Massachusetts Juvenile Court during COVID-19

The purpose of this blog is to update you on issues related to the Court and DCF during the present pandemic.

I will only be meeting with clients by telephone or other electronic means. If you need to speak to me, text or email me first and I will make an appointment for you. You can call and Text me at (413) 304-3477. My email is I am not working from my office at 191 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA.

If you are currently involved with DCF and the Juvenile court,The DCF Social worker should have contacted you to explain how the pandemic will affect you in Court or otherwise.

1. YOUR CASE IN THE JUVENILE COURT – the Court is closed until June 4, 2020 as per the Court’s standing order which I have included at the end of this blog. The Court is only hearing four (4) emergency hearings per day by telephone. All other hearings that were scheduled during this time will be rescheduled. All trials that were scheduled are being rescheduled. Motions for visitation will not be heard even if hey are entitled “ Emergency Motion for Visitation”.

2. DCF – For the time being, all DCF workers are working from home. All communication that they have with clients, even their child clients, will be by video or telephone. DCF will not provide in person visits between children and their parents. DCF is doing everything in their power to keep all the children in their care healthy.

I hope that this has been helpful.  Contact me if there are any issues.   Stay healthy, continue to engage in services even if it is by telephone, and when the time comes, we will do what we can to resolve your case.  Below is the order frm the court about emergency operations.  


WHEREAS, the Supreme Judicial Court issued an Order, OE-144 on April 1, 2020 and effective April 6, 2020, providing that from March 18, 2020 until at least May 4, 2020, Massachusetts courts will be closed to the public except to conduct emergency hearings that cannot be resolved through a videoconference or telephonic hearing, either because such a hearing is impracticable or because it would be inconsistent with the protection of constitutional rights, and pursuant to my authority under G.L. c. 211B, § 10, It is hereby ORDERED that

where ever the date April 6, 2020 appears in Juvenile Court Standing Order 3-20 be replaced with May 4, 2020 and where ever the date May 4, 2020 appears in Juvenile Court Standing Order 3-20 be replaced with June 6, 2020. All other provisions of Juvenile Court Standing Order 3-20 remain in effect. This Order will remain in effect until a subsequent order issues rescinding this Order. Any deviation from this Order must be sought from the Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court.

Effective Date: April 6, 2020

Hon. Amy L. Nechtem Chief Justice of the Juvenile Court

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