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

Essential items you should have when you go to meet with your divorce attorney.

I often find it very helpful if when I meet with clients that they have the following documents with them so that I can immediately begin to work on preparing the documents for the divorce. These things essential, but not having them should not delay you from seeing an attorney.

  1. Copies of all vital documentsThe most important of these Documents is the marriage certificate. If you have children, you should include any birth certificates, adoption or guardianship papers.
  2. Bring your federal and state income tax for the last three years.Bring all supporting document for your tax returns includin W-2s, 1099s, 1098 And all the schedules. This may be tedious but it is very necessary.
  3. Bring at least four of your most recent, consecutive, pay stubs from each employer.If during the year you’ve worked for different employers, bring those pay stubs with you. Have at least four that show that the rate of pay is consistent.
  4. Health Care DocumentationPlease bring documentation showing the cost and availability of your insurance coverage. This may include an employee handbook.
  5. Bank statements for the last three yearsBring bank statements for the past three years on all the accounts that you may have had either individually or jointly with the other party to the case.
  6. Statements on any investments for the last three years ofBrings statements for the past three years for any investments may have such as, securities, stocks bond certificates of deposit, 401(k)s or IRAs.
  7. Copies of loan or mortgage applications made by either party in the last three yearsIf you apply for a loan of any type, or mortgage, you need to submit these to your attorney.
  8. Make a summary of all everything you own: your debts and assetsMake a brief, but accurate summary of all your bank accounts, credit card debt, investments, loans, debt and assets that you may have . You are basically doing a summary of everything that you have brought with you to the attorneys office, plus adding in just about everything else that you own to include your automobile(s) any collectibles and even the value of the items in your home. This is a rough list and you don’t need to have anything appraised, but be honest about the value of the items.

10 Things You Must Do Before You Call an Attorney

Imagine you have just been served some paperwork from a sheriff and you are upset.   You know that you need some help figuring out what all your legal options are.  You decide to call an attorney.


  1. Find somewhere safe and quiet  to make your call from,
  2. Make sure you have the time you need to concentrate on the call,
  3. make sure that you have the privacy you need,
  4. Have your calendar or schedule available,
  5. have whatever materials you received with you,
  6. review as well as you can the materials your received,
  7. write down any questions you need answered imediately,
  8. have a pad and pen ready to take any notes,
  9. Take a second to collect your thoughts: Breath,
  10. If you do not have an attorney, search on your phone or computer for a local attorney who handle the type of issue you have. I recommend