Probate and Family Court Standing Order 1-2022: Virtual Proceedings Highly Recommended amid escalating COVID-19 spread
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The Order, effective 01/05/2022, requires that all cases be
held remotely if the case can be changed from in-person to virtual without
having to reschedule. The form to request an in-person hearing be changed to
remote can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/assented-to-motion-for-all-parties-to-appear-remotely-cjd-424/download
Note: If all parties and attorneys do not agree to appear
remotely, a Motion (CJD 400) form may need to be filed.
According to the order, rescheduling of cases is discouraged and should only happen
as a last resort. While the change to virtual proceedings is highly recommended,
scheduled in-person hearings shall continue where staffing levels are adequate.
In alignment with the shift to virtual proceedings, filing
is now encouraged to be done through US mail or electronic means where available.
Drop boxes may be available in some locations. Email filings will be accepted
under specific circumstances also detailed in the Order.
This obviously remains an ever changing landscape during this ongoing pandemic.