The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia postponed misdemeanor, traffic and petty offense cases in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The eastern district covers the entire Peninsula.
The district also has suspended all non-case related events, tours and other gatherings in courthouses, including naturalization ceremonies.
Chief Judge Mark S. Davis said in a special order there have been reports of people scheduled to appear in court who are under self-quarantine based on possible exposure.
According to the order, the cases will be continued through April 30. New dates will be reset without the need to file any motions – the delays caused by the continuances will be excluded from requirements of the Speedy Trial Act.
“In exceptional circumstances, any judge in the Court may make a case-specific exception to the District-wide continuance if the parties and counsel agree that there is a valid case-specific reason to proceed with a hearing,” according to the order.
No changes have been made to civil or criminal felony dockets. The courthouses and clerks’ offices remain open.