HARTFORD, CT — They can’t physically be at the state Supreme and Appellate Courts because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the justices will continue hearing cases remotely.
Beginning on Monday, April 27 the Supreme Court will hear two cases per day Monday, Wednesday and Friday until May 4. The audio recordings of the oral arguments will be available on the Judicial Branch’s website following the argument.
The audio, according to the Judicial Branch, is typically available to the public shortly after the conclusion of the argument.
The Appellate Court will begin hearing cases remotely on Monday, May 11. It is expected that the Appellate Court will hear three cases per day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday the weeks of May 11, May 18, and May 25. The Appellate Court will not hear cases on Memorial Day, May 25.
“This plan allows the Supreme and Appellate courts to hear oral arguments while at the same time reducing the physical footprint in our courthouses, thus reducing the possibility of anyone contracting COVID-19,” Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson said. “I am appreciative of all of the work that has gone into this plan, so that the Supreme and Appellate courts may continue to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities.”
Earlier this week the Judicial Branch also began to lift the restrictions on what cases would be heard. The volume of cases that have been heard have been on the criminal side of the docket in six courthouses.
Beginning on Tuesday, April 14 all courthouses, including the two juvenile ones in Hartford and Bridgeport, are closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Civil and family cases have continued to be filed electronically even as courthouses have closed, but until this week there had been limited actions on any of the matters.
This week the courts will begin to render decisions on previously argued civil cases.
In a statement Tuesday, Chief Court Administrator Patrick L. Carroll III, said as far as civil matters are concerned they “anticipate that our judges and clerks will have the ability to act on various matters, including, but not limited to: completing and issuing decisions in cases that were previously argued or submitted and processing other matters on the papers filed rather than requiring parties to appear in court.”
Regarding family matters, the courts will consider approval of joint petitions for non-adversarial divorce; and entering court orders regarding requests for approval of temporary agreements, without a court appearance.
A list of civil and family matters the courts will consider is included online.