What to Know If You Have an Open Case During the Pandemic
Click here to download this flyer for information and guidance on how to navigate the system if you have an open case.
If you have an open case, please find public docket information at: https://ujsportal.pacourts.us/CaseSearch
Then, use the spreadsheet below to locate your scheduled courtroom and attorney contact information.
Use the table below to see the latest information on how each courtroom is handling hearings.
If you or a loved one have a court date for any of the listed courtrooms, please reach out directly to the attorney assigned to your case. If you have not been assigned a specific attorney name or are unsure, please contact the department heads listed below, and they can assist you with the specific details of your case.
Status of the Philly Courts
Appearance at Hearings:
On your docket sheet, you can locate the date and courtroom for your next hearing. Please note that depending on court restrictions that are constantly changing, some hearings have been happening in person, some virtually online, and some have been rescheduled without an update on the docket sheet.
Please be in touch with the Defender as shown below or call the courts in advance if you are unsure what you should do. If you do not appear for a hearing when required, the judge may issue a “bench warrant” for your arrest. Additional notes and Defender contact information can be found in the table below.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, courts have been mostly to the public and having hearings “by appointment only.” At this time, there is still very limited remote access for family members and supporters to attend court events online.
For the majority of scheduled events, there is no way for the public to gain access, either in person or remotely. Please request access for family, friends, and supporters through your defense attorney 72 hours in advance.
Please remember that the judges, not our attorneys, decide which family/friends can attend the hearings. If the judge allows supporters to attend in person, they may have to view the hearing on TV in a different courtroom.
Types of Hearings
- Your loved one is at the police district and appears through CCTV for the bail hearing. There is no public access to the bail hearing.
- If you have any information that could help, please call the court at 215-683-7283 and ask to speak to the Public Defender there.
- Please give the Defender any information about employment, school, health, family life, or other responsibilities that would help us make a strong case for release from custody.
- Courts are now scheduling MC trials.
- Due to pandemic-related challenges and jail policies, people in custody may experience delays in hearings and trials.
- If you have been assigned a public defender by the court, click here to schedule an interview with our office so that we have the information we need to defend you.
- MC Preliminary Hearings are generally taking place in person. Please make sure you have scheduled an interview (link) well in advance of your Preliminary Hearing so that we are prepared for the hearing. Please discuss your case and whether it will be in person or virtual with our office prior to the scheduled date. Please make sure we have up-to-date contact information for you. There are very long delays in scheduling Preliminary Hearings because of strict limits on how many hearings can be safely held each day, and the priority is for people who are in custody.
- Family members and support people who also want to attend scheduled hearings can request access to the hearing through the defendant’s attorney, at least 24 hours in advance, and a judge will decide whether family/friends can attend the hearings.
- CP hearings and trials are prioritized for those who are in custody. However, there may be delays due to pandemic-related challenges or jail policy.
- The courts are now open for jury and non-jury trials. Contact your attorney now to make sure you’re ready for trial.
- While the pandemic has created some uncertainty, jury trials for those out of custody will most likely take place in 2022. Please make sure your attorney can reach you in case of changes to the court schedule.
- Please keep in consistent contact with your assigned attorney to make sure they know how to contact you about the court’s changing requirements and to provide any new information or ask questions about your case.
- Public access to many courtrooms is limited. Those interested in attending jury trials must contact the defense attorney at least 72 hours prior to the court date to be placed on a list to gain access to a viewing room or the courtroom. Public attendance is decided by a judge on a case by case basis.
- If you are dealing with an issue related to a probation hearing, parole hearing, or detainer or Gagnon hearing, please contact Byron Cotter (firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-765-6565) or Victoria Sanita (email@example.com or 267-765-6724).
- If you are aware that your case is part of the city’s Group Violence Intervention (GVI) plan, please contact Rachel Echemendia at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are aware that your case is part of Project Dawn, please contact Anna Shapiro at email@example.com.