District of Delaware Remains Open, But Alters Procedures in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak
The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware remains open during the coronavirus outbreak, but has implemented procedures to restrict access to the courthouse and protect Court personnel, attorneys, and litigants.
Earlier today, the Court issued a Standing Order restricting access to the courthouse for those who have been exposed to the virus, have had close contact with someone exposed to the virus, or are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. The Court further ordered that any attorney or party who knows or has reason to believe that a participant in a hearing, deposition, or other proceeding meets any of these criteria promptly notify the Court and opposing counsel.
In a prior Standing Order the Court suspended the submission of courtesy paper copies unless otherwise instructed. In another directive, the Court indicated that it will conduct conferences and hearings telephonically when it is practicable and efficient to do so and will promptly consider any request to change a conference or hearing from being held in-person to via telephone.
The Court also, in conjunction with the Delaware Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, canceled the District of Delaware Bench & Bar, originally scheduled for April 30-May 1.
For the time being, cancelations and postponements of upcoming trials and hearings are being addressed on a case-by-case basis. The Court is also holding some conferences, hearings, and mediations via telephone that would otherwise have been held in-person.
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