Court Operations Under Exigent Circumstances created by COVID-19:

  • Pending criminal cases (District Court and Magistrate Court), the Court finds that using video conferencing or telephone conferencing when necessary would result in minimizing undue risk to defendants, counsel, law enforcement, Court staff,  witnesses,  and the public at large.  Accordingly, the Court will continue to encourage and use these tools for those hearings allowed by General Order 2021-5 and the CARES Act, Pub. L. No. 116-136, as adopted for the Eastern District of Washington through General Order No. 20-101-3, when ordered by the presiding judge

  • Hearings in civil and criminal matters set for telephonic appearance by all parties or hearings set without oral argument remain unaffected.

  • Magistrate Judge hearings and functions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; and

  • Contact the Bankruptcy Court directly for guidance on bankruptcy proceedings.

See General Order 2021-5  additional information.


The Spokane Federal Courthouse, the Yakima Federal Courthouse and the court floors of the Richland Federal Courthouse will open to the public on April 1, 2021.  See General Order 2021-5  for additional information.

Mask protocols throughout the Eastern District of Washington will comport with the CDC Community Levels, and at any time that a county achieves a HIGH Community Level, masks will be required by court visitors for entry and in public spaces, to include the courtrooms of that courthouse.


General Order 2022-8 Effective March 12, 2022: The requirement, as established through General Order No. 2021-13 of this Court, for all persons seeking entry to the United States Courthouses in Richland, Spokane and Yakima, Washington, to wear a mask, is RESCINDED, and of no further force or effect.

           Prior CARES ACT Orders:

 Prior FSC Orders:

Physical access to urgent in-person proceedings scheduled at this time will be limited to parties, counsel, witnesses and victims.

The Clerk’s Office in Spokane, Richland and Yakima will be physically accessible to the public on April 1, 2021. The Court encourages electronic filings made through the CM/ECF filing system, use of the electronic payment system, and use of mail and delivery services.

The Clerk’s Office is not closed, it is operational, and you may contact the office by telephone during business hours. Staff will be available by telephone, mail will be received, and new filings will be processed.

Notice Regarding Press and Public Access to Court Hearings
Effective immediately, the audio content of hearings held in the Eastern District of Washington throughout the COVID-19 pandemic event will be available in real-time to members of the press and public via a dedicated teleconference line.  This access will be free of charge.  Dial-in information will be available on PACER via the docket for each scheduled case.   Hearing content provided in such manner must NOT be recorded or rebroadcast. 

COVID-19 Response - CM/ECF and PACER Access As Public Access Terminal

The Court’s electronic filing system (CM/ECF) and Public Access to Court’s Electronic Records (PACER) system continue to be available 24 hours a day, seven days per week.  Individuals who are unable to effectively access desired court records through either of these systems should contact the Clerk’s Office to seek assistance and/or special accommodation.

COVID-19 Jury Trial Protocol

Jury Trial Protocol - COVID-19 Restrictions