Statement from the NCJFCJ Regarding Court Safety and Access to Justice During COVID-19
COVID-19 and NCJFCJ Operations Update
The updates and resources collected reflect the most up to date information through various sources. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is continuing to update resources related to COVID-19 and will post updated information as it is made available. If you or your jurisdiction has any updated information to share, please contact us.
New NCJFCJ Publications
Supporting Remote Family Time During the Pandemic and Beyond: The Judge’s Role
This alert highlights:
- trends in use of remote family time by the legal child welfare community during the pandemic;
- benefits and drawbacks of using remote family time approaches;
- keys to effective remote family time;
- how judges can support remote family time; and
- the future of remote family time.
Download this Judge’s Action Alert
COVID-19 and Abuse in Later Life The Impact and What Judges and Courts Can Do
The impact of the pandemic on older adults cannot be overstated. While much is still unknown about the virus, the research is clear that it affects older adults more severely. The mortality rate for patients over 50 is at least thirty times that of those in their twenties and increases dramatically with age. Older adults are also more likely to have other health conditions that result in more serious symptoms. The rapid spread of the virus through nursing homes is but one example of the concentrated effects on older adults.
This factsheet identifies suggestions specifically on court practices that will improve access to the courts for older adults, especially those who have experienced abuse.
Civil Protection Order Process: Considerations for Safe and Effective Responses by Courts to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The public health emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged courts and communities in unprecedented ways. Of particular concern are the sometimes insurmountable obstacles that many victims of domestic violence and their children encounter in attempting to escape the abuse and achieve safety through the legal system. Courts throughout the country have risen to the occasion, quickly developing and implementing processes for safe, remote access to civil protection orders (CPOs). Yet, the struggle to adapt to the new circumstances continues, and ensuring that victims can obtain protection orders that meet their safety and other needs remains a difficult and continually evolving challenge.
The guidance is intended to assist judicial officers and courts as they design creative and effective solutions to the problems imposed by the COVID-19 emergency. In addition to describing how judicial officers can assume a leadership role in promoting a collaborative response to the pandemic, this document provides examples of concrete strategies that courts and communities can implement to maximize the accessibility and effectiveness of the CPO system despite the impediments.
The Fall 2020 issue of the Unified Family Court Connection offers a variety of perspectives on how the pandemic has impacted courts nationwide, including the Honorable Ramona A. Gonzalez, a Wisconsin circuit judge and immediate past president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, who discusses access to justice during COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on the family courts.
National Center for State Courts
Pandemic resources for courts
This page houses a wide variety of resources created by NCSC and the CCJ-COSCA Rapid Response Team (RRT) to help state courts deal with challenges presented by the pandemic. Use the filtering options to narrow your search by resource type, or by subject area.
Performance-based Standards (PbS)
PbS COVID-19 Stories
The NCJFCJ’s Treasurer of the Board of Directors, Don Gimbel of Livingston, Montana, talks with Homeground Radio on the COVID-19 pandemic and the imminent threat to our nation’s children of abuse and violence in their own homes.
NCJFCJ Upcoming Webinars and Events
Upcoming Virtual Events & Webinars