Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Courts to Begin Limited In-Person Operations on Long Island

On May 18, 2020 the New York State Court System resumed limited in-person operations in upstate counties. Today Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced that in-person operations will expand to Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties on May 27, Ulster and Sullivan Counties on May 28, and Nassau and Suffolk County on May 29. 

These re-openings are consistent with Phase 1 re-opening guidelines set by the Governor's Office and can be expanded as Phase 2 and further guidelines are met. 

Phase 1 operations permit judges, chambers staff, and some other limited personnel to return to their physical offices while operating in a manner consistent with current health and social distancing guidelines. Public in-person appearances will be limited to filings of emergency applications and the adjudication of matters that were previously identified as essential. In-person appearances for non-emergency and non-essential matters will be deferred to the courts' expanded virtual capabilities. 

Our court system is more capable than ever. Virtual conferences and the clearing of pending motions has put the courts in a position to handle the influx of new cases that will be filed now that non-essential matters can be commenced and in-person operations are returning. Chief Judge DiFiore has signaled that the expanded use of virtual court operations will be maintained by the courts for the foreseeable future as courthouses look to push as many public visitors as possible away from its doors and onto their computers screens. 

The Court System's official press release can be found HERE. The transcript of Judge DiFiore's latest message can be found HERE. A summary of the current state of online and in-person operations can be found HERE.


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