Thursday, March 26, 2020
STATEMENT FROM CHIEF COURT ADMINISTRATOR PATRICK L. CARROLL III
MARCH 26, 2020
COVID-19 continues to challenge the operations of the Connecticut Judicial Branch as we seek to protect the safety and health of the public and our employees and judges. At the same time, we must meet our constitutional obligations. To achieve this balance, we have undertaken several steps so far to achieve this goal, including, but not limited to: until further notice, the prioritization of cases to be handled and having open only one courthouse in each Judicial District to handle these cases.
More stringent steps are necessary as this virus continues to spread. As such, I am ordering the following:
· Three courthouses – the Litchfield Judicial District courthouse located at 15 Field St., Torrington; Geographical Area (GA) #19 courthouse located at 20 Park St. in Rockville; and the GA #11 courthouse located at 120 School St. in Danielson – will be temporarily closed until further notice, effective at the close of business on Friday, March 27, 2020. Effective, Monday, March 30, matters from Litchfield will transfer to the Waterbury GA #4 courthouse; matters from Rockville will transfer to the Hartford GA #14 Courthouse; and matters from Danielson will transfer to the New London Judicial District.
We chose these three courthouses based on caseload data that we have collected since ordering this month that only “Priority 1 Business Functions” be handled in state courts. All three locations show lower numbers of public traffic than busier court locations, and the larger locations have the ability to absorb the additional caseload.
In addition, we closed the Danbury Judicial District effective at the end of business on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The Danbury cases have been transferred to Waterbury GA #4.
· Effective immediately and until further notice, entrance to courthouses that remain open is being limited to those individuals who are:
o Filing or have a hearing for a Temporary Restraining Order
o Filing or have a hearing for a Civil Protection Order
o Filing or have a hearing on an Ex Parte motion
o Involved in a criminal arraignment or other criminal proceeding.
A notice to this effect has already been posted on the Judicial Branch website.
· Effective Tuesday, March 31, 2020, and continuing each week Tuesday through Friday until further notice, the remaining open courthouses and two juvenile courthouses in Hartford and New Haven will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with staff leaving for the day at 2 p.m. Hours on Mondays will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Between now and March 31, these courts will be open during their regular hours of 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson and I fully recognize the disruption that these further steps will create. However, the COVID-19 crisis is unlike any other crisis the Branch has weathered in my 23 years as a judge. Drastic steps must be taken to prevent drastic consequences, and we believe that such actions will help mitigate, rather than accelerate, this pandemic.
Judge Patrick L. Carroll II
Chief Court Administrator
Connecticut Judicial Branch
231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06106