Trial court extends in-person reduction into January

Boston Statehouse

A judge’s gavel is shown in a file photo. (Credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

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BOSTON (SHNS) – The Massachusetts Trial Court system will keep in-court operations reduced for another month-plus due to the “major increase in COVID-19 infections in Massachusetts and experience with court staff testing and courthouse closures,” officials announced Friday.

Judicial leaders scaled back in-person court operations starting on Nov. 27, and on the day the plan was supposed to end, they extended it through at least Jan. 8, 2021.

Any proceedings scheduled in that span will “to the extent possible” be held during virtual hearings, officials said, with the goal of limiting individuals who may be ill with COVID-19 but not yet showing symptoms from entering courthouses and infecting others.

“Trial Court leaders have concluded that this plan is the best approach to balancing the need to provide access to courts and protecting the health and safety of court staff and court users,” a spokesperson for the system said in a statement.

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