State and federal courts across the eastern seaboard remained closed on Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy. Even the U.S. Supreme Court closed due to the storm. From Virginia to Massachusetts the judicial system went on emergency reaction mode with skeletal forces and communication through the Internet providing support. Courts were closed on Monday in most of the affected areas, but the growing strength of Sandy compelled officials to continue closure through Tuesday.
Responding to the situation with emergency hotlines, closed courthouses still continued to handle emergency applications and other work. Reuters reported a spokesman for the state court system in New York saying “We have an infrastructure that will accommodate folks that need emergency attention … We understand that while the courts may be closed, certain functions of the judicial system need to continue to operate.”
Two major trials that were put on hold in New York due to Sandy include the criminal retrial of former Mayer Brown partner Joseph Collins and the civil fraud trial against Bruce bent and Bruce Bent II.
In Washington, even though all nine justices attended the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday and held office, it was announced that the Supreme Court would remain closed on Tuesday, and that Tuesday’s cases would be heard on Thursday. Life in Washington was severely disrupted as federal government and public transportation mostly stopped operating, except providing emergency service.
The two cases which were previously scheduled for Tuesday, and would now be heard on Thursday include questions of law on the right to counsel and the scope of a police search.