Hampden County Bar Association Serving Lawyers, the Justice System and the Public
Hampden County Bar Association
P.O. Box 559 ยท 50 State Street
Springfield, MA 01102-0559
P: (413) 732-4660
F: (413) 732-6882
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The Hampden County Bar Association (HCBA) remains committed to the safety and health of all of our members, community members, partners, the public and our staff. The HCBA will continue to work with the Massachusetts Trial Court and other agencies to closely monitor the current public health situation, and to provide the most up to date information to our members and beyond. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please email the HCBA office or call the office at (413) 732-4660. We are in this together, and we will get through this together!

Please follow the HCBA social media accounts for additional updates and announcements.
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LEGAL COMMUNITY NEWS

Please click here for the Joint Letter to the Bar signed by Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants, Appeals Court Chief Justice Mark V. Green and Trial Court Chief Justice Paula M. Carey.

ATTORNEY/GAL/INVESTIGATOR BILLING
Please note the billing for Atty/GAL/Investigators is quite a bit earlier this year than in the past. All invoices for services rendered prior to June 30, 2020, must be submitted to the court for processing by July 10, 2020. In prior years the deadline was mid-August.

TRIAL COURT HELP LINE FOR COURT USERS
The Trial Court has established a Help Line beginning on April 2nd that the public can call to ask general questions about their civil and criminal cases and help them navigate the court system while the court system remains closed to the public except for emergency matters. The Help Line will be staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and can be reached by calling 833-91COURT. Please click here for more information.

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
Please click here and scroll down a bit to view the Guidance on Serving Time-Sensitive Initial Pleadings, Complaints, and Summonses in Cases Against the Attorney General's Office During the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Advisory Period.

HAMPDEN COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT
Until further notice, all attorney visits at Hampden County Sheriff’s Department’s facilities will be non-contact, and attorneys will be required to wear a mask upon entering the facility. This situation will be revaluated on a regular basis.
The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department is unable to check the dropbox in the HCBA office until further notice. All documents for the Sheriff’s Department need to be dropped off at 95 Liberty Street, Springfield. If you have any questions, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (413) 732-5772. The Hampden County Sheriff's Office has temporarily changed the office hours to Monday - Friday 9:00am - 1:00pm.

Please click here for the Hampden County Sheriff's Department Process for Contacting Clients by Telephone.

MASSACHUSETTS COMMISSION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
Please click here for the MCAD Guidance for Attorneys and Duly Aurthorized Representatives During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis (April 1, 2020).

HAMPDEN COUNTY REGISTRY OF DEEDS
UPDATE as of 4/28/2020
The Hampden County Courthouse is CLOSED to the public until June 1, 2020. Westfield City Hall is closed
to the public as well until further notice. This means that the Hampden County Registry of Deeds will neither be open to the public in Springfield or Westfield. However, the Registry will continue to remotely record documents through E-Recording channels.  This includes Land Court documents.  Plans may be mailed to our Springfield location. We are receiving mail and overnight packages until further notice. These mailed and delivered documents are being processed upon receipt.  Please be sure to check this website for updates as matters evolve daily.

Should you require assistance, please email us at hcrodsd@sec.state.ma.us.
 
Thank you for your patience as we continue to work diligently to serve you while protecting the health and safety of our Registry Team.
Please be safe.

MEMBER WELLNESS

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and its Law Office Management Assistance Program (LCL) are here to support you. LCL's free & confidential mental health and practice management consultations are available online to Massachusetts lawyers, law students, judges and other legal professionals (more on scheduling here), and all of LCL's free & confidential groups are meeting online (listed here), including addiction recovery peer support, 3 new weekly online support groups to help during the COVID-19 crisis, and all our regular monthly groups (Solo | Stress, SuperMom, Professional Conduct, and more). LCL has also centralized and continue to update resources for coping, staying balanced and working remotely - please click here for COVID-19 Resources for Lawyers, Law Students and Judges. We are a self-regulating profession. We are in this together. If you know someone is struggling, please be the person who brings hope to them. Reach out to us and we will help you formulate an effective way to communicate your care and support for them.


SJC Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being
The SJC Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being has launched a website to keep the public informed as to the ongoing work of the Committee and to provide well-being resources to the legal community to help manage stress during this period of time. The Committee has also launched a TechLine to help attorneys navigate the increased use of technology within their law practices, and provides live one-on-one assistance in selecting, implementing, and troubleshooting technology. TechLine is available Monday through Friday. Callers should leave a message with their name, phone number, and nature of their request. A volunteer will respond by 5:00 pm. The TechLine number is (888) 314-7714. Please click here for more information. Finally, the Committee has created a Simple Remote Work Guide which offers a basic starting point for how to maintain continuity of a law practice while away from the office.

TRIAL COURT UPDATES

Court system response to the COVID-19.

Amendment to Emergency Administrative Order concerning Probation warrants.

Standing Orders to Address Emergency Matters during pandemic.

Emergency Administrative Order 20-7: Trial Court Order Supplementing the SJC Order Regarding Court Operations under the Exigent Circumstances Craeted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Emergency Administrative Order 20-6: Temporary Alternative Procedures for Bail Magistrates and Bail Commissioners Setting and Taking Bail after Court Hours During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

TEMPORARY COURT CLOSURES

Please click here for all of the temporary court closures due to COVID-19

SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT

SJC Issues Order Regarding State Court Operations in June During the Pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Supreme Judicial Court During the COVID-19 Pandemic

SJC Temporary Emergency Order re: SJC Rule 3:03

Order Restricting Court Appearances to Emergency Matters until May 4, 2020.

Order Regarding Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Creates by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Order allowing for service by email under certain circumstances.

SJC Decision Re:  CPCS v. Chief Justice of Trial Court

HAMPDEN COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT

Please click here for the Hampden Superior Court May Scheduling Guidelines and click here for a letter from Hampden County Clerk of Courts, Laura S. Gentile, Esq.

The Hampden Superior Court is converting trial dates into ‘select a new trial date’. If someone has a trial scheduled for May or June, they will have a conference call on that date to select a new trial date. They will be contacted and given the number and time to call into the conference line. They do not need to send in motions to continue or requests for a status, as it just creates additional work. If you have any questions, please email Hampden County Clerk of Courts, Laura Gentile, Esquire,  at  Laura.gentile@jud.state.ma.us.

Please click here for the Superior Court Civil Committee's "Tips for Attorneys and Self-Represented Litigants Appearing in Remote Civil Hearings Before the Superior Court." 

Please click here for an email from Regional Administrative Judge Michael K. Callan to HCBA President, Kathleen A. Cavanaugh, and click here for the Hampden Superior Court Protocol for Civil Sessions. 

Standing Order 4-20: Superior Court Operations During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
 
Standing Order 5-20: Protocol Governing Requests for Release from Detention, and Requests to Revise or Revoke or to Stay Sentence, based on Coronavirus.
 
Standing Order 6-20: Updated protocol governing Superior Court operations during the coronoavirus pandemic.
 
Superior Court Frequently Asked Questions in Reference to COVID-19.
 
Superior Court Administrative Directive No. 20-1: Protocol governing actions to enforce isolation or quarantine orders issued by state or local public health departments, based on coronavirus
(COVID-19) risks.
 
Superior Court Postponement of the May 2020 Sitting of the Appellate Division in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risks.
 
HAMPDEN COUNTY PROBATE & FAMILY COURT
 
Please click here to read a letter by First Justice Barbara M. Hyland.
 
Hampden Probate and Family Court guidelines for operation during COVID-19
 
Filing Methods for Emergency Actions as Defined by Probate and Family Court Standing Order 2-20: Court Operations under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19.

Open letter regarding co-parenting during COVID-19 from Chief John D. Casey.

Standing Order 4-20: Order Concerning Email Service in Cases under Rule 5 (b) of the Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure.

Standing Order 3-20:  Guardian ad litem Evaluations, Investigations, and Reports in the Probate and Family Court in light of COVID-19 Emergency.

Standing Order 2-20: Court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19, amended effective April 6, 2020
 
Temporary Amendment to Standing Order 2-16: Parent Education Program Attendance

Probate and Family Court frequently asked questions.

DISTRICT COURT

"Because of the Covid-19 crisis, the vast number of Springfield District Court cases are being presently continued.  The Trial Court has just devised a
method by which "Notice of Next Event" of  continued matters may be produced to all parties via the MassCourts case management system.
The Clerk's Office will take advantage of this enhancement beginning today. But in addition, please remind attorneys to routinely check their cases on MassCourts
for any updated scheduling information."

Springfield District Court scheduling memorandum from Clerk John S. Gay.

District Court FAQs Related to COVID-19

Standing Order 2-20:  Court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19.

Standing Order 3-20: Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19.

Standing Order 4-20: Protocol Governing Requests for Release from Detention, and Requests to Revise or Revoke or to Stay Sentence, based on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risks

Standing Order 5-20: Court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19.

HOUSING COURT

Attention:  GAL bills for services rendered between July 1st, 2019-June 30th, 2020 must be submitted to
Maria Pereira    
Western Division Housing Court
37 Elm Street
Springfield, MA 01102
by July 10th, 2020.   Only original signatures will be accepted.  

Housing Court frequently asked questions in reference to COVID-19

Standing Order 2-20: Temporary modifications to court operations arising from the coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak
 
Standing Order 3-20: Supplement to Housing Court Standing Order 2-20 Relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
 
Standing Order 4-20: Supplement to Housing Court Standing Orders 2-20 and 3-20 relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak
 
JUVENILE COURT
 
 
Standing Order 3-20: Court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19
 
Standing Order 4-20: Extension of emergency court operations under the exigent circumstances created by COVID-19
 
Standing Order 5-20: Protocol Governing Requests for Release from Detention, and Requests to Revise or Revoke or to Stay Sentence, based on COVID-19 Risks

U.S. BANKRUPTCY COURT

COVID 19 update from U.S. Trustee's Office on 341 Hearings.

Amended Standing Order 2020-2, Amended Order Temporarily Modifying Massachusetts Local Bankruptcy Rule Appendix, 8, Rule 7. 

Standing Order 2020-5, Order Amending Massachusetts Local Bankruptcy Rule, Appendix 5(b) and (d).
 
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
 
U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts has ordered all jury trials starting before Monday, April 27, 2020, to be continued effective immediately. Please click here for more information.
 
APPEALS COURT
 
Revised Guidelines Regarding Extension of Due Dates and Other COVID-19 Internal Operating Procedures.
 
Appeals Court Frequently Asked Questions - Revised 5/4/2020 - Regarding Emergency Matters Arising During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
 
LAND COURT
 
Standing Order 4-20: Emergency Measures in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak (Restated).
 
Land Court Frequently Asked Questions on Emergency Measures in Response to COVID-19.
 
Click here for all Land Court updates.
 
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