Chief Judges Leonard P. Stark and Christopher S. Sontchi have announced procedures for protecting the public and court employees from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The Chief Judges stated that the District Court and Bankruptcy Court will, if practicable and efficient, conduct conferences and hearings telephonically. Additionally, if practitioners believe they have come into contact with someone displaying symptoms of, or tested positively for, COVID-19, the practitioner should inform the respective Court immediately. The Court will promptly consider a request to change a conference or hearing from in-person to telephonic. The Courts will consider adopting additional measures if warranted.
Beyond these measures effecting official court business, the Chief Judges also announced that Court personnel have been instructed to adopt cold and flu season hygiene practices. Further, Court personnel have been asked to exercise extra precautions such as staying home from work if they’re feeling ill and telecommuting if possible, consistent with Court policies. The Court urged practitioners to follow similar procedures.
The Chief Judges’ full announcement is available here.