COVID-19: Marian Ryan Announces Changes in Operations of DA's Office
DA Marian Ryan
Statement Regarding Operations at the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office:
The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office has been working collaboratively with the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, the Middlesex Chiefs of Police Association and local police departments to ensure that we continue to serve the residents of Middlesex County and protect public safety during this time. Recognizing that this is an evolving situation, we have been in constant communication to establish a plan that will safeguard due process rights of defendants, ensure that victims of crime receive justice and protect the safety of our law enforcement personnel. This plan includes advising issuing summons for arraignments when possible and making arrests only where there is no public safety alternative. We are also working with Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) to review the bail status of some individuals in custody who may have specific health considerations or could possibly have their bail reevaluated.
We recognize that there are a number of immediate needs for defendants, victims, witnesses and members of the public. To address some of these questions our office has issued the following guidance:
· The Supreme Judicial Court issued an order limiting in-person proceedings in Massachusetts state courthouses until at least April 6, 2020; during this time arraignments will be conducted remotely.
· During this time all court dates have been suspended.
· Victims with standing restraining orders should be advised that their restraining orders will remain in effect until a new court date is scheduled.
· Members of the public can contact our office using our main line 781-897-8300. Staff will be answering calls during regular business hours, voicemails left on this line will be checked, and your call will be returned.
· If you are a defense attorney and need to contact an attorney in our office please use the main line: 781-897-8300 and your will be directed to an on-call Assistant District Attorney who can connect you with the appropriate staff member.
· If you have an emergency please call 911.
Our staff is committed to remaining available and fulfilling our commitment to the people of Middlesex County during this time. Our Assistant District Attorneys continue to work closely with the Trial Court to participate in court proceedings remotely, and to address emergency situations. While our office is working remotely, we remain available to help provide guidance and resources to victims and witnesses. Be assured that although our physical locations are closed, our staff remains committed to our core mission to protect public safety, safeguard due process rights of defendants, and ensure that victims of crime receive justice.
The Massachusetts Trial Court has suspended all trials until April 21, 2020. All other court dates have also been suspended. Our office is in the process of reaching out to individuals directly regarding the status of these cases. If you have been charged with a crime, or are the family member of someone charged with a crime, you should contact your or their attorney.
Resources for survivors of rape and domestic violence are available 24/7 to help you think through ways to stay safe through Safelink and the National Domestic Violence Hotline:
· Safelink (877) 785-2020
· National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
Help is also available at Jane Doe, Inc. and through the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance www.mass.gov/mova. Shelters are open. If you need an emergency restraining order you can do this at your local police department.