DC Court of Appeals Issues Order Regarding Pandemic Operations Through August 30

On Monday, June 29, 2020, the DC Court of Appeals issued an order stating that no oral arguments have been scheduled for July and August 2020.  In all cases in which the court previously cancelled oral argument, the court will decide those cases without oral argument unless the court grants a motion for oral argument or determines that oral argument is necessary.  Oral arguments that are scheduled, including emergency and expedited matters, will be heard via remote video conference.  Remote oral arguments will be fully accessible to the public via YouTube and the DC Courts' website.  Protocols for participants and a link to the live streamed oral arguments are on the court’s website (https://www.dccourts.gov/court-of-appeals/oral-argument).

 “We are pleased that, working together, DC Court of Appeals judges and staff have moved seamlessly to have oral arguments taking place via videoconference and to rule on other appeals based on the briefs filed by the parties, and while the situation regarding the pandemic in the DC area is slowly improving, it is nonetheless in everyone's best interest to continue to ensure the health and safety of the court staff and we will for operate remotely for the next two months,” said DC Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby.  "As always, the Court is committed to making sure that everyone has equal access to justice, has the ability to access court services and processes, whether they have an attorney or an eFiling account or not.  Access to Justice is not a principle that can be put aside during difficult times, arguably it is even more important now than ever."

As indicated in its May order, the Court is no longer suspending or tolling filing deadlines. Motions requesting extensions of time with respect to filing deadlines will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  Emergency filings may still be submitted by email to: emergencyfilings@dcappeals.gov.  As set forth in previous orders, the Court is still receiving and considering all efiled documents, as well as those that are  and documents emailed or hand-delivered by pro se parties who do not have an efiling account.

E-filing is strongly encouraged.  Parties should know that he court has suspended the requirement for the filing of paper copies of electronically filed documents.   Pro se parties (parties who do not have an attorney) who are not currently registered for efiling may, during this period, continue to email their filings to efilehelp@dcappeals.gov.

A small number of court employees are working on site to process requests for files and records. These requests may be submitted by email to: fileroom@dcappeals.gov or phonecall to 202-879-2701 or 202-879-2707.  

The Committee on (Bar) Admissions Office will be closed to the public through August 30, 2020. On May 21, 2020, the Court announced it will administer a remote bar examination in October. Preparations are ongoing; applicants should check the Committee on Admissions webpage for updates and additional details.  Those with questions may email them to the Court at the following addresses:  For questions related to the October 2020 bar exam: Fallbarexam2020@dcappeals.gov; for questions regarding accommodations for the upcoming bar exam: dcaccommodations@dcappeals.gov; for general admissions questions: coa@dcappeals.gov; and for questions regarding the unauthorized practice of law: cupl@dcappeals.gov.

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