COVID-19 and The Courts
Last Updated: 6/4/2020
Gerber Ciano Kelly Brady remains open for business — and is more committed than ever — to serve clients and protect their interests through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While courts have limited appearances, all GCKB attorneys and staff are fully focused on advocating for our clients. Our firm was designed from its inception to utilize innovative, secure, cloud-based technology tools and a paperless environment to allow us to work remotely without any impact on client services. Accordingly, all members of our team are working from home, and we’re avoiding any non-essential travel. We will continue employing our integrated technology for videoconference meetings, depositions, mediations and other matters as appropriate and necessary.
Our leadership is committed to communicating with our clients, the courts, and counsel with the goal of continuing to advance matters under the prevailing conditions. Additionally, in deploying our business continuity plan, we have been actively monitoring potential vendor risks and working closely with our outside partners to understand their pandemic planning and response plans.
Below are links to websites and documents providing the latest updates on how the courts are operating during this time within the primary jurisdictions we serve: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. And, since we handle matters across the United States and act as national coordinating counsel for many clients, we’re able to provide information on court activities and requirements throughout jurisdictions nationwide.
Please stay safe and do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.
Up to Date Court Rulings, Procedures and Directives for New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut
State courts in New York are reopening. As of May 25, 2020, electronic filing is available in all New York courts. In-person court operations are available in all areas outside of New York City.
All statutes of limitations in New York are currently suspended until June 6, 2020. (See Executive Order No. 202.29, May 8 2020). As background, on March 20th, the Governor suspended and tolled any specific time limit for the commencement, filing of, or service of any legal action from March 20th to April 19th, 2020. (See Executive Order No. 202.8, Mar. 20, 2020). On April 7, 2020 the Governor extended the April 19th date to May 7th, 2020. (See Executive Order No. 202.14, April 7, 2020). The May 7th date has been extended to June 6, 2020. (See Executive Order No. 202.29, May 8, 2020).
Below is the time line of court closings and re-openings in New York:
- For general information about NY courts and COVID-19 go to http://www.nycourts.gov/whatsnew/covid.shtml
- March 15, 2020 – NYS Operational Protocols
- Sign up to receive emergency alerts from NYS Unified Court System here:
- March 19, 2020 – Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts
- “In no event will participants in civil litigation be penalized if discovery compliance is delayed for reasons relating to the coronavirus public health emergency.” See below hyperlink for further details
- March 20, 2020 – Executive Order No. 202.8 by Governor Andrew Cuomo
- March 23, 2020 – Administrative Order dated March 22, 2020
- “…effective immediately and until further order, no papers shall be accepted for filing by a county clerk or a court in any matter of a type not included on the list of essential matters…” See Exh A. in the below Order.
- April 7, 2020 – Memorandum from Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks
- Regarding plans to open virtual proceedings to non-essential matters.
- April 13, 2020 – Press Release – Virtual Courts Expanded Beyond the Limited Category of Essential and Emergency Matters
- Courts begin hearing pending matters; ban on new filings still in effect.
- May 20, 2020 – Press Release – Courts in Downstate Counties to Accept New Case Filings
- Courts being accepting e-filing in matters starting Monday, May 25, 2020
- May 20, 2020 – Press Release – Courts in Western NY, Capital Region Begin to Return to In-Person Courthouse Operations
- May 26, 2020 – Press Release – Courts in Mid-Hudson Region and Long Island Begin to Return to In-Person Courthouse Operations
- June 2, 2020 – Press Release – Upstate Courts Begin Phase 2 of Return to In-Person Operations
New York (Federal Courts)
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- March 9, 2020 – Restrictions on certain persons from entering the courthouses
- March 17, 2020 – Supplemental restrictions on entry to the courthouses – Administrative Order 2020-08
- March 27, 2020 – Administrative Order No. 2020-10
- “…effective March 17, 2020, no petty offense proceedings shall be held in the Eastern District of New York before April 27, 2020, unless otherwise ordered by this Court.”
- March 27, 2020 – Administrative Order No. 2020-12
- In all cases filed on or after March 18, 2020, “any requirement that the Marshall accomplish service is suspended, and the time from March 18, 2020 through April 27, 2020 is, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m), excluded from the 90-day period to accomplish service.”
- April 21, 2020 – Administrative Order No. 2020-15
- All civil and criminal petit jury selections and jury trials scheduled to commence between April 27, 2020 and June 15, 2020, and all grand jury selections scheduled before June 15, 2020, are continued pending further Order of the Court.
- Compliance with all trial-specific deadlines in civil and criminal cases shall be at the discretion of the assigned judges.
- Please review the order for additional appearance and deadline instructions
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- March 11, 2020 – Cancellation of non-case related events
- March 13, 2020 – Standing Order 20mc153
- Suspension of civil trials. Case administration at the discretion of presiding judges
- March 13, 2020 – Restrictions on certain persons from entering the courthouses
- March 16, 2020 – Further restrictions on certain persons from entering the courthouses
- March 24, 2020 – Memo regarding “Court Reporter Tele/Videoconferencing Best Practices”
- March 30, 2020 – Notice from Court regarding Court Operations, effective through April 11, 2020.
- “Counsel are urged to check the web pages of individual judges, who have been instructed to post thereon any orders of general applicability extending time in civil matters, adjourning conferences, and the like.”
- April 1, 2020 – Standing Order 20mc179
- The court will accept filing via email from “pro se” litigants.
- April 1, 2020 – Standing Order 20mc181
- Temporary suspension of in-person requirement for emergency applications in civil and miscellaneous cases.
- April 20, 2020 – Standing Order 20mc196
- April 20, 2020 – Standing Order 20mc197
- Suspension of Jury Trials as a Result of COVID-19 and the Limitation of Court Operations (Third Standing Order)
U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- March 13, 2020 – Restrictions on certain persons from entering the courthouses
- March 13, 2020 – General Order #58
- Jury selections and jury trials scheduled now through April 30, 2020, are continued pending further order.
U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
- March 13, 2020 – All civil trials continued for sixty (60) days. Judges are encouraged to reduce personal appearances as much as possible. Motions not affected if resolution is possible without oral argument or personal appearances.
- March 16, 2020 – General Order
- All ADR deadlines extended by sixty (60) days. See Order for further details.
- April 23, 2020 – General Order
- Restricting access to the United States courthouse if you are not wearing a mask, have been asked to self-quarantine, have been diagnosed with or had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or has a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
As of Monday, March 23, 2020, the Court will hear all oral arguments using a teleconference platform. As of March 16, 2020, “all filing dates and other deadlines set out in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Courts’ Local Rules and the Courts’ orders are extended or tolled by 21 days, effective today [March 16th] through May 17, 2020.”
- March 19, 2020 – Oral Arguments at the Second Circuit
- The regular argued appeals and motions calendars continue to be heard as scheduled. Effective March 23, 2020 and until the COVID-19 crisis passes, the Court will hear all oral arguments using a teleconference platform.
- March 26, 2020 – Operations Continue
- Parties are expected to begin filing papers on April 6, 2020.
- Instructions regarding Document Filings and Form Deadlines (See website for details).
- Paper copies will not be required to complete a filing, pending further order.
All matters, except for Priority 1 matters, are suspended commencing Monday, March 16, 2020, and continuing through March 27, 2020. Trials are suspended for 30 days, unless already ongoing. On March 19, 2020, the Governor issued an executive order suspending “time requirements, statutes of limitation or other limitations to deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings, or court filings”. Please see the below order for further details.
- March 19, 2020 – Executive Order No. 7G by Governor Ned Lamont
- March 30, 3030 – order by Chief Administrative Judge James W. Abrams
- All deadlines contained in Civil Scheduling Agreements and Case management Orders are suspended until such time as Judicial Branch operations are fully restored.
- April 3, 2020 – Reduced Days of Operation
- All remaining open courthouses will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice.
- April 6, 2020 – Accessing Judicial Resources From Home
- April 14, 2020 – Connecticut Judicial Branch Initiates Plan to Resolve More Cases
- April 14, 2020 – CT Supreme and Appellate Courts to Hear Cases Remotely
- April 15, 2020 – Operating Superior Courts now Accepting Non-Priority 1 Civil and Family Filings
- April 17, 2020 – Civil Short Calendar
- Civil Short Calendar will be reinstated effective May 4, 2020, for non-arguable matters, but no short calendar court sessions will be held until the Judicial Branch resumes normal operations.
- April 22, 2020 – Governor Executive Order
- No person is permitted to enter a Judicial Branch courthouse or facility without covering their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face-covering.
Connecticut (Federal Courts)
U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
Civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled through April 10, 2020 are continued pending further Order of the Court. All in-court proceedings scheduled on or before April 20, 2020 continued. Each district or magistrate judge may choose to handle matters in court at their discretion. Electronic filings are still available.
- March 11, 2020 – General Order
- March 16, 2020 – General Order
- All compliance review hearings and attorney admission ceremonies are suspended until further order of the Court.
- March 16, 2020 General Order re Court Operations
- Each district or magistrate judge may choose to handle matters in court at their discretion. Parties will be notified through the CM/ECF system as to “whether proceedings will occur in court or through remote communication (i.e., video or telephone conference)”.
Time calculations for the purposes of time computation for the filing of documents with the court or taking other judicially mandated action have been suspended beginning with March 13, 2020, ending with March 27, 2020. Many counties within the state are also issuing their own orders. We recommend following the link below for the latest information.
Pennsylvania (Federal Courts)
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Attorneys may now file initiating papers electronically, and hard copies are discouraged, currently effective through April 13, 2020.
- March 13, 2020 – Standing Order
- Temporary continuance of civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin up through April 13, 2020.
- March 17, 2020 – Standing Order
- Initiating papers may be filed electronically
- March 17, 2020 – Standing Order
- Restrictions on courthouse access related to COVID-19
- March 18, 2020 – Standing Order
- Additional adjustments to court proceedings due to COVID-19
- March 20, 2020 – Supplemental Standing Order
- Discusses Clerk’s office closures and filing of documents. Anything that can be e-filed, should be. Any document that cannot be electronically filed should be emailed to: PAED_DOCUMENTS@PAED.USCOURTS.GOV
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
All civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin before April 27, 2020 are continued. Trial deadlines and scheduling orders remain in effect unless modified by Court Order. All grand jury sessions are suspended through April 3, 2020.
- March 13, 2020 – Administrative Order Concerning Jury Trials and Certain Other Proceedings Relative to COVID-19 Matters
- Judicial officers have been encouraged to conduct proceedings via telephone or videoconferencing where practicable.
- March 16, 2020 – Administrative Order Regarding Computation of Time for Filing of Informations or Indictments Due to COVID-19 Matters
- March 19, 2020 – Administrative Order Regarding Computation of Time for Filing of Informations or Indictments Due to COVID-19 Matters
- March 20, 2020 – Administrative Order: Inquiries to Those Seeking/Making Courthouse Access Relative to COVID-19 Matters
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
All hearings and proceedings requiring a physical appearance within sixty (60) days of March 13th are continued. Proceedings may be conducted by video or audio teleconference with Court approval. No new grand juries will be empaneled from March 13, 2020 to April 30, 2020.
- March 13, 2020 – General Order No. 20-01
- General Continuance of Hearings and Proceedings Due to Public Health Concerns
- March 18, 2020 – General Order 20-01 (Supplement)
- March 18, 2020 – Standing Order No. 20-3
- Harrisburg Courthouse proceedings are moved to Williamsport or Scranton at the discretion of the assigned judge.
United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Within the Third Circuit, oral arguments are moving forward as scheduled, but parties may request to appear by audio-conference by filing a motion. Please see the below press release from March 19th for further information.
New Jersey’s action is comprehensive, with discovery being relaxed and extended for two weeks. We believe that this may be modified and extended.
- March 9, 2020 – Notice to the Bar – Continuation of Operations
- March 12, 2020 – Notice to the Bar – Status of Court Operations
- March 14, 2020 – Notice to the Bar – Rescheduling of Court Sessions Scheduled 3/16-27/2020
- March 15, 2020 – Notice to the Bar – Rescheduling of In-Court Proceedings beginning 3/16/2020
- Sign up to receive notifications about court closings and delays here:
New Jersey (Federal Courts)
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
All civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin before April 30, 2020 are continued. Scheduling orders remain in effect unless modified by court order.
- March 16, 2020 – Notice to the Public restricting courthouse visitors
- March 16, 2020 – Standing Order 20-02
- The time period of March 16, 2020 through April 30, 2020 shall be “excluded time”.
- Judicial officers are encouraged to conduct proceedings by telephone or videoconferencing where practicable.
- No new grand juries will be empaneled during March 16, 2020 to April 30, 2020.
- March 16, 2020 – Standing Order 20-03
- March 18, 2020 – Notice to the Public
- Discusses paper filings and Clerk’s office hours