COVID-19 adapted procedures now available to litigants
Current as of: May 2020
There has been much progress made by the Judicial Branch since the Connecticut Superior Courts first began operating with a skeletal staff on March 16, 2020 and only accepting those matters designated as Priority 1. The Judicial Branch has now implemented new procedures, allowing for the handling of remote conferences and the ability of the court to enter final orders on agreements. This means that there are several matters that can proceed forward.
Matters Currently Being Processed
As the Judicial System expands those matters it will handle remotely, parties are now being afforded some relief. Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order 7CC, the following new procedures have been put into place:
- As of May 11, 2020, the family courts will begin scheduling remote status conferences in pending matters. Family courts will also be scheduling remote judicial pretrials.
- If your dissolution action has been on hold, pending the COVID-19 status, it may be able to move forward. A final divorce judgment or Legal Separation can enter by agreement of the parties. Parties that are able to present a full and comprehensive agreement to the family court will receive a dissolution judgment, without attending court.
- Parties can request that final judgments in custody and visitation actions enter without appearing in court.
- Courts will accept final agreements in any family post judgment matter, so long as the parties jointly request approval of their agreement without having to appear in court. These agreements are intended to dispose of pending motions before the court.
- Courts will process declaratory judgments of parentage in those matters involving Gestational Carrier Agreements. This, too, can be accomplished by way of affidavits and without the need for the parties to appear in court.
- The Judicial Branch has established a process by which to accept and process Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (“QDROs”) that are submitted electronically. The case must be an electronic file in order to qualify for this process.
- Courts are accepting and processing new motions, although no contested hearings are occurring on motions yet.
- Priority 1 matters, specifically, Restraining Orders, Civil Protection Orders, and Ex Parte Motions continue to be filed and heard by the family courts. Parties do need to be present in court once a hearing is scheduled in any of these matters.
Let Us Help You
Reich & Truax, PLLC is able to work with you to help advance your case, and may be able to have final judgments entered remotely, without parties appearing in court. Each request being submitted to the court requires specific forms, including a court generated form in order to request approval of a final agreement without court appearance. Our office is ready to assist you, without further delay.
Because the parties and counsel will not appear in court, it is extremely important that all submitted paperwork is consistent, complete, and comprehensive. Cases lacking the correct forms or necessary information will be denied and returned, delaying the process further. Working with your attorney to confirm all information is accurate and thorough, and that all necessary paperwork has been submitted, will allow for a much smoother process.
Reich & Truax, PLLC Office Procedure during COVID-19
Our office continues to be open and available to assist you. We are open during our regular business hours and are happy to schedule a time to speak with you. We are following CDC guidelines and recommendations in order to keep our work area safe and clean. Although we currently are limiting our office space to employees only, we are fully equipped and ready to meet with our clients and other counsel by way of video conferencing or telephone conferencing. We are able to use our video conferencing mechanisms to handle all necessary documents, including the signing of affidavits, remotely, consistent with the current executive orders. Know that you can reach out to us and that we are able to respond and to assist you. This current health crisis can cause people to feel lost and alone. You are not alone; we are here with you.