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Attorney Newsletter June 2021

June 11, 2021

COVID UPDATE: If you have been to federal court in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed some changes. On May 21, Chief Judge Lange signed Standing Order 21-6, which loosens the mask mandate consistent with the latest CDC guidance. Previously, masks were required in all common areas of the courthouse, including courtrooms. Under the new standing order, people who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks. All people who are not fully vaccinated, must continue to wear masks. Gaiters, bandanas, and handkerchiefs do not qualify as masks under the most recent standing order.

Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 outbreak and the need for flexibility in responding, the presiding judge may determine whether different standards should apply for a particular court proceeding. In the Northern Division, for example, Judge Kornmann has entered Standing Order 21-7, which supplements Standing Order 21-6.

CLERK’S OFFICE: Effective June 1, the divisional offices in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City fully reopened to the public. Although the Clerk’s Office has been available by telephone throughout the pandemic, the public counter in the Clerk’s Office was closed. As a result, attorneys and pro se parties with documents for manual filing had to either mail them or place them in drop boxes. The drop boxes have been removed in all three locations.

Remember, the Clerk’s Office in Aberdeen is unstaffed. If you have documents for manual filing in a Northern Division case, they should be mailed to the Pierre office.

STANDING ORDER 20-04 RESCINDED: As COVID numbers continue to decline, Chief Judge Lange has rescinded Standing Order 20-04. The order suspended the District Court’s requirement that an attorney seeking continuance of a criminal trial must file a consent to continuance signed by their client. Signed consents are once again required when moving to continue a criminal trial date.

NEW MOTION FOR ADMISSION PRO HAC VICE FORM: The new form requires applicants to disclose any prior or pending disciplinary actions. Make sure you use the new form located on the district court’s website under Local Forms.

TIP OF THE MONTH: NextGen CM/ECF offers help to attorneys who have had issues with their virus scanning software utilizing their “one free look” when they receive a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) email. Attorneys who log into CM/ECF can click on Utilities on the CM/ECF menu bar and select Maintain Your Account or Maintain Your Email to access the configuration options for either their primary and/or secondary email address(es). If the Verify free look when viewing NEF documents configuration option has been set to “Yes,” CM/ECF will verify the free look usage whenever the recipient of an NEF email clicks on a document number hyperlink contained in the email—before providing access to the document and consuming the recipient’s “one free look.” The following free look verification prompt will appear:
“This action will use your one free look for this document. Additional viewings of this document in the future will incur a billing charge.”
At the prompt, the NEF email recipient can select either Continue or Cancel. Selecting Continue will trigger viewing of the document and will use the recipient’s “one free look.” Selecting Cancel will NOT use the “one free look.” If the document is a restricted document, CM/ECF will generate a warning regarding access limitations together with the free look verification prompt.

Friday, June 11, 2021