Executive Committee: COVID-19 No Longer Impacting Functioning of Federal Courts

The Judicial Conference’s Executive Committee found the COVID-19 emergency is no longer impacting the functioning of federal courts, according to an announcement May 11. 

The finding sets in motion a 120-day grace period where federal courts can continue providing remote public audio access to civil and bankruptcy proceedings like they did during the emergency, according to a press release.

The executive committee’s finding takes effect May 24, the press release noted, and the grace period ending Sept. 21 only relates to the judiciary’s temporary broadcasting exception for remote audio public access to bankruptcy and civil proceedings.

The press release added permission to conduct some criminal proceedings by video or teleconference, which was granted under the 2020 CARES Act, ended May 10, as most courts have discontinued the use of virtual criminal proceedings already.

The Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management will continue studying possible changes to the judiciary’s broadcasting policy related to civil and bankruptcy proceedings, which is based on data gathered during the pandemic, the press release stated. 

The committee may provide a report at the next Judicial Conference session Sept. 12, the press release noted. 

May 11 is the end of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration. 

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