Saturday, the Federal Circuit announced modified access restrictions to the National Courts Building due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, effective today the court is accessible to litigants and “any other parties who will be physically present in the courthouse because of their participation in a scheduled hearing that day.” In other words, it appears the court will return to in-person oral arguments. Here is the text of this weekend’s announcement.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Court of Federal Claims have entered a new joint order modifying public access restrictions to the National Courts Building complex in Washington, D.C. Effective May 24, 2021, courthouse access is now limited to court staff and litigants, witnesses, and any other parties who will be physically present in the courthouse because of their participation in a scheduled hearing that day. Additional requests for access will still be handled on a case-by-case basis when submitted in writing at least 24 hours ahead of time. The order further provides for health and safety protocols for individuals while in the courthouse. The full administrative order is available on the court’s website.
Requests for access relating to Federal Circuit business or spaces within the National Courts Building may be submitted in writing to the Circuit Executive’s Office at FSO_helpdesk@cafc.uscourts.gov. These restrictions will remain in effect through June 30, 2021, unless modified sooner.
To review ongoing updates and information about the Federal Circuit’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please go to the court’s COVID-19 information page.