As the country adapts to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, so do the New York State trial courts.
New York State courts have been addressing emergency, or “essential,” matters virtually, allowing counsel and the parties to appear before the Court either by phone or videoconference. Beginning Monday, April 13, New York State trial courts will begin handling certain pending “non-essential” actions and proceedings via the virtual court system as well.
While the courts will, for the time being, still prohibit filing of new “non-essential” cases, individual judges will review their existing caseloads and decide which cases should be conferenced and which can be moved toward a resolution. Judges are also permitted to schedule conferences at the request of attorneys, and are now available during normal court hours to address discovery and other concerns. These conferences will continue to be held remotely.
Additionally, judges may now decide fully submitted motions, which will hopefully serve to both reduce backlogs and facilitate speedier resolution of the likely high volume of motion practice that will commence once the prohibition on new “non-essential” filings is lifted.
We will continue to provide updates on access to the court system during this unparalleled period in our history.