Third Circuit’s courthouse closed after two attorneys develop coronavirus symptoms [updated]

The James Byrne U.S. Courthouse, which houses the Third Circuit as well as the EDPA district court, was ordered closed today through March 29 by district court Chief Judge Juan Sánchez. The closure order is posted on the EDPA website, direct link here.

The order reads:

The Court having been informed that two attorneys who have appeared in court in the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse in the past two weeks are currently displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and to protect the health and safety of the public, staff, and judicial officers from further exposure to or spread of the disease,

With the concurrence of the Facility Security Committee, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Circuit Executive’s Office, and the U.S. Marshal, and in consultation with GSA, it is ORDERED the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will be closed from noon on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, through Sunday, March 29, 2020. No one will be permitted to enter the building during this closure with the exception of GSA-authorized cleaning personnel. The Byrne Courthouse will reopen for official business on Monday, March 30, 2020.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania remains open for official business. The Court’s Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system is not affected by the closure, and parties may continue to file electronically and email documents to the Clerk’s Office pursuant to the Standing Orders and other instructions on the Court’s website. The drop box in the lobby of the Byrne Courthouse will not be available until Monday, March 30, 2020.

The Court’s website is being updated regularly. Consult the Court’s website for further guidance:

The Third Circuit has posted the following important notice regarding procedures during the closure:

The Byrne Courthouse is CLOSED beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020 until Monday, March 30, 2020

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Byrne Courthouse is CLOSED beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020 until Monday, March 30, 2020. (See Attached EDPA Temporary Courthouse Closure Order Below.)

The Third Circuit Clerk’s Office is conducting remote operations during this time and will continue to process all electronic filings.

Counsel and pro se litigants who need to file a new original proceeding, such as a Petition for Review, a Petition for Writ of Mandamus or Prohibition, or a Motion for Leave to File a Second or Successive Habeas Petition may send the documents to the Clerk for filing via email addressed to

Litigants who cannot file through the Court’s CMECF system may also submit documents for filing by email addressed to  Please include the appeal number in the subject line of the email.

Any party who intends to file an emergency motion should call 267-299-4904 and leave a detailed message regarding the nature of the emergency and contact information.