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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: March 16, 2020

New York Courts Further Restrict Operations in Response to Coronavirus

Following up on his March 13 memo announcing some limitations on operations in the New York state courts, on March 15, 2020, Chief Administrative Judge Marks issued a memo implementing further restrictions. They are (emphasis added):

    • Effective 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, we will be postponing all nonessential functions of the courts until further notice. All essential functions will continue, as described below.
    • Pending Trials: Pending criminal and civil trials will continue to conclusion. Consistent with om directive of March 13, no other criminal or civil trials shall commence until further notice.
    • Special Parts: Outside of New York City, special court parts will be established in individual jurisdictions (at the courthouses listed in Attachment A) where essential matters will be consolidated; inside New York City, courthouses will remain open to handle essential matters:

Supreme Court: Essential applications as the court may allow, e.g., Mental Hygiene Law appli cations, civil commitments, and guardianships.

Civil matters in courts other than Supreme Court: Essential applications as the court may allow. Effective Monday, March 16, all eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders shall be suspended statewide until further notice.

NYC Housing Court: Essential applications as the court may allow, e.g., landlord lockouts, serious housing code violations, and repair orders.

Criminal (superior court) matters: Essential applications as the court may allow.

Effective Monday, March 16, felony matters wherein the defendant is not in custody shall be administratively adjourned until further notice. Felony matters in which defendants are in custody will either be administratively adjourned or be conducted remotely by video in New York City and in jurisdictions outside of New York City that have technology available to do so.

Criminal (lower court): Arraignments, and essential applications as the court may allow, e.g., applications for orders of protection.

Arraignments shall be conducted through video remote appearances in New York City and to the fullest extent possible throughout the State.

In New York City, the Red Hook Community Court and the Midtown Community Court have been designated as arraignment sites where persons believed to be at medical risk related to the coronavirus will appear remotely by video.

Family Court: Essential matters as the court may allow, e.g., issues related to child protection proceedings, juvenile delinquency proceedings, family offenses, and support orders.

Surrogate’s Court: Essential applications as the court may allow.

Court of Claims: Essential applications as the court may allow.

Please note that, in addressing essential applications, judges will exercise judicial discretion in a manner designed to minimize court appearance and traffic in the courts.

  • Dedicated 800 Number: The Court System will be establishing an emergency telephone number, available 24/7, for all questions from the public relating to court operations during the coronavirus public health emergency.
  • Judicial Assignments: Judges should check with their Administrative or Supervising Judge for information on their assignment under these updated protocols.
  • Staff Assignments: Nonjudicial employees should check with their supervisor for information on their assignment under the updated protocols. Unless you are expressly notified that you must report to work, do not report to work on Tuesday, March 17. (Staff remaining home pursuant to this directive shall designate such time as excused leave for payroll purposes.) Staff not required to report to work on Tuesday shall remain available for potential future work assignments going forward.
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