By: Kathryn Dalli, Esq.
According to the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts, new steps have been taken by the Courts to allow the filing of documents in non-essential pending cases starting May 4, 2020.
In pending cases that have been filed electronically via the Court’s NYSCEF system, i.e., e-filed cases, new motions, responsive papers to previously filed motions and other applications can be e-filed. Answers to complaints also can be e-filed. Even though motions may be filed, the Courts will not order strict adherence to deadlines under the Civil Practice Law and Rules regarding timelines for responding to such motions or submission dates.
Statutes of limitations are still tolled per the Governor’s Executive Orders at least until May 7, 2020, and the Governor is likely to extend that date indefinitely.
In pending matters that have not been e-filed, no paper filings can be made. In these matters that are not e-filed, the courts are in the process of developing a new system consisting of a secure portal for an “electronic document delivery system” for all of the above documents to be filed.
E-filing in matrimonial matters has not been allowed previously, but, by the end of next week, matrimonial matters may be e-filed upon the consent of all parties.
As of yet, no new non-essential lawsuits may be filed with the Court.
With respect to trials, there will be a gradual reopening of the Courts for non-jury trials soon. With respect to jury trials, however, the reopening of the Courts will take much longer, with no speculation as to when jury trials will commence.
Per the Governor’s Executive Order, there still shall be no evictions or foreclosure sales. The Justice Courts and District Courts are hearing only emergency landlord/tenant matters remotely.