Note that all matters scheduled for the June 2 calendars should include the dial-in information for Judge Lynch, and the June 30 calendars should include the dial-in information for Judge Heston.
To learn more about updates from the court, click here.
On April 29, 2020, the Washington Supreme Court issued a revised and extended order related to court operations in Washington during the COVID-19 public health emergency to provide direction for modifying court operations to avoid risk to litigants, lawyers, court staff and the public.
The latest court order issued on May 29th, 2020 focused on the following guidance:
- All criminal jury trials remain suspended until at least July 6, 2020.
- Non-emergency civil matters may be continued until after June 1, 2020.
- However, courts should begin to hear non-emergency civil matters, so long as such matters can appropriately be conducted by telephone, video or other remote means, or in-person with strict observance of social distancing and other public health measures.
- August 3, 2020, are continued pending further order; courthouse visitors to wear masks.
- For a full listing of court closures and modifications to operations, visit: http://www.courts.wa.gov/index.cfm?fa=home.courtClosures
For further information from the court, click on the following link http://www.courts.wa.gov/newsinfo/index.cfm?fa=newsinfo.COVID19.
On May 27, 2020, the court announced starting June 8, 2020, the court will hear civil bench trials (including dissolutions without children). These trials will be conducted via video. In rare circumstances and with the court’s approval, bench trials may occur in-person if social distancing requirements can be met. The assigned judge will hold pretrial conferences for each case to discuss trial readiness and specifics of proceeding with trial and will issue a Pretrial Order including protocols of how to conduct a trial by video in King County.
Civil jury trials scheduled before August 3, 2020 will need to be continued to a date on or after August 3, 2020. Civil jury trials after August 3, 2020, will possibly be held off-site with the expectation that voir-dire will be held via video and the remainder of the trial will be in-person with appropriate social distancing and masks worn.
A 9-day calendar for non-MSJ motions remains and MSJ oral argument is back as default, but by phone or video; new obligation to meet and confer on discovery plan w/in 90 days of filing Complaint; depositions shall occur remotely unless good cause is shown, though counsel may be present with client.
This Order is effective June 5, 2020, except for Family Law Trial by Affidavit Calendars for which June 4, 2020 is the effective date, and Family Law revision hearings, which may be set immediately. This Order supersedes all prior Emergency Orders for Civil, Family, and Dependency. This Order is in effect until December 31, 2020. The Order may be extended beyond that date in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
For more information on King County court updates, click here.
The Court continues to operate pursuant to the Emergency Orders issued in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. All orders comply with the Governor’s phase-in programs releasing the Stay Home-Stay Healthy orders.
The Pierce County Superior Court Judges met on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 to discuss the court’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the meeting, Acting Presiding Judge Phil Sorensen was granted authority to make any necessary changes to local court rules and best practices. The court’s primary goal is to not compel anyone into our facilities, while still completing our essential functions and forwarding justice in agreed upon matters.
Beginning March 18, 2020, the following will occur:
March 24, 2020: A message from the Presiding Judge:
- No party or attorney needs to appear for civil trial call for a civil jury trial until at least August 31, 2020.
- Parties and counsel should continue to check the Superior Court Website and Odyssey Portal for information on trial dates and the resumption of civil jury trials.
- The intent of the Court is to begin civil bench trials through Zoom beginning 6/1/2020.
- Civil trial calls will resume Tuesday 6/1/2020 and will be conducted by telephone using Skype for Business unless it is impossible for any party or attorney to appear by telephone. Unless it is impossible to appear
through a telephone, no one on a particular case should be physically present in Department 10 for civil trial call.
To see a list of Emergency Executive Orders signed by the court, click on the following link https://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/5643/Emergency-Orders
For more information about the Snohomish County Superior Court click here.
The United States District Court for the District of Oregon continues to closely monitor the national response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and will be following guidance provided by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Court operations within the District of Oregon are currently governed by Standing Orders and to see the most recently added order from May 21, click on the following link 2020-12 In Re Court Operations in Response to COVID-19.pdf. Any future changes or updates will be posted on The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon Website and communicated as appropriate. This notice applies to operations at each Division of the District Court.
The court is committed to continuing service to the public during the COVID-19 outbreak. The court is taking actions to protect individuals involved in bankruptcy cases, as well as court employees, from transmission of the virus. To learn more, click on the following link https://www.orb.uscourts.gov/court-operations-during-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.
For further information regarding the court, click on the following link https://www.orb.uscourts.gov/.
Oregon’s judicial branch is committed to ensuring that we protect public safety and the rights of all Oregonians while we respond to emerging health concerns. For current Statewide Judicial Orders and local court information:
- 05-22-2020 – Order Directing Certain Closures of Courts and Offices of the Oregon Judicial Department to Address Reductions in Funding. 05-15-2020
- Chief Justice Order 20-016 Imposing Level 2 and Level 3 Restrictions on Court Operations. Press Release. Summary.
- For information about the status of individual courts, changes to operations, access to facilities, and other local information, see Find a Court and visit your local court’s website.
For more information about Oregon State Courts, click on the link https://www.courts.oregon.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the court is only continuing essential functions and has limited resources available. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the court is only continuing essential functions and has limited resources available. Please note, court filings will not be accepted via email. Click on the following links to:
- View current Multnomah County Circuit Court’s judicial orders and information regarding COVID-19.
- View information on COVID-19 in the Circuit Court for Multnomah County
- If you are a juror who received a summons for Wednesday, June 3rd, Thursday, June 4th, or Friday, June 5th, your appearance is not needed. Please do not come to the courthouse. If you are summoned for a different date, please continue to check the jury schedule page for updates: https://www.courts.oregon.gov/courts/multnomah/jury/Pages/jury-schedule.aspx
- If you need assistance please email us at one of the email addresses below:
To learn more about the Circuit Court of Multnomah County, click here.