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COVID-19 Orders

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania continues to monitor current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO), as well as with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (PADOH) regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus). The court is following recommended guidance in order to protect the public health in accordance with the guidelines, court operations have been adjusted in several areas and access to the courthouses restricted.

KEYWORDS: covid, COVID-19, coronavirus, corona virus, pandemic, quarantine, face mask, mask, masking, social distancing

Order #

Date Filed

Summarized Content

2020-25

10/06/20

  • Indefinitely extends existing orders that all individuals entering courthouses and working within courthouses must wear a face mask

2020-23

9/23/20

  • Extends Order 2020-19 regarding the use of video teleconferencing and telephonic conferences for ninety (90) days

2020-22

8/6/20

  •  Orders the reinstitution of jury trials and other proceedings, effective August 17, 2020, with specifications

2020-21a

8/5/20

  •  Amends Standing Order 2020-21

2020-21

7/28/20

  • Effective this July 28, 2020, all civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials in the Middle District of Pennsylvania scheduled to begin before August 17, 2020, are continued pending further Order of Court

2020-20

7/1/20

  • On July 1st, the Middle District entered into Phase Two of the reopening process

  • All participants in settlement conferences shall adhere to masking and social distancing protocols. In-person requirements are waived and judges can liberally grant telephonic or other electronic appearances

2020-19

6/24/20

  • Extends Order 2020-08 regarding the use of video teleconferencing and telephonic conferences

2020-17

6/17/20

  • COVID-19 Recovery Guidelines are adopted by the Court

  • We are in Phase One of the Recovery Guidelines

2020-16

6/26/20

  • General Order 2020-01 (regarding continuance of hearings and public health concerns) and 2020-10 (which extended 2020-01) are extended through June 30

2020-15

6/1/20

  • Standing Order 2020-02 is vacated and the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) for MDPA is deactivated

2020-14

4/22/20

  • All individuals entering courthouses and working within courthouses must wear a face mask

2020-13

4/20/20

  • This Standing Order concerns the procedures to be used for immigration detainees seeking emergency release due to the COVID-19 pandemic

2020-11

4/13/20

  • Permits CJA attorneys to submit vouchers for interim payments without first filing a motion

2020-10

4/8/20

  • Standing Order 2020-01 dated March 13, 2020 and supplemented on March 18, 2020 is extended through May 31, 2020

2020-09

4/3/20

  • Authorizes the use of electronic signatures when it is not feasible to obtain an actual signature

  • Authorizes defense counsel to sign on behalf of a defendant provided that the defendant has given consent

2020-08

3/30/20

  • This Standing Order plays off the CARES Act, H.R. 748, Section 15002 et seq.

  • As Chief Judge of this judicial district, and pursuant to Section 15002(b)(1) of the legislation, Judge Conner authorized the use of videoconferencing, or teleconferencing if videoconferencing is not reasonably available

  • Authorizes the use of teleconference or videoconference to take guilty pleas under Rule 11

  • This Standing Order will remain in effect for 90 days

2020-07

3/23/20

  • The following persons shall not enter the federal buildings in the MDPA:

    • Persons who, because of exposure to COVID-19 or travel to a country or region with an outbreak of COVID-19, have been advised to self-quarantine by any doctor;

    • Persons who reside with or have had close contact with someone who has been advised to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital, or health agency;

    • Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had known contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with, COVID-19; and/or

    • Persons experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, severe cough, or shortness of breath. 

2020-06

3/23/20

  • Emphasizes that the Court intends to use video or other telecommunications to conduct proceedings to protect all parties including detained individuals 

2020-05

3/23/20

  • Emphasizes that the Court intends to use video or other telecommunications to conduct proceedings to protect all parties including detained individuals 

2020-04

3/23/20

  • Scranton Courthouse closed until March 30, 2020, due to possible COVID-19 infection

  • District Court remains open for business, however, any in-person court proceedings are transferred to either Harrisburg (reopening March 24, 2020) or Williamsport

2020-03

3/18/20

  • Harrisburg Courthouse closed until further notice due to COVID-19 infection of law enforcement agent

  • District Court remains open for business, however, any in-person court proceedings are transferred to either Scranton or Williamsport

2020-01a

3/18/20

  • Incorporates Standing Order 20-1 and supplements it in several ways

2020-02

3/16/20

  • Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) activated as of 5 p.m. on March 16, 2020

2020-01

3/13/20

  • Continued all hearings and proceedings in all civil and criminal matters within sixty (60) days of the date of the order that would involve the physical presence of counsel or any party or individual