New York Courts Close for all Non-Essential Functions: What Does This Mean for my Case?



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    Due to the Coronavirus outbreak in New York and around the world, the state has decided to close the courts for all non-essential functions. In a memo to court personnel on March 15, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks stated, “Effective 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16, we will be postponing all non-essential functions of the courts until further notice.” 

    What Cases are Considered Essential?

    In the same memo, Marks stated that judges who are determining what qualifies as essential “will exercise judicial discretion in a manner designed to minimize court appearance and traffic in the courts.” It is important to know that pending criminal and civil trials will continue until they are finished, but that no others will begin. In addition to this, eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders in the city’s housing court will be suspended indefinitely. 

    Outside of New York City, special court parts will be established in individual jurisdictions where essential matters will be consolidated. Inside New York City, courthouses will remain open to take care of the following essential matters when it comes to criminal cases:

    • Criminal Superior Court Matters: Essential applications as the court may allow. Felony matters where the defendant is not in custody will be administratively adjourned until further notice. Felonies in which defendants are in custody will either be administratively adjourned or conducted remotely by video in New York City and in jurisdictions outside of the city that have technology available to do so. 
    • Criminal Lower Court Matters: Arraignments and essential applications as the court may allow, such as 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.

    Contact our Firm

    If you or someone you know what charged with a crime, contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation and we would be happy to assist you.

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