Chief Judge Pallmeyer issued her seventh amended COVID General Order earlier today, October 29, 2020. As with the last order, there are no additional blanket case extensions. The General Order basically extends provisions limiting courthouse access to what is necessary. But it also suspends jury trials — both civil and criminal — from November 9, 2020 through January 26, 2021. Bench trials are allowed, but no jury trials will be held in the Northern District until late January, at the earliest.

Specifically, the General Order also requires:

  • No Local Rule 5.2(f) Courtesy Copies — Absent case-specific requests, Local Rule 5.2(f) requiring paper courtesy copies of many filings is suspended. In fact, “[n]o courtesy copies may be submitted . . . unless the parties receive case-specific requests for copies from the presiding judge.”
  • No Local Rule 5.3(b) Presentment — Motions may not be noticed for in-person hearings. Presiding judges will notify the parties if a hearing, either in-person or by electronic means, is necessary. This rule, extending across the COVID General Orders, may have the biggest long-term impact on Northern District practice, as it has long been a court governed by regular in-person hearings for nearly every motion.
  • Pro Se Email Filing Allowed — The Court is allowing pro se filing by email to the Court Clerk, so long as the document is a PDF, is signed and the email contains certain identifyin information.
  • No Public Gatherings — Neither federal courthouse is allowing public gatherings, unless authorized by Chief Judge Pallmeyer.

The General Order will be vacated, amended or extended no later than January 26, 2021.