*Amended Order* The District of Columbia Court of Appeals is updating its operations as it continues to address concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Amended Order Attached

August 31, 2021

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals is updating its operations as it continues to address concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Court of Appeals continued regular operations, holding oral arguments by videoconference since May 2020. This order updates the court’s orders and addresses court operations through December 31, 2021. (https://www.dccourts.gov/court-of-appeals/orders)

It is imperative that the Court continues to ensure the safety and health of the employees and those that we serve while ensuring access to justice during the pandemic. 

Occupancy of court spaces remains limited to 25% of capacity, or less if necessary to meet social distancing requirements; signs list the maximum occupancy of public offices. Consistent with the June 26, 2020, order issued by the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration, regardless of vaccine status, all persons authorized to enter the Historic Courthouse must:
• take a temperature check and complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire (available at https://www.dccourts.gov/form/health-screening-public#no-back or paper copy at the security desk);
• maintain social distancing requirements as recommended by public health authorities; and
• wear a face covering or mask that covers the person’s mouth and nose at all times, with the exception of young children, persons who have trouble breathing when wearing a face covering or mask, persons who are unable to remove the face covering without assistance, or persons who require a religious or other accommodation. If the person does not have a face covering or mask, a mask will be provided for them.

The D.C. Courts’ cleaning and safety procedures are available at https://www.dccourts.gov/stepstokeepyousafe, with a more detailed video on the Court of Appeals at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUb6Uj1g2s8.

The Court of Appeals continues to provide comprehensive remote access as detailed below, through December 31, 2021, or until further order of the court. Oral arguments will continue to be heard via remote video conference until December 31, 2021, unless otherwise directed. The court will email participants a link to the video conference, so parties must ensure that their email addresses are on file with the court (email efilehelp@dcappeals.gov or call (202) 879-2700). Unless otherwise prohibited, oral arguments will be live streamed on YouTube to provide public access. 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-arguments

As part of a pilot project, the court posts redacted briefs for selected oral arguments the week before the oral argument on the court’s website (https://www.dccourts.gov/court-of-appeals/oral-arguments).

In the attached order, you will find information related to:

  • Access Sites
  • Emergency Filings
  • Electronic and In-person Filing 
  • Record Review
  • Self-Represented Parties
  • New Filings
  • No Paper Copies
  • Appellate Mediation
  • Bar Admissions, Applications for Admission Pro Hac Vice, and other admissions-related inquiries

The Committee on Admissions office continues to process applications for special legal consultant status and pro hac vice applications. To expedite the processing of pro hac vice applications, email the Form 8 to rhunter@dcappeals.gov.

Committee on Admissions meetings and hearings will proceed, as practicable, via video conference.

Most questions concerning admissions are addressed in the FAQs: https://admissions.dcappeals.gov/faq

The DC Court of Appeals will make additional adjustments as circumstances warrant.