Legal Analysts

Monday, March 23, 2020

County Clerks and Court Clerks Forbidden From Accepting Filings

The Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts has issued an order forbidding the filing of all non-essential papers in county clerks and court clerks. This order is statewide and will have far-reaching consequences.

The Order, a copy of which can be found HERE, states:

Pursuant to the authority vested in me, in light of the emergency circumstances caused by the continuing COVID-19 outbreak in New York State and the nation, and consistent with the Governor of New York's recent executive order suspending statues of limitation in legal matters, I direct that, 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 attached as Exh. A. This directive applies to both paper and electronic filings.

Follow the link above to find a list of essential matters, most of which focus on the protection of the life, safety, and well-being of people.

The consequences of this Order are profound. For example, the Suffolk County and Nassau County clerks were both operating on a limited basis, but were still operating. The State's electronic court filing system was still accepting filings which enabled parties to continue litigating so long as it didn't require judicial intervention. New York County's online recording system, ACRIS, was still accepting electronic filings. Based on the wording of this Order, all of that ends today.

Despite this Order, Lieb at Law will proceed with our litigation matters to the maximum extent possible - as long as it doesn't require judicial intervention, we will push forward.

Look for a blog from Steven Siliato later today detailing the effects this Order will have on real estate transactions. Title examination? Race notice recording? GAP title insurance?