Here is a compilation of the current status of the federal appellate courts and announcements about their respective changes, closings, and procedures as of the afternoon of March 19, 2020. Click on the name of the court to be taken directly to that court’s website. As with everything surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, things are changing rapidly, so we encourage you to check the courts’ websites frequently if you have pending cases and deadlines.
–Kip Nelson and Patrick Kane
Supreme Court of the United States
In keeping with public health precautions recommended in response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court is postponing the oral arguments currently scheduled for the March session (March 23-25 and March 30-April 1). The Court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances.
The Court will hold its regularly scheduled Conference on Friday, March 20. Some Justices may participate remotely by telephone. The Court will issue its regularly scheduled Order List on Monday, March 23 at 9:30 a.m. The list will be posted on the Court’s Website at that time: link here.
The Building will continue to be open for official business, and filing deadlines are not extended under Rule 30.1. The Court is expanding remote working capabilities to reduce the number of employees in the Building, consistent with public health guidance. The Building will remain closed to the public until further notice.
The Court’s postponement of argument sessions in light of public health concerns is not unprecedented. The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic. The Court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.
Notice Regarding Operations of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, and in order to protect public health and safety, the sitting of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit scheduled for April 6 through April 9, 2020 is cancelled. Further information regarding the cases previously scheduled for argument at that time will be provided by court order in those cases.
Due to health concerns over the COVID-19 virus, the Clerk’s Office for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit will not accept in-person case filings at its intake window, until further notice. If you plan to file a paper document at the Moakley Courthouse, please use the drop-box located on the first floor by the main entrance. You can reach the Clerk’s Office by phone at 617-748-9057.
Operations at the Second Circuit to Address COVID-19 Pandemic – As the limitations on social interactions in public spaces continue to expand to address the spread of COVID-19, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will remain open to fulfill its constitutional and statutory responsibilities and is adapting its operations as follows:
Oral Arguments – The regular argued appeals and motions calendars will be heard as scheduled. A lawyer or pro se litigant who is scheduled to argue and wishes to do so in person may appear at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY, Room 1703. In addition, the Court has established a teleconference platform for judges and persons scheduled to argue who wish to appear remotely. To arrange for an appearance by audio, a lawyer scheduled to argue should electronically file a letter request. A pro se litigant should email the request to email@example.com and call 212.857.8500. The Clerk’s Office will forward teleconference instructions to the requester. Parties to all appeals are reminded that at the discretion of the panel any appeal that meets the standard set out in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 34(a)(2) may be taken on submission.
Access to the Courthouse – Individuals who do not have business with the Court will not be admitted until further order of the Court. Individuals who seek access to the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse to transact business with the Court must, in the judgment of the courthouse security officers, meet the health standards specified at the entrance to the courthouse. To preserve public access to the Court’s oral arguments, the audio of arguments will be live streamed. Click here for the link to the live steam. Click here for Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann’s order regarding access to the courthouse.
Filings – The national response to the pandemic will disrupt the ordinary course of all business activity, including the operation of the Judiciary. To minimize the disruption and assist the Court in managing Court business, all filing dates and other deadlines set out in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Court’s Local Rules and the Court’s orders are extended or tolled by 21 days, effective today through May 17, 2020. For example, a notice of appearance or scheduling notification currently due on March 18th is now due on April 8th. A brief currently due on April 15th is now due May 6th. However, a brief due on May 20th continues to be due on May 20th.
Notwithstanding this general extension, a judge or panel may, by separate order, direct the parties to comply with a different filing date as deemed necessary in a particular case. In addition, in counseled civil cases the automatic dismissal provision in the order that set the original filing date remains in effect.
The due date for a notice of appeal, petition for review or other document that confers jurisdiction on the Court is not affected by this order. The filing dates for those papers remain as stated in the statute or rule that confers jurisdiction. Click here for Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann’s Order.
Court Hours and Staffing – Though the Court continues to be open, people are encouraged to email correspondence and filings that cannot be filed in ECF. These documents include pro se papers, petitions for review, and petitions for a writ seeking extraordinary relief. Pro se papers may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. In new cases in which a docketing notice has not yet issued, opening papers may be emailed to email@example.com. A pro se litigant who has no access to email may send a paper request by ordinary mail. Papers also may be deposited in the Court’s Night Box, located in the lobby of the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY.
The majority of court staff are teleworking each day. A skeletal staff will report to the Courthouse to perform tasks that cannot be done remotely. Tasks will be prioritized, but it is likely that the response to some inquiries may be delayed. The telephone numbers set out on the Clerk’s Office Directory Screen will remain operational.
Emergency Applications – A lawyer or litigant who seeks to file a request for an emergency stay or relief that requires immediate attention shall file the request according to the directions set out in this notice and contact the Clerk of Court at 646.584.2696.
Further Updates – Because the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change, please check this website as the Court adapts its operations to conform to additional developments.
Notice Regarding Operations to Address the COVID-19 Pandemic
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is open for business and will fulfill its constitutional and statutory obligations and responsibilities.
Oral arguments will continue as scheduled pending further order of the Court. The merits panel will determine the manner of argument. Parties may file a motion requesting to appear by audio conference.
Clerk’s Office Operations
In order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the majority of the Clerk’s Office will be working remotely. There will be a reduced number of staff in the office on a daily basis.
Parties who need to file motions seeking emergency relief are directed to call 267- 299-4904 and leave a detailed message regarding the nature of the emergency and requested relief. Be sure to include all contact information. An attorney from the Clerk’s Office will return the call.
Counsel and parties may leave voicemail through the Clerk’s Office main number at 215-597-2995 or by calling their case manager directly.
The 3-day time limits for requesting a verbal extension under 3rd Cir. L.A.R. 31.4 shall be relaxed until the Clerk’s office resumes normal operations. Verbal requests for extensions of time may be made by calling either the main number or the case manager directly. Routine requests for extensions of time to file a brief or other document may be requested by filing a motion through the Court’s ECF system or in hard copy.
The filing of paper copies of briefs and appendices is deferred pending further direction of the Court.
Any document which is received within 3 days of the current deadline will be deemed timely filed without the need to file a motion unless the parties are specifically advised otherwise.
The due date for a notice of appeal, petition for review or other document that confers jurisdiction on the Court is not altered by this notice. The filing dates for those papers remain as stated in the statute or rule that confers jurisdiction.
Because the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change, all counsel and parties should check this website frequently for further updates and changes
The following measures are adopted in response to the current public health emergency arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19):
1) Courthouse Access: Out of concern for the health and safety of the public and the court’s employees, the Powell Courthouse is closed to the public. Papers to be filed with the court may be stamped and filed in the Powell Courthouse Lobby; however, individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, who have had contact with a person with COVID-19, who have been asked to selfquarantine, who have traveled internationally within the past 14 days, or who are experiencing flu-like symptoms are prohibited from entering the building for any reason. All business with the Clerk’s Office should be conducted by phone: (804) 916-2700.
2) Court Filings: Attorneys should file documents through CM/ECF (File a Document or Submit New Case). The court suspends the requirement of paper copies of formal briefs and appendices pending further notice. Pro se parties are encouraged to register for an electronic filer account through the PACER Service Center and request electronic filing privileges for the Fourth Circuit. For instructions see: http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/caseinformationefiling/efiling_cmecf/reqsteps_ecffiler. Pending further notice, pro se parties may file documents via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via facsimile to (804) 916-2737. Duplicate paper copies should not be mailed to the court. Pro se parties remain responsible for service of documents filed by email or facsimile.
3) Emergency Matters: Emergency matters should be filed electronically. If the matter cannot be filed through CM/ECF, it should be filed via email to email@example.com or via facsimile to (804) 916-2737, rather than in paper form. Call the Clerk’s Office at (804) 916-2700 if you have a matter requiring the court’s immediate attention.
4) Oral Argument: Cases previously scheduled for argument during the March 17-20, 2020, and April 7, 2020, argument sessions will be heard at a later session, heard by teleconference or video-conference,
UPDATED NOTICE REGARDING COURT OPERATION:
Please see this General Order directing changes in court procedures in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Parties are advised that the court has suspended until further notice the requirement to file paper copies of electronically filed pleadings and documents. The Clerk of the Court may direct the parties or counsel to provide paper copies of filings on a case-by-case basis, and at a future date, parties or counsel may be directed to provide paper copies of filings previously submitted electronically.
All current deadlines remain in effect, except for those regarding production of paper copies. Extensions with justification may be requested from the Clerk’s Office following normal procedures and rules.
At this time, the oral arguments scheduled for April 27 to April 30 will continue as scheduled. Counsel will be notified if the court determines it necessary to make alternate arrangements for the submission of those cases to the three-judge panels.
Notice Regarding Court Operations
In light of the many developments over the last few days concerning the COVID-19 virus, the Court has cancelled in-person oral arguments scheduled for March 30 – April 2, 2020. Clerk’s Office staff will personally contact counsel and discuss individual cases, including possible telephonic argument for cases the panels determine require argument. The public is advised that if telephonic argument is held, the court will promptly post the audio files on this website.
The John Minor Wisdom Building is closed to the public, beginning Monday, March 16, continuing until further notice. The Clerk’s Office will remain open, but the public will not be permitted to access the Clerk’s Office second floor reception area. If a paper filing is required, a clerk employee will accept delivery at the ground floor entrance to the Hebert Building. We will advise the public of any changes to current rules regarding the filling of paper copies of pleadings.
In light of rapidly developing information about the national efforts to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including the emergency declarations in the State of Ohio, unless the parties are otherwise directed, oral arguments schedule to take place March 17-20 have been POSTPONED.
The Court will continue to otherwise operate in the normal course with Clerk’s Office staff available in the office and seamlessly via telework.
The requirement that non-prisoner pro se litigants file exclusively in paper format is temporarily suspended effective this date until April 17, 2020. During this limited time, non-prisoner pro se litigants may e-mail documents in PDF format to the following email box, and those documents will be processed in the normal course: CA06 Temporary Pro Se Efiling@ca6.uscourts.gov
Because of the emergency conditions presented by the COVID-19 virus, including the declaration of a public health emergency by the Governor of the State of Illinois; the precautions needed to reduce the possibility of exposure to the virus and slow the spread of the disease, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the decision by the Governor to close Illinois’s schools state-wide,
It is hereby ORDERED that:
1) The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit shall activate its Continuity of Operations Plan to maintain emergency operations for the Court of Appeals until the termination of this Order;
2) In accordance with the applicable leave regulations and guidelines, all employees of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit who, after consultation with their supervisors, are deemed unable to telework, are hereby on administrative leave from March 18, 2020, through the termination of this Order. Employees who telework must regularly report to their supervisors during the operation of this Order for direction and guidance on work.
The Eighth Circuit remains open for business.
CM/ECF is fully functional and should be used for filing documents with the court. If you are a pro se filer, you can file by fax (314-244-2780) or by mail.
Please note, the Eagleton Court House has posted restrictions on entrance to the Court House. These can be found on our website. Additionally, the public is not being admitted to the Eighth Circuit Clerk’s Office at the present time. If you come to the Burger or Eagleton courthouses to file, you may leave your documents at the front door to the office. There will be a file stamp for you to make a filed-stamped copy of your pleading. Documents are retrieved regularly throughout the day and will be filed as of the date received. Documents left after 5:00 p.m. will be filed on the next business day.
If you have any questions or need assistance, please call 314-244-2400. Clerk’s Office staff members are present at both Clerk’s Offices and can answer your questions and provide other assistance. The St. Paul Clerk’s Office number is 612-848-1300.
The court is carefully monitoring the situation, including advice from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the CDC, and local health officials. As the situation changes, new information will be posted on the website at www.ca8.uscourts.gov
SAN FRANCISCO – The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has issued a notice and an order on changes of operation and building closures as precautionary measures in light of the Coronavirus 2019, or COVID-19, pandemic.
The notice provides important details about obtaining extensions of time, contacting the court, the suspension of paper copies of briefs, and accepting pro se pleadings by email. The notice issued addresses oral arguments currently scheduled in March, April and May 2020, which are being evaluated one at a time. In the event any public court proceeding is held, the court will live stream the proceeding.
The court order restricts access to the following courthouses to judges and court staff during noncourt weeks: • James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse, 95 7th St., San Francisco, California • Richard H. Chambers U.S. Court of Appeals, 125 South Grand Ave., Pasadena, Calif. • William K. Nakamura U.S. Courthouse, 1010 Fifth Ave., Seattle, Washington • Pioneer Courthouse, 700 SW 6th Ave., Portland, Oregon
The notice on changes of operation and order on building closures are available on the court’s website – https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/. Further updates will be posted on the court’s website as the situation warrants
Pursuant to the general order attached below, the Byron White Unites States Courthouse (“Courthouse”) is closed to the public effective March 17, 2020. Until further notice, access to the Courthouse is restricted to judges, court staff, court security officers, and service providers with official business with the court (e.g., the United States Postal Service, and contractors working on pending projects) subject to the courthouse access restrictions that took effect on March 13, 2020. The access restrictions applicable to judges, court staff, court security officers, and service providers are detailed in the “March 13, 2020 Courthouse Access Restrictions” file attached below.
Until further notice, all filings should be made electronically or via mail. Questions, concerns, or requests for accommodation should be directed to the Clerk’s Office (Clerk@ca10.uscourts.gov | (303) 844-3157).
In addition, the requirement for parties to submit paper copies of briefs, appendices, and petitions for rehearing en banc is temporarily suspended. The paper-copy requirement will be reinstituted at a later date. At that time, parties may be required to submit paper copies of briefs, appendices and petitions for rehearing en banc filed during the period of suspension.
RESTRICTIONS ON VISITORS TO THE COURT AND TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF PAPER FILING REQUIREMENTS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention having warned the public to take precautions in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and having advised that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, it is hereby ORDERED that:
- Access to the Elbert P. Tuttle Courthouse (Tuttle Courthouse) and John C. Godbold Federal Building (Godbold Building) is restricted to judges, court staff, members of the media, and visitors with official business with the Court.
- Individuals delivering required filings, pleadings, and briefs must use the drop box inside the entrance to the Godbold Building on Poplar Street between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on business days.
- Individuals who have been diagnosed with or who have had known contact with a person with the COVID-19 virus or who have been asked to self-quarantine or who are experiencing flu-like symptoms may not enter the Tuttle Courthouse or the Godbold Building to conduct business. Such individuals shall not submit paper copies of briefs or appendices and should contact the Clerk’s Office for further instructions.
- Parties who have filed their brief and appendices through CM/ECF will temporarily not be required to file paper copies of briefs and appendices should that party file a notice stating they are unable to comply with the requirement but will do so at a future date to be established by the Court.
ANYONE ATTEMPTING TO ENTER THE TUTTLE COURTHOUSE OR THE GODBOLD BUILDING IN VIOLATION OF THIS ORDER WILL BE DENIED ENTRY BY A COURT SECURITY OFFICER.
The Court will continue to assess the ongoing need for the entry restrictions and update such restrictions as warranted. The Court takes this temporary action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and out of concern for the health and safety of the courthouse community.
Questions regarding this order or any other matter, may be directed to the Clerk’s Office at (404) 335-6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be advised that, effective March 13, 2020, access to the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse and the William B. Bryant Annex is restricted to judges, court staff, members of the media, and visitors with official business with the courts. We will continue to assess the ongoing need for the entry restrictions and update as warranted. We are taking this temporary action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and out of concern for the health and safety of the courthouse community.
Attorneys appearing for oral arguments or hearings before the Court of Appeals, the District Court, or the Bankruptcy Court must show a bar membership card. Pro se parties appearing for oral arguments or hearings should have the case number and the case name. Members of the media must show their credentials.
Individuals delivering required filings, pleadings, and briefs must use the drop box at the entrance to the Bryant Annex on Third Street unless the filings, pleadings, or briefs are filed under seal. Individuals delivering sealed materials will be permitted to proceed to the appropriate Clerk’s Office. Individuals who need to pay fines, make restitution payments, obtain certifications, and file emergency filings will also be permitted to proceed to the appropriate Clerk’s Office.
Individuals who have business with the Probation Office or the Pretrial Services Agency, as well as individuals under supervision and their families, will be permitted to proceed to the Probation Office or the Pretrial Services Agency.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with or who have had known contact with a person with the COVID-19 virus or who have been asked to self-quarantine or who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should not enter the courthouse to conduct business. Instead, please call one of the numbers below for instructions.
If you have questions, please call the appropriate office for assistance:
Court of Appeals Clerk’s Office 202.216.7300
District & Bankruptcy Courts Clerk’s Office 202.354.3120
Probation Office 202.565.1300
Pretrial Services Agency 202.442.1000
Circuit Executive’s Office 202.216.7340
Based on current public health guidance and efforts to continue to minimize community transmission of COVID-19 within Washington, D.C. and the National Capital Region, the court has decided that all cases scheduled for argument during the April 2020 sitting will now be conducted by telephonic conference and no in-person hearings will be held. Parties in all cases previously advised that in-person argument will receive an updated notice in their respective cases. The court will continue to release same-day audio for all arguments on its website (available at http://www.carfc.uscourts.gov/oral-argument-recordings).
Based on declared public health emergencies impacting Washington, D.C. and the National Capital Region and ongoing efforts to mitigate community transmission and the impact of COVID-19, the Federal Circuit will be restricting public access to the National Courts Building complex, effective March 16, 2020, noon (Eastern). These measures will help promote the safety and health of both court staff and members of the public conducting court business. Both the full advisory and the administrative order are available on the court’s website.