By Peter Mott, Esq.
The Suffolk County Surrogate’s Court has updated its procedures during this Coronavirus period of time.
1. The Courthouse in Riverhead remains closed, but it has a satellite office open in Central Islip for hearing “essential matters”. A separate application has to be made to the Court to have a matter accepted as an “essential matter”.
2. The Court has started processing and reviewing all applications and motions made to the Court on or before March 16, 2020. These are matters that were fully filed by both sides. All motions that were filed before March 16, 2020 but were not yet fully filed, and had “return dates” after March 16, will be re-calendared by the Court for future dates and proceedings.
3. On matters that are pending, the Court will now accept new Motions. In addition, on pending matters the Court will allow conferences requested by the parties which will be held by telephone or video.
4. New matters may now be E-filed with the Court, but unless the matter is deemed “essential”, it will not be presently reviewed; but, at least the matter may now be filed and get into the “queue“ for consideration in the future.