COVID-19 Update: U.S. District Court of Colorado
June 30, 2020
The District Court of Colorado has released a new District Court General Order 2020-10. This General Order prohibits persons who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms, persons who have had close contact with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, and persons who have been asked to self-quarantine from entering any courthouse or U.S. Probation Offices. Any person denied access should: contact their attorney; if the person is an attorney or is scheduled to appear in court contact the chambers or the presiding judge; if your scheduled to meet with a Pretrial Services Officer or Probation Officer contact the Probation Office at (303) 844-5424; if you are a juror or prospective juror contact the Jury Department at (303) 844 – 3924; and for other District Court matters contact the Clerk’s Office of the U.S. District Court at (303) 844-3433.
In addition, beginning June 22, 2020 non-employee entrants are required to wear a mask or face covering that covers the user’s nose and mouth at all times within the courthouse and maintain six feet distance between themselves and other people within the courthouses. Non-employee entrants include: attorneys and their support personnel, jurors, witnesses, case agents, spectators or family members for trials or hearings, members of the press, persons being supervised by the U.S. Probation Office, litigants, contractors, vendors, and delivery persons. Non-employee entrants should bring their own masks; however, masks will be provided to jurors, witnesses, litigants, persons being supervised by the U.S. Probation Office, or family members and spectators if they do not have a mask. The U.S. marshals and court security officers are authorized toe enforce these requirements.
Beginning June 22, 2020 court employees and interns shall wear masks upon entry to the courthouse and in common areas. Employees may remove masks in an employee’s work areas if an employee works in a private office or their supervisor has concluded that there is sufficient distance from other occupied work area.
All Civil and criminal trials scheduled to commence now through July 31 before any district or magistrate judge in any Courthouse are continued subject to further order of the presiding judicial officer. Initial appearances on indictments and complaints, detention hearings, and hearings on violations of pretrial or supervised release or probation will take place by using remote attendance and other social distancing means to the full extent practicable. A person who wants who wants telephonic access to a hearing may contact the Clerk’s Office (303-844-3433) in advance of the hearing to obtain the dial-in information. All persons participating in a court proceeding remotely by teleconference are prohibited, under penalty of contempt, from recording or broadcasting the proceeding in any manner.
All naturalization ceremonies scheduled after June 19, 2020 will proceed on a limited basis allowing for social distancing. All public and bar-related functions scheduled to take place in any courthouse facility in the District of Colorado through August 28, 2020 are canceled.
June 15, 2020
The District Court of Colorado continues to modify operations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. General Order 2020-8 continues trials up to July 6, 2020. Only persons with official court business can enter the District of Colorado Courthouses and U.S. Probation Offices through June 19. 2020. Persons with official court business include: court employees and contractors; parties/litigants; counsel of record; investigators or employees of counsel; law enforcement officers and witnesses participating in hearings; contract court interpreters; individual under supervision of the U.S. Probation Office; and other specifically authorized by a presiding judge. Additionally, all naturalization ceremonies through June 19, 2020 are postponed and will be rescheduled and all public and bar-related functions are cancelled through June 19, 2020.
The District Court of Colorado has extended General Order 2020-3 to remain effective through June 19, 2020. General Order 2020-3 restricts entry of persons with official court business as ordered in General Order 2020-1. Persons with official court business cannot enter any District of Colorado courthouse located in Denver; Colorado Springs; Grand Junction; or Durango if:
- the person has traveled within the last fourteen days to China, Europe (except Great Britain), Iran, Japan, South Korea, or any country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice issued by the CDC;
- the person has had close contact with a person who has traveled to any of those countries within the last fourteen days;
- the person has been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency.
- the person has been diagnosed with, or has had direct contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19; and
- the person has apparent symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, severe cough, or shortness of breath.
The Clerk’s Office and Probation Offices are closed to public entry. Electronic filing is required for all attorneys and remains available to pro se parties authorized to file electronically. All other non-electronic filing must be made either by U.S. Mail to the U.S. District Court Clerk’s Office or may be deposited in a drop box during normal business hours located inside the front door of the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse. The Court will accept filings from unrepresented parties via email in compliance with procedures published by the Clerk of Court during the duration of this order. Cash payments will not be accepted. All payments must be either check, money order, or a “Single Transaction Credit Card Authorization Form.” Payment must be delivered by either U.S. Mail or deposited in the drop boxes.
The Clerk’s Office is not deemed “inaccessible” for purposes of computing filing deadlines under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a)(3) or Fed. R. Crim. P. 45(a)(3) and is deemed “open” for the purposes of Fed. R. Civ. P. 77(c). Initial appearances on indictments and complaints, detention hearings, and hearings on violations of pretrial or supervised release or probation will take place by either remote attendance or other social distancing means when practicable. Family members of defendants, victims, media, and members of the public may attend hearings by contacting the Clerk’s Officer (303-844-3433) in advance. All persons participating in a court proceeding remotely are prohibited, under penalty of contempt, from recording or broadcasting the proceeding in any manner.