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CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) GUIDANCE

All announcements from the Court are listed below, ordered by most recent date.  Please review all of the announcements to ensure you are fully informed. 

This page was last updated on September 24, 2020.

September 24, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has passed legislation authorizing the use of video or telephone conferencing for certain criminal proceedings, with such legislation requiring the Chief Judge to reassess conditions every ninety days.  General Order 2020-21 makes the findings necessary to reauthorize the use of video conferencing, or alternatively telephone conferencing, in this District for an additional ninety days, unless terminated earlier.
   
 For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-21  In re: CARES ACT REAUTHORIZATION TO USE VIDEO CONFERENCING OR TELEPHONE CONFERENCING

July 7, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as part of the Court’s anticipated resumption of criminal jury trials in our District, the Court adopts the modified jury summons packet included in the attached General Order 2020-20.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-20  In re: MODIFIED JURY SUMMONS PACKET.

June 30, 2020

General Order 2020-19 outlines the anticipated timeline for the resumption of criminal jury trials in our District, which are expected to begin on September 14, 2020. For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-19 In re: REVISED SCHEDULE FOR THE RESUMPTION OF CRIMINAL JURY TRIALS  

June 26, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has passed legislation authorizing the use of video or telephone conferencing for certain criminal proceedings, with such legislation requiring the Chief Judge to reassess conditions every ninety days.  The attached General Order makes the findings necessary to reauthorize the use of video conferencing, or alternatively telephone conferencing, in this District.
   
 For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-18  In re: CARES ACT REAUTHORIZATION TO USE VIDEO CONFERENCING OR TELEPHONE CONFERENCING

June 5, 2020

General Order 2020-17 updates the Court's temporary restrictions regarding entry to the Courthouses in our District during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-17 IN re: UPDATE TO COURTHOUSE ENTRY RESTRICTIONS

May 26, 2020

General Order 2020-16 outlines the anticipated timeline for the phased expansion of Court Operations in our District, which is expected to begin on June 11, 2020.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-16 In re: PHASED EXPANSION OF COURT OPERATIONS.

May 18, 2020

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 983, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has issued an order providing extensions to certain deadlines relating to the administrative and civil judicial asset forfeiture proceedings within this District.  Such order was issued upon motion by the United States and in response to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic, to include the health risks and endangerment to the life and safety of government asset forfeiture attorneys and staff who are responsible for reviewing cases, issuing notices, and processing claims.

For more detailed information, please see the Court’s Order (dated May 14, 2020) issued in Case No. 2:20-mc-9.

May 14, 2020

1)  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to supplement steps previously taken by this Court to reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and to slow the spread of the disease, the Court finds it necessary and appropriate to adopt a face covering and social distancing policy for all Courthouse employees, contractors, and visitors.

For more detailed information please see General Order 2020-14 In re: FACE COVERINGS AND SOCIAL DISTANCING IN COURTHOUSES ACROSS THE DISTRICT

2)  In response to recent developments, to include the Court’s increased capabilities to conduct remote proceedings and thereby reduce the risk that all Courthouses in the District would be rendered unusable at the same time, the Court has determined that it is no longer necessary for the U.S. Courthouse in Newport News to serve as the Emergency Judicial Center for the District, as was previously directed by General Order No. 2020-10.  As such, beginning on May 26, 2020, the U.S. Courthouse in Newport News will be reopened to the public and to all employees, subject to the same restrictions on proceedings and visitors as all other Courthouses in the District.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-15 In re: CESSATION OF THE U.S. COURTHOUSE IN NEWPORT NEWS AS THE DISTRICT’S EMERGENCY JUDICIAL CENTER

April 16, 2020

In light of the Court’s prior authorization of the use of video or telephone conferencing for certain criminal proceedings, the Court now authorizes the U.S. Probation Office to make a defendant’s pretrial services report available to counsel in an electronic format in the same manner that Presentence Reports are currently made available to a defendant’s counsel and an attorney for the government. 

For more detailed information please see General Order 2020-13 In re: ELECTRONIC ACCESS TO BOND REPORTS

April 15, 2020

All civil and criminal in-person proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, including court appearances, trials, hearings, settlement conferences, and naturalization ceremonies scheduled to occur through June 10, 2020, with the exception of critical or emergency proceedings, are POSTPONED, subject to the conditions set forth in this General Order. The instant General Order does not postpone any remote proceedings scheduled by a presiding judge in any civil or criminal case.

For more detailed information please see General Order 2020-12 In re: UPDATES TO THE MODIFICATIONS OF COURT OPERATIONS AND EXTENSION OF THE POSTPONEMENT OF IN-PERSON PROCEEDINGS

Norfolk/Newport News Specific General Order Continuing Matters Set for from May 4–June 10, 2020, to July 6–August 12, 2020
Richmond Specific General Order Continuing Matters Set for May 7, 2020, to July 9, 2020

April 6, 2020

Consistent with this Court’s prior General Order authorizing video teleconferencing (2020-09), the Court adopts a temporary policy for remote proceedings and public access to such remote proceedings, which will be accomplished through toll-free telephone access.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-11 In re: TEMPORARY POLICY FOR REMOTE PROCEEDINGS AND PUBLIC ACCESS TO SUCH PROCEEDINGS

March 30, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Courthouse in Newport News shall be repurposed as the Emergency Judicial Center (EJC) for the Eastern District of Virginia, serving as a “last resort” location for Court proceedings or other emergency functions, to be activated if, and only if, all other Courthouses (Alexandria, Norfolk, and Richmond) are rendered unusable at the same time.  As such, beginning on April 1, 2020, and until further order by this Court, the U.S. Courthouse in Newport News will be closed to the public and to all employees, unless activated for EJC proceedings.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-10 In re: DESIGNATION OF THE U.S. COURTHOUSE IN NEWPORT NEWS AS THE DISTRICT’S EMERGENCY JUDICIAL CENTER.

March 30, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has passed legislation authorizing the use of video or telephone conferencing for certain criminal proceedings.  Pursuant to such Congressional authorization, the attached Order makes the findings necessary to implement video teleconferencing, or alternatively telephone conferencing, in this District.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-09 In re: AUTHORIZATION TO USE VIDEO TELECONFERENCING OR TELEPHONE CONFERENCING PURSUANT TO THE CARES ACT

March 27, 2020

Drop Box Filing

In conjunction with yesterday’s General Order 2020-08 (see below) the Clerk’s Office counters are closed to the public until further notice, to minimize personal interactions.  The public may use the drop boxes during hours when the courthouses are open to the public. Federal employees with building access may use the drop boxes during the evening or weekend hours as well.  Clerk’s Office staff retrieve documents from the drop boxes at 9:00 AM each day that the Court is open.
Location / Building Hours
Drop Box Filing Procedures
Drop Box Information Form
Payment Information
Local Rule 83.1 (M) Certification for Pro Se Litigants

March 26, 2020

In order to further reduce person-to-person contact in our Courthouses, the Clerk’s Office public counters shall be CLOSED until further notice, effective Monday, March 30, 2020.  Members of the public will retain access to the drop boxes at or near the entrances of each of our Courthouses to deposit filings during business hours, and a phone will be available near each drop box so that filers can speak to someone in the Clerk’s Office.  The Clerk’s Office staff will remain available by telephone to answer outside calls made by counsel and litigants.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-08 In re: TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF CLERK’S OFFICE PUBLIC COUNTERS

March 24, 2020

This General Order supplements General Orders 2020-02 and 2020-03.

All civil and criminal in-person proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, including court appearances, trials, hearings, and settlement conferences, scheduled to occur through May 1, 2020, with the exception of critical or emergency proceedings, are POSTPONED and CONTINUED, subject to the conditions set forth in this General Order.  Additionally, the Court has updated its temporary restrictions regarding visitors to our courthouses.

For more detailed information please see General Order 2020-07 In re: EXTENSION TO THE MODIFICATIONS OF COURT OPERATIONS: SUPPLEMENT TO GENERAL ORDERS 2020-02 and 2020-03.

March 23, 2020

This General Order provides more detailed speedy trial findings regarding the temporary suspension of criminal jury trials and grand jury proceedings, as previously ordered in General Orders 2020-02 and 2002-03.

For more detailed information, please see General Order 2020-06, In re: ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER REGARDING COMPUTATION OF TIME UNDER THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT, 18 U.S.C. § 3161.

March 20, 2020

All non-case related outside events and gatherings are postponed until further notice.  All naturalization proceedings scheduled through May 1, 2020, are postponed. 

For more detailed information please see General Order 2020-04 In re: COURT OPERATIONS UNDER THE EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES CREATED BY THE OUTBREAK OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19): POSTPONEMENT OF OUTSIDE EVENTS AND TEMPORARY POSTPONEMENT OF NATURALIZATION PROCEEDINGS

This General Order, and all prior General Orders associated with COVID-19, are available on PACER at Case No. 2:20mc7.

March 16, 2020

Starting March 17th and continuing through March 31st, the Court has suspended all criminal and civil proceedings in each of our courthouses, with the exception of: (1) critical or emergency criminal and civil matters; and (2) any proceeding expressly excepted by order of the presiding judge.

Additionally, the Court has temporarily restricted certain visitors to our courthouses, to include those who have recently traveled to certain places with high levels of the virus, and those who have been, or are in close contact with a person who has been, instructed to self-quarantine by a physician or local health official.

For more detailed information please see General Order 2020-03 In re: COURT OPERATIONS UNDER THE EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES CREATED BY THE OUTBREAK OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19): TEMPORARY CONTINUANCE OF COURT PROCEEDINGS AND RESTRICTIONS ON VISITORS TO COURTHOUSES

March 13, 2020

Starting Monday, March 16, 2020 and continuing through April 17, 2020, all civil and criminal (grand and petit) jury empanelments, jury trials, and grand jury proceedings before any district or magistrate judge in any courthouse in the Eastern District of Virginia are CONTINUED until further Order of the Court, with the exception of the sessions of Grand Juries 20-1 and 20-2, which will continue in the Alexandria courthouse as scheduled.

For detailed information please see General Order 2020-02 In re: COURT OPERATIONS UNDER THE EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES CREATED BY THE OUTBREAK OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19): JURY SELECTIONS, JURY TRIALS, AND GRAND JURY PROCEEDINGS

March 12, 2020

All misdemeanor, traffic, and petty offense dockets scheduled in all Divisions of this Court from March 16, 2020, through April 30, 2020, are hereby CONTINUED.

Please see General Order No.2020-01 In re: COURT OPERATIONS UNDER THE EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES CREATED BY THE OUTBREAK OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID-19): MISDEMEANOR, TRAFFIC, AND PETTY OFFENSE DOCKETS FOR ALL DIVISIONS OF THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA

Norfolk/Newport News Specific General Order Continuing Misdemeanor Dockets March 16, 2020, Through April 30, 2020

Richmond Specific General Order Continuing Misdemeanor Dockets March 16, 2020, Through April 30, 2020

Alexandria Specific General Order Continuing Misdemeanor Dockets March 16, 2020, Through April 30, 2020

March 10, 2020

Given concerns about the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and precautions recommended by the CDC in areas with confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Court has decided to suspend non-case related outside events, tours, and other gatherings in our courthouses. The Court has also decided to postpone all naturalization ceremonies for the remainder of March 2020, and will decide in the near future whether to resume naturalization ceremonies in April or postpone them further. If you have questions about the decision to postpone these naturalization ceremonies, please contact U.S. Customs and Immigration Services.

The Court thanks you for your patience and understanding as we all work through these challenging times and seek to protect the health of all courthouse visitors and occupants.

Chief Judge Mark S. Davis