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Mass. trial courts closed in light of Baker order

Courts will be closed to the public Monday and Tuesday, officials said.

Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham. Lane Turner / The Boston Globe, File

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Massachusetts trial courts will be closed to the public Monday and Tuesday in light of Gov. Charlie Baker’s order directing non-emergency Executive Branch employees not to report to their workplaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic, court officials said.

“Courts will contact members of juries now hearing cases. Anyone with pending matters should contact the Clerks Office when it opens on Wednesday,” the Massachusetts Trial Court said in a statement Sunday night. “We urge all court users and court staff to be vigilant in applying social distancing and hygiene precautions to mitigate spread of the coronavirus.”

According to court leaders, judges will remain available over the two-day period by telephone conference to review bail determinations for people held in custody from arrests over the weekend and on Monday.

“Any matters that are due to expire on March 16 and March 17 remain in effect until the matter has been rescheduled,” officials told court employees. “Except for bail review determinations, all other matters are continued until the court has reopened for regular business.”

Court officials will ultimately tell employees whether the courts will reopen Wednesday for “limited business.”

The instructions come days after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered certain proceedings be pushed back until at least April 21. District attorneys across the state have also taken action in their offices to limit the spread of the coronavirus, they said last week.

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