Archive of Covid19 Content - June 18 to March 11, 2020
June 18, 2020 - News Advisory
Courts' Administrative Board Approves Rule Changes Governing Professional Conduct of Attorneys
June 17, 2020 - Press Release
Chief Judge Names Commission to Develop Comprehensive Vision for Court System of the Future
June 16, 2020 - Press Release
Courts in 5 Upstate Judicial Districts Begin Phase 3 of Return to In-Person Operations
June 12, 2020 - News Advisory
Filing of Retainer and Closing Statements, 1st and 2nd Depts.
June 11, 2020 - Press Release
Chief Judge Names Chair to Lead NY Justice Task Force in Examining Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System
June 11, 2020 - Press Release
Courts in 3rd, 9th and 10th Judicial Districts Begin Phase 2 of Return to In-Person Operations
June 10, 2020
With New York City coming on board today, all Courts in New York State have resumed in-person operations allowing for limited traffic in court facilities and the ability for the public to file papers.
All Judges and their chambers staff are back in court buildings along with a modest percentage of other support staff.
Administrative Judge for New York City Criminal Court, Tameko Amaker takes the bench for the first time since March. All matters, however, will still be held virtually.
New York City Criminal Court Chief Clerk Justin Barry in the arraignment part clerk’s office as cases are being docketed.
Information booth at 100 Centre Street with the newly installed plexiglass barrier.
Court Officers in the lobby of New York County Supreme Court at 60 Centre Street as the building becomes fully operational.
June 9, 2020 - Administrative Board Meeting
Social distant meeting of the Court’s Administrative Board ...
Today’s meeting of the Court’s Administrative Board - socially distanced - in White Plains.
Presiding Judge Gerald Whalen from the Fourth Department was virtual.
Photo: Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, PJ Elizabeth Garry of the Third Department, Eileen Millet OCA Counsel, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks, PJ Alan Scheinkman of the Second Department and PJ Rolando Acosta of the First Department
June 9, 2020 - Press Release
NYC Courts Begin Gradual Return to In-Person Operations
June 4, 2020 - Court of Appeals Announcement
Academic & Bar Dispensations
June 4, 2020
Court Sgt. Released from Rehab
Sgt. Darrell Cross, Bronx Housing Court, is released today from a rehab facility in New Jersey after a remarkable recovery from Covid-19. Sgt. Cross spent a month on a ventilator and was transferred to the facility to complete his recovery.
Sgt. Cross getting hug from his wife, Renee.
Staff from the Kessler Rehabilitative Institute give Sgt. Cross a sendoff.
June 2, 2020 - Press Release
Upstate Courts Begin Phase 2 of Return to In-Person Operations
June 2, 2020
The June session of the New York State Court of Appeals commenced today in Albany with six of the seven Judges in attendance. Associate Judge Paul Feinman attended virtually.
Attorneys argued two of the three cases virtually with appearances on the third.
May 29, 2020
Courts Continue to Resume In-Person Operations
Nassau County Supreme Court, Mineola, New York
The last of our Courts outside of New York City resumed in-person operations today as Judges, chambers staff, support personnel and Court Officers returned to their posts.
Judge Steven M. Jaeger returns to Nassau County Court in Mineola, NY on Friday, May 29, 2020.
Court Officers wearing protective equipment reset magnetometers at the entrance to the Nassau County Court in Mineola, NY on Friday, May 29, 2020.
Court Sgt. Bill Hess, left and Officer Michael Leader wearing protective equipment at the entrance to the Nassau County Court in Mineola, NY on Friday, May 29, 2020.
Major Karen Mulvey Nassau County Administrative Judge Norman St. George lay out social distancing reminders in the lobby of Nassau County Court in Mineola, NY on Friday, May 29, 2020.
May 26, 2020 - Press Release
Mid-Hudson, Long Island Begin Return to In-Person Operations
May 22, 2020
This week, in-person court operations resumed in 40 upstate counties with another eight in the Capital Region coming online Tuesday.
Judges, chambers staff, other support personnel and Court Officers returned to their posts, albeit with masks, gloves, sanitizer and Plexiglas as the new normal.
Left to take the first step in normalizing operations is the Hudson Valley and Long Island next week and finally New York City.
The photos show the first day back for courts from Monroe, to Madison, and from Onondaga, to Oneida to Ontario.
May 21, 2020
The NY State Courts, except for criminal arraignments, will be closed on Monday, May 25
May 20, 2020 - Press Release
Courts in Western NY, Capital Region Begin Return to In-Person Operations
May 19, 2020 - Press Release
NYC Housing Judges to Conduct Virtual Conferences in Pending Eviction Cases
May 19, 2020
In-Person Court Operations Commence
On Monday, May 18th, the Hall of Justice in Rochester welcomed Judges, chambers staff, clerks and other support personnel back to the building. It was the same throughout parts of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Judicial Districts with more to come as additional counties upstate come online.
Enhanced cleaning, social distancing, masks and gloves were the order of the day, as virtual hearings and conferences continued.
May 14, 2020 - Press Release
NY’s Surrogate’s Courts Prepare for Influx of COVID-Related Cases
May 14, 2020
Expanded Operations, County Clerks of NYC
In an important step in expanded operations, the County Clerks of New York City announced that they will resume the queuing, docketing and filing of “Clerk of the County” documents received by their offices since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March. County Clerk offices remain closed to public visitors, and such documents should continue to be filed by mail until further notice.
May 13, 2020 - Press Release
Court System Begins Return to In-Person Courthouse Operations
May 5, 2020
The Rensselaer County Courthouse will reopen tomorrow, Wednesday May 6, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. for essential matters.
This year, amid the COVID-pandemic, the New York State court system is partnering with the State’s Attorney General’s Office and New York State Bar Association to present an online Law Day program. Speakers include Hon. Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York; New York State Attorney General Letitia James; and New York State Bar Association President Henry “Hank” Greenberg. Video Transcript
Next Steps to Expand Court Services
April 30, 2020
Chief Judge Approves Temporary Authorization Program
April 28, 2020
This week would have marked the graduation for the first class in 2020 of 211 New York State Court Officer Recruits. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, class had to be suspended in March. In a brief message to them from Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, she both recognizes their disappointment and reminds them that graduation day, seemingly elusive now, will come, and certainly be something to be remembered. Video Transcript
Academic & Bar Admission Dispensations — April 21, 2020
This unprecedented public health crisis has introduced considerable uncertainty and disruption into the delivery of legal education, the bar admissions process, and our State’s justice system. The Court of Appeals recognizes that the weight of these issues has been felt acutely by law school representatives, recent graduates, and current students, particularly those nearing the completion of their studies. The global pandemic has upended traditional law school instruction, interrupted the bar admissions process, and delayed the administration of the July bar examination.
The Court of Appeals has instituted a number of measures in response to these challenges. On March 31, the Court announced a programmatic waiver of distance learning limitations to enable law students to continue their coursework virtually. That waiver applies broadly to all categories of students, including J.D. students, LL.M. students, and students who have completed fewer than 28 credit hours. Pursuant to the distance learning waiver, any classroom-based course that has been converted to a virtual course as a result of the public health crisis will count fully as a classroom-based course – not a distance education course. If necessary, the Court is prepared to further extend the waiver of distance learning limitations, including into the Fall 2020 term.
On April 21, the Court considered and approved a number of additional dispensations related to law school instructional requirements and the bar admissions process. First, the Court is implementing a programmatic waiver of the full-time pro bono work requirement and the corresponding academic component of the Pro Bono Scholars Program (22 NYCRR 520.17 [c]  and 520.17 [c] ) for those enrollees expected to graduate in Spring 2020. The feasibility of the Pro Bono Scholars Program for the 2020-2021 academic term will be evaluated at a future date.
The Court also decided to temporarily waive several additional bar admission requirements for Spring 2020 graduates, including the Pro Bono Requirement for Bar Admission (22 NYCRR 520.16) and the Skills Competency Requirement for Admission (22 NYCRR 520.18). While applicants must still successfully complete the New York Law Course (NYLC) and the New York Law Examination (NYLE), the requirement that applicants complete the NYLC and pass the NYLE no earlier than one year before sitting for the Uniform Bar Examination (22 NYCRR 520.9 [a]  [ii] and 520.9 [a]  [ii]) will be temporarily waived for any applicant who fulfilled the NYLC and NYLE requirements after July 2019 and who first sits for the Uniform Bar Examination no later than 2021. The order can be accessed here. The Court has also approved the relaxation of specified application guidelines, including certain notarization requirements, original document requirements, and timing requirements. Those changes will be implemented through the Board of Law Examiners and the four Departments of the Appellate Division.
Additional updates, including information concerning the September bar examination, will be shared as soon as possible. Prior updates can be accessed here.
The Greene County Courthouse will re-open at 9 a.m. Monday, April 20, for essential matters.
The Third JD Administrative Office can be reached at 3rdJDAdministration@nycourts.gov or (518) 285-8300.
April 13, 2020 - Press Release: Virtual Courts Expanded Beyond Essential Matters
RESCHEDULING OF JULY 2020 N.Y. STATE BAR EXAM
April 9, 2020 Update: Contingency Planning
As previously announced, the July 2020 bar examination is presently rescheduled for September 9-10, 2020. Every effort is being made to ensure the safe and smooth administration of that examination.
The Court of Appeals recognizes, however, the possibility that persisting public health concerns may prevent the administration of a fall bar examination in New York. We share the concerns expressed to us by the valued members of our legal community – law students, law school representatives, legal employers, and clients, among others – regarding lingering uncertainties and the immense challenges that may result from further postponement. We value your input and remain committed to addressing your concerns in a manner that balances the interests of the public, the integrity of the legal profession, and the needs of recent law school graduates eager to join the workforce.
To that end, we are actively considering a number of contingencies in the event that further postponement of the bar examination becomes necessary. The Chief Judge has convened a working group, led by Associate Judge Michael J. Garcia, to evaluate potential solutions and prepare for possible eventualities. The working group is exploring the possibility of expanding the use of practice orders, among other means of providing temporary authorization for recent graduates to engage in the limited practice of law. We expect to communicate further developments as expeditiously as possible.
April 9, 2020
Additional NYC Family Court Virtual Courtrooms
In response to the increasing volume of essential/emergency matters being brought before the New York City Family Court, the court has increased its number of “virtual” courtrooms from three to five. The additional courtrooms began operating on April 9. All virtual courtrooms are presided over by Family Court judges and are limited to addressing the following essential/emergency matters:
- child protection intake cases involving remand applications
- newly filed juvenile delinquency intake cases involving remand applications and modifications of such orders
- family offense petitions requesting temporary orders of protection
The court is also reviewing on submission the following: orders to show cause requesting emergency relief, and stipulations.
For information about how to file the above petitions, motions and stipulations, see the NYC Family Court.
April 8, 2020 - Process for Admission to the Bar to Resume
The Appellate Division will be resuming the process for admission to the bar, conducting virtual admission ceremonies for eligible candidates.
April 6, 2020 - Press Release
Virtual Courts Up and Running Statewide
April 3, 2020 - Press Release
Virtual Court Operations to Commence in Third Judicial District
Update on Rescheduling of July 2020 N.Y. State Bar Exam
On March 31, 2020, the Court of Appeals met and decided to seek to have the rescheduled July Bar Examination administered in early September, shortly before or after the September 7, 2020 Labor Day holiday. While every effort will be made to reschedule the Bar Examination in early September, the Court recognizes that logistical and other challenges may prevent administration at that time, which may in turn delay the ability of spring 2020 law graduates to engage in full legal employment. Therefore, the Chief Judge on behalf of the Court will also explore the expansion of authority for practice orders that allow law graduates who meet specified criteria to engage in certain law practice under supervision of licensed attorneys. The expansion contemplated would allow private sector attorneys and law firms, as well as government offices and legal aid organizations, to apply to the Appellate Division for practice orders, and to allow such orders to include law graduates who are awaiting the administration of the first bar examination following their graduation, as well as law graduates who are awaiting results of the Bar Examination and meet the required criteria.
March 31, 2020 - Media Release
Virtual Court Operations to Commence in Nassau County
March 29, 2020 - Press Release
Virtual Court Operations to Commence This Week in Suffolk County, Seventh and Fifth Judicial Districts
Photo of a Virtual Courtroom
March 27 - News Advisory
New York State Bar Exam Rescheduled for Fall 2020
Virtual Operations for NYC Family Court Commence Thursday, March 26th, 2020
60 Lafayette Street, New York City
As of Thursday, March 26, 2020, in order to mitigate and contain the ongoing spread of coronavirus while at the same time continuing to provide critical emergency relief to the children and families the court serves, the New York City Family Court started hearing by remote video appearances and/or by telephone for the following matters: Child-protective intake cases involving removal applications, Newly-filed juvenile delinquency intake cases involving remand applications, Emergency family offense petitions and Writ applications where there is a court order if custody or parenting time.
While virtual, the public can view the proceedings at the New York City Criminal Court Building at 100 Centre Street on the second floor Part N.
Virtual Arraignments Start in New York City Criminal Court New York County Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street, NY City
Photo: Chief Judge DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Marks observe one of the first virtual arraignments.
Effective today, March 25th, 2020, New York City Criminal Court initiated its second phase of videoconferencing arraignments. Going forward, all parties will participate in court proceedings by videoconferencing using Skype for Business. All arraignments will be virtual, with the Judge, prosecution and defense attorney and defendant all from remote locations.
Non-COVID-19-involved defendants−those who have not tested positive for COVID-19 or are not in a high-risk group−will be brought to the central booking.
COVID-19-involved defendants−those who have tested positive for COVID-19or are in a high-risk group−will be detained pre-arraignment to participate in video arraignments at either Midtown Community Court or Red Hook Community Justice Center.
Photo: Judge Frances Wang, Bronx Criminal Court, conducting a night court arraignment.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2020
Conference of Chief Justices Rapid Response Team Informational Webinar
Flash Studio, Beaver Street, New York City
Photo: Chief Judge Janet DiFiore participates in the Rapid Response Team Webinar
On Wednesday, March 25th, 2020, the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators held their first coordinated national webinar to announce the names of their Rapid Response Team members.
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore was asked to present to the group about New York’s experience, strategies, decision-making processes and progress as the reshaping of the State’s court system in the wake of the pandemic continues.
Bronx Housing Court: Effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all essential/emergency appearances for the Bronx Housing Court will be held at the Bronx County Courthouse located at 851 Grand Concourse. For more information, please call 646-386-5409.
March 23, 2020
Non-essential filings will no longer be accepted
March 22, 2020
Virtual Court Operations Begin Midweek in NYC
March 22, 2020
Queens Supreme Court, Civil Term
TEMPORARY RELOCATION(Revised as of 8:50 p.m., 3/22/20)
March 21, 2020
Friday, March 20th, 2020
Essential Operations in Nassau County Continue
County Courthouse, 262 Old Country Road, Mineola
Supervising Judge of the County Court, Hon. Teresa K. Corrigan presided over one of the first-ever proceedings held with multi-participant video conferencing, with a defendant seeking release from incarceration at the Nassau County Jail.
March 20, Richmond County: Civil Court Operations for Staten Island have been relocated to the Supreme Court, Civil building at 26 Central Avenue until further notice.
Photo: Officer at a security checkpoint.
Court Officers at their Posts
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Westchester County Courthouse, White Plains, New York
Throughout New York State, essential court operations continue with New York State Court Officers continuing to provide security. New York City courthouses remain open for arraignments, Orders to Show Cause and other emergency matters. Outside New York City, court operations have been consolidated into one central location in each County. Officers at the most forward facing point of public contact, the Magnetometers, have been provided with Nitrile gloves and face masks.
Photo: Part Sergeant handling an arraignment.
Photo: Defendant being produced in court.
Consolidated Court Operations Continue
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Westchester County Courthouse, White Plains, New York
Courts outside New York City have consolidated essential operations to one location in each County. On Thursday, March 19th, 2020, Yonkers City Court Judge Arthur Doran, designated an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, arraigns a defendant in the County Courthouse in White Plains.
Photo: A Westchester County Assistant District Attorney in court in White Plains.
Photo: Activity in Part 3
Essential Operations Continue at NY County Supreme
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
60 Centre Street, New York City
Thursday, March 19,th 2020, essential operations continue at New York County Supreme Court as Justice Joel Cohen, serving as one of the emergency ex parte judges hears oral argument on an Order to Show Cause seeking a temporary restraining order.
Photo: SRT loading up for distribution
SRT Assisting in Protective Gear Distribution
Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Office of Court Administration, Lower Manhattan
On Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, members of the Special Response Team, working with officers from the Department of Public Safety, continued to distribute protective gear to Courthouses throughout the Unified Court System. About 5,000 Nitrile gloves and 20,000 N95 masks are being distributed with 100,000 more on order.
Photo: Justice Alexander Tisch presiding over a hearing.
Mental Hygiene Law Hearings Conducted Remotely
Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
Supreme Court, New York County, 60 Centre Street, NY City
On Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, four Mental Hygiene Law hearings were conducted with individuals currently receiving care at Bellevue Hospital Center and the VA Medical Center. The Judge, clerk, court reporter and interpreter, if needed, are all at 60 Centre Street. Attorneys, clients, doctors and other witnesses joined from various locations using videoconferencing technology. The Court, partnering with our Mental Hygiene working group of professionals, has been able to go forward with these critically important hearings without any delay.
Photo: Court of Appeals Judges hearing arguments while practicing “social distancing.”
Court of Appeals Hearing Arguments
Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
Court of Appeals Hall, Albany, New York
On Monday, March 17th, 2020, the New York State Court of Appeals, the State’s highest Court began its March 2020 session at Court of Appeals Hall in Albany. The Court remains open to the public, subject to the precautions recommended by State and national health authorities. Counsel who are scheduled to argue but are unable to appear in person by reason of the current public health emergency may contact the Clerk’s Office and request other arrangements, including oral argument by videoconference.
Photo: Judge Kevin McGrath arraigning a defendant
Video Arraignments Start in New York City
Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
New York City Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street
On Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, videoconference arraignments began in New York City Criminal Court. All parties but the defendant appeared in the courtroom. Healthy or non-COVID-19-involved defendants will be produced at the respective County’s central booking. There will be two video feeds – one for attorney-defendant interview and one for court appearance.
Judge Kevin B. McGrath, Supervising Judge, New York County Criminal Court, conducted one of the first arraignments.
An increasing number of Coronavirus cases has led to minimizing contact between judicial and non-judicial staff and the public.
Photo: An arraignment in progress
New York State is experiencing an increase in cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and it is expected that the virus will continue to spread. Please be assured that the New York State Court System is monitoring developments closely and is working with our partners at all government levels to take appropriate measures as the situation progresses, and to ensure that courthouses statewide are prioritizing the health and safety of all visitors. Please continue to visit this site for updates on the latest developments concerning the New York State Courts.
Notice of Court Status:
If conditions warrant court closure or any change in operations, notice will be posted on this web site and at: 833-503-0447. Notifications also will be sent out via the New York Courts Alert Emergency Portal (to sign up to receive alerts, visit: www.nycourts.gov/alerts/)
For the latest information on coronavirus and guidance on how to protect yourself, visit: the New York State Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control. The State Department of Health also has a coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Your healthcare professional always is the best person to consult for questions about your personal health and well-being.
This page will continue to be updated as developments occur.
March 11, 2020
Administrative Order: Entrance to Courthouses in New Rochelle, Westchester County
Courthouse Poster (as of 3.11.20, this Poster is at the entrance to courthouses in New Rochelle)