Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo: Samuel Borges Photography/Shutterstock.com

Lawyers with hearings or trials set to take place Thursday do not need to worry about fighting through mobbed Philadelphia streets to get to court, as First Judicial District officials have announced that nearly all court services will be shut down on Feb. 8.

According to FJD administrator Joseph Evers, the civil, criminal and municipal courts in Philadelphia are set to be closed Thursday in anticipation of the parade celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory in the Super Bowl. The decision, he said, was made in the interest of safety, as up to 3 million people are expected to descend on the downtown area.

“In the interest of public safety and for our employees—they’re expecting a couple million people here—we figured it would be safer if they don’t have to come in,” Evers said. “You can enjoy the parade if you choose.”

Although most court services will be shut down for the day, Evers said the courts will conduct emergency protection from abuse hearings, bail proceedings and arraignments if needed.

Philadelphia city officials outlined parade details Tuesday morning, saying the festivities are set to begin at 11 a.m. The parade is scheduled to begin at Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles’ home stadium, and will continue on a more than five-mile route up Broad Street to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The march is set to travel along the southeastern part of City Hall, which is where the civil cases are handled, before continuing up toward the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Although the route is not expected to pass in front of the Criminal Justice Center, which is about a block northeast from City Hall, significant road closures are expected, including several highway ramps and large swaths of Market Street, JFK Boulevard, Filbert—where the CJC is located—Broad Street and the Benjamin Franklin Expressway.

Along with transportation concerns, Evers also said city officials indicated to the court that, with so many police monitoring the parade, officers would not be able to attend any scheduled court appearances. Police, Evers noted, are key witnesses in almost every criminal proceeding at the courthouse.

“Not being there would sort of hamper everything,” he said.

When the court similarly shut down operations in 2015 when Pope Francis visited Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Department provided transportation for those who needed to use the court’s emergency services. Evers said similar accommodations are under consideration.

He said notices should have recently gone out to all the parties and jurors who had been set to appear for court Thursday, so those court dates can be rescheduled. Evers said similar accommodations are being considered, but nothing has been determined yet.

“We just wanted everybody to be safe and to enjoy the parade,” he said.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at customercare@alm.com

Max Mitchell

Max Mitchell is a reporter with The Legal Intelligencer, focusing on litigation in Pennsylvania with a specific emphasis on Philadelphia courts. Follow him on Twitter @MMitchellTLI.

More from this author


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2019 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.