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Latest News - (Archive of Covid19 Content)


March 14, 2022 - Press Release
Midtown Community Court Launches Mental Health Part

March 03, 2022 - Press Release
Chief Judge, Senate and Assembly Judiciary Chairs Announce Introduction of Constitutional Amendment for Court Reform, Simplification

February 28, 2022 - News Advisory
NY Courts Launch New Online Tool

February 28, 2022 - Press Release
New Co-Chair Named to Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission


February 16, 2022 - The State of Our Judiciary

 

February 16, 2022 - Court Simplification Proposal

 

December 28, 2021 - Press Release
Administrative Judge Named to Supreme Court-Civil Term in Manhattan

December 21, 2021
Name/Sex Designation Change-New Forms

December 13, 2021 - Press Release
Chief Judge Names Members to State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct

December 01, 2021 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named in Nassau County

November 30, 2021
Historical Society of the New York Courts Features the Lemmon Slave Case Exhibit
White Plains, New York

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The Historical Society of the New York Courts announced that they, in collaboration with the New York State Courts, began a two-year tour to 45 courthouses across New York State of The Lemmon Case: 1852-1860, A Prelude to the Civil War. This panel exhibit of the landmark Court of Appeals case features a video narration by James Earl Jones with an introduction by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.

The exhibit is intended to educate the public on the role of the New York courts in paving the way for the abolition of slavery, as their ruling helped free eight enslaved young women and children who sailed into New York harbor with their owners from Virginia. The ruling was in direct conflict with the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision of 1857, and represented the strongest statement made against slavery by any court in the United States prior to the Civil War. The exhibit is currently on display in the lobby of the Putnam County Courthouse and will remain there until it travels to its next stop, the Dutchess Family Court, arriving on December 13, 2021.

The exhibit, including the video and the tour schedule, can be viewed online by visiting the Historical Society’s website at history.nycourts.gov/the-lemmon-slave-case.

The Historical Society of New York Courts is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 by then New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye. Its mission is to preserve, protect and promote the legal history of New York, including the proud heritage of its courts and the development of the Rule of Law.

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Hon. Anne E. Minihan, Administrative Judge of the Ninth Judicial District viewing the exhibit at the Putnam Supreme and County Courthouse in Carmel
Photo: Hon. Anne E. Minihan, Administrative Judge of the Ninth Judicial District viewing the exhibit at the Putnam Supreme and County Courthouse in Carmel.


 

November 17, 2021
New Report Documents Progress to Advance Courts’ Equal Justice Initiative: Press Release | Report

November 08, 2021 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named in Bronx County

Eric Garner Inquiry:
101332/2019 GWEN CARR et al v. BILL DE BLASIO,
Mayor of the City of New York et al
Stream link: http://wowza.nycourts.gov/VirtualCourt/new/st-nysupcv/st-nysupcv2 Password: 2610

October 13, 2021 - Press Release
Administrative Judge Appointed in Ninth Judicial District

October 7, 2021 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named for NYC Family Court

October 1, 2021 - Press Release
New Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Named for NYC Courts

September 29, 2021 - Press Release
New Video Instructs NY Jurors on Hidden Bias

September 22, 2021 - Press Release
New Cayuga County Court Addresses Opioid Crisis

September 21, 2021
Statewide Eviction Filing Data Now Online

September 15, 2021
Digital Archive Documents Experiences of NYS Judges, Staff Amid the Pandemic

September 13, 2021
The Chief Judge’s Annual Hearing on Civil Legal Services in New York will be livestreamed, starting at 1:00 p.m.

 


Watch: The Complete 9-11 Ceremony | Transcript of Ceremony "Reflections" Tribute Video | Transcript of Reflections Video

 

September 08, 2021 - Press Release
Chief Judge Announces Judiciary Civil Legal Services Program Grants  

 

Bronx Court Officer Retires After 30 Year Career
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Supreme Court, Civil Term, Bronx, New York

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On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, Court Officer Lawrence Jerome Stewart’s family, friends and colleagues gathered at the Rotunda of Supreme Court, Civil Term in the Bronx at a lunchtime celebration to wish him well in his retirement after thirty years of service to the court system. For his years of service, he was bestowed a Citation from the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz, Jr. as well as a plaque from his union.

On January 7, 1991, Stewart entered the New York State Court Officer Academy and upon graduating was assigned to Bronx Criminal Court. On May 6, 1996, he was promoted to Supreme Court, Criminal Term. On September 7, 2005, Officer Stewart was transferred to Supreme Court, Civil Division where he remained until his official retirement date of August 30, 2021. For the last several years, he has been a staple at the Walton entrance of the Civil Supreme courthouse. He always greeted everyone with a smile regardless of the time or the season.

 


Chief Judge Swears in New York State’s New Governor
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
State Capital, Albany New York

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On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore administered the oath of office to the new Governor of the state of New York, Kathy Hochul. She is the 57th governor of the state and the first woman to hold the office. The ceremony took place at 12:01 a.m. inside the capitol building in Albany.

Ms. Hochul, 62, was raised in the town of Hamburg, outside of Buffalo. After graduating from Syracuse University and earning her law degree from Catholic University of America, Ms. Hochul worked on Capitol Hill for Representative John J. LaFalce and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. In May 2011, Hochul won the four-candidate special election to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Republican Chris Lee, becoming the first Democrat to represent New York's 26th congressional district in 40 years.

She served as its U.S. representative from 2011 to 2013.

After leaving Congress, Hochul worked as a government relations specialist with Buffalo-based M&T Bank. In 2014, former Governor Andrew Cuomo selected her as his running mate in the 2014 New York gubernatorial election; after they won the election, Hochul was inaugurated as lieutenant governor of New York.

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August 19, 2021 - Press Release
Administrative Judges Named in Queens and Western NY

August 18, 2021 - Press Release
New Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Named Outside NYC

Jury Service & Fairness: Video on the concept of implicit bias and jury service. (Transcript available)

August 10, 2021 - Press Release
Court System to Expedite Resolution of NYC Gun Cases

August 09, 2021 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named to NYC Civil Court

 


Nassau County Bar Association Honors Judge Norman St. George
August 4, 2021
Nassau County Bar Association, 15 West Street, Mineola New York

Photo Photo: L-R: Judge Norman St. George and Dorian Glover, Esq.

On Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at the Nassau County Bar Association, 10th Judicial District Administrative Judge Norman St. George was honored by the Nassau County Bar Association. He received their “President’s Award” from Association President, Dorian Glover, Esq., at their Annual Dinner Gala.

The award is presented by the outgoing President for “outstanding contributions toward furthering the goals of the Bar Association of Nassau County”, which include improving our system of justice, maintaining and promoting the level of professionalism in the field of law, inspiring respect for the law and leading by example.”

 


Court Officers Participate in the National Night Out Against Crime
August 3, 2021
Brooklyn and Syracuse, NY

AlbanyFamilyCourtPhoto: New York State Court Officers attend National Night Out in Brooklyn. From left to right: New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, Lt. Frank Zaloga, Chief Michael Magliano, Chief Joseph Baccellieri, Lt. Vincent Harris, Lt. Jessica Herrera and Lt. Barry Gong.

On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, New York State Court Officers in Brooklyn, Syracuse and other parts of the state joined with local officials and other members of law enforcement to participate in National Night Out Against Crime, a community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships. Our participation in these “Night Out” events is one of the many initiatives that we are using to expand our court-community partnerships in our shared goal toward equal justice. And we are pleased and proud of the work being done on behalf of the courts in the area of community engagement.

AlbanyFamilyCourtPhoto: New York State Court Officers attend National Night Out in Syracuse, NY. From left to right: Lieutenant Vincent Sinclair, Chief Steven Bizgia, Lt Erica Prosper, Officer Kim Freedman, Officer Heather Berry, Officer Scott Shaw and Officer Robert Mayers.

 


A Retirement Celebration for Vito Caruso
July 30, 2021
Albany Capital Center, Albany, New York

AlbanyFamilyCourt

On July 30, 2021, hundreds of colleagues and friends came to the Albany Capital Center to honor the Honorable Vito C. Caruso who is retiring from his post as the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Courts Outside of New York City. The master of ceremonies for the evening was Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks and all were welcomed by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.

Judge Caruso was appointed to his position in July of 2019 and was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of all trial-level courts in the 57 counties outside of New York City which includes nearly 700 judges, and over 7,000 non-judicial employees. In addition to that large responsibility, Judge Caruso was also responsible for the oversight of nearly 1,200 local Town and Village Courts and over 1,700 Town and Village Justices.

Judge Caruso began his judicial career when he was elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 1994 and re-elected in 2008. He was appointed as Administrative Judge for the Fourth Judicial District in June of 2004 and served in that capacity for fifteen years.

 


Nassau County’s Director of Community Relations Retires
June 20, 2021
Nassau County Supreme Court, Mineola, New York

AlbanyFamilyCourt

On Friday, July 30, 2021, Daniel Bagnuola, the Director of the Office of Community Relations for Nassau County and Supreme Court put in his last day. He is retiring after 36 years in the New York State Court system.

Dan began as a court officer in Manhattan. He later was promoted to Senior Court Officer and worked in Nassau County. From there he became a Senior Court Analyst responsible for scheduling jury selections for Supreme Court. In 2000, Dan was picked to be the Director of Community Relations in the court’s Communications Office. In that role, he managed all aspects of the court’s public information arm as well as outreach to the community, promoting events and partnerships with schools and community organizations. In his 21 years in that position, Dan’s work helped to bolster a positive image of the court.

 


July 28, 2021
NYS Courts to Implement New Protocols in Response to Rise in COVID Cases

Albany Family Court Hosts Interns from Girls Inc.
June 29, 2021
Albany County Family Juvenile Treatment Court
Albany, New York

AlbanyFamilyCourtPhoto: from left to right, Sasha Post-Lais, an incoming Senior at Albany High School; Judge Susan Kushner, Albany County Family Court and Jasleen Saini, an incoming Junior at Shenendehowa High School.

On Wednesday, July 21, 2021, Albany Family Court took a moment to highlight the participation of two interns from the Girls Inc. Program of the Greater Capital Region.

The interns who come from local area high schools have been learning the various functions of the court over the last several weeks. Albany Family Court has accepted interns from the Girls Inc. Program for the last six years. As part of a national organization, Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region is part of a leading advocacy organization that informs the community and policymakers about the unique issues facing girls today. The program looks to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold and to build skills and capabilities for a responsible, confident, and self-sufficient adulthood.

Their internship culminates in a large event and luncheon at the SUNY/Albany Performing Arts Center, where each intern presents on their experience. Their internship will conclude at the end of July.

 


Stewart’s Shops Donate Free Ice Cream Cone Coupons for Juvenile Court Attendees
June 29, 2021
Albany County Family Juvenile Treatment Court
Albany, New York

AlbanyFamilyCourtPhoto: From left to right: Gary Sagendorf, Central Management Unit Liaison; Robert Franklin, Asst. County Attorney; Jeff Berkun, Attorney for the Children; Sheila Jackson, Juvenile Drug Court Coordinator; Hon. Sue Kushner, Presiding Judge; Craig Richards, Juvenile Treatment Court Case Manager; Ashley Lombardo, Children’s Mental Health Services; Kathleen Schlegel, Adolescent Services Department of Children Youth and Families and Michael Mazzeo, Probation.

On June 29, 2021, Stewart’s Shops made a generous donation of 200 single scoop ice cream cone coupons to the Albany County Juvenile Treatment Court. They will be used as an incentive and to reward participants who are eligible to attend this Problem-Solving Court.

The mission of the Albany County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court is to reduce criminal behavior and treat alcohol and other substance abuse for non-violent juvenile offenders. It offers court-supervised, strength-based treatment and services while at the same time providing for public safety. The goal of the court is to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for participants to become responsible citizens.

 


Nassau County Judges Tour Site of New Family Court
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Mineola, New York

NassauFamilyCourtPhoto: Left to right: Robert Labaw, DPW – Chief Architect; Joseph Amerigo, DPW – Project Manager; Hon. Ellen R. Greenberg, Supervising Judge of the Nassau County Family Court; Hon. Norman St. George, Administrative Judge of Nassau County; Hon. Jeffrey A. Goodstein, Supervising Judge of the Nassau County Supreme Court Matrimonial Center; John Chiara, Acting Nassau County Attorney: Brian J. Schneider, Deputy County Executive for Parks and Public Works; Kenneth Arnold, DPW- Commissioner and Elisa Picca, DPW, Chief Deputy Commissioner

On Thursday, July 8, 2021, The Hon. Norman St. George, Administrative Judge of the 10th Judicial District, Nassau County, Supervising judges of the Family Court and Matrimonial Center and Nassau County officials, toured the construction site of what is soon to be the new Nassau County Family Court and Matrimonial Center.

The new building, which formerly housed Nassau County Social Services, is being retrofitted to provide a modern court environment to meet the needs of Nassau County court-users. The new facility will also house several Nassau County agencies. The new Family Court will now be part of the Nassau County Court campus in Mineola along with the Nassau County Supreme Court, Nassau County Court, and the Surrogate’s Court. The new facility will provide ample parking and is accessible by public transportation.

 


Fifth JD Promotes Remote Access to the Courts

5thCelebratesRemotePhoto: (L-R) Jean Marie Westlake, Esq., President of the Onondaga County Bar Association Foundation; Hon. James P. Murphy, Administrative Judge of the Fifth Judicial District; and Pastor Alberta Abrams at the Virtual Court Access Program at Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ in Syracuse, NY

As part of the court system’s continuing commitment to bridge the “digital divide,” Fifth Judicial District Administrative Judge James P. Murphy announced a Virtual Court Access Program for Syracuse area residents who lack the tools to participate in virtual court matters. Now, residents can connect with the courts in any of six locations in the Syracuse area, including the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and Interfaith Works. Each site is equipped with a computer, microphone, scanner and printer. Volunteers provide technical assistance and ensure that the court system’s COVID-19 safety protocols are observed.

NYSCO HockeyPhoto 2: (L-R) Donald C. Doerr, Esq., District Executive of the 5th Judicial District; Jean Marie Westlake; Pastor Alberta Abrams; Justice James P. Murphy; Tonya Younis, Deputy Chief Clerk of Onondaga County Family Court; Olive Sephuma, Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, Interfaith Works of CNY; Adol Mayen, Pro Bono Coordinator, Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.; Colby Ward, I.T. Coordinator/ Office and Building Coordinator, Interfaith Works of CNY, at the opening of the 5th Judicial District’s Virtual Court Access Program at the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.

The Virtual Court Access Program is a partnership of the faith-based community, not- for-profit organizations, county government and legal services providers, including: Onondaga County Bar Foundation; Interfaith Works of CNY; Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.; Peace, Inc.; Center for Community Alternative; Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon; Onondaga County Public Libraires; Legal Services of Central New York; Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, Inc.; Human Services Leadership Council; Hiscock Legal Aid; and Syracuse University College of Law.

 


July 7, 2021 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named in the 8th Judicial District

 

July 7, 2021 - Press Release
NYS Judicial Institute Dean Named

 

June 17, 2021 - Press Release
New Mt. Vernon Court Targets Young Adult Offenders

 


New York State Court Officers Hockey Team Wins 2021 Heroes Cup
Sunday, June 13, 2021
New England Sports Center, Marlborough, Massachusetts

NYSCO Hockey


On Sunday, June 13, 2021 the members of the New York State Court Officers Hockey team won the 2021 Heroes Cup Championship. The Heroes Cup is a weekend-long charity hockey tournament that draws hundreds of law enforcement, military, veterans, fire, and emergency medical service hockey teams from across the country.

The New York State Court Officers Hockey Team is made up of court officers and court staff from courts across New York State. The team won its semifinal playoff game before ultimately triumphing in the 2021 Heroes Cup Division Championship Game. They compiled a 5-0 record as 2021 Heroes Cup Division Champion.

The 2021 Heroes Cup Division Champion NYS Court Officers Hockey Team members are:

  • Paul Bahjour (Captain), Richmond County Criminal Court
  • Chris Biamonte, Nassau County Supreme Court
  • Joseph Burley, St. Lawrence County Court
  • Nick Cahill, Suffolk County Court
  • Matthew Coseo, Saratoga County Surrogate's Court
  • Joseph Gallagher, Bronx County Family Court
  • Rich Hahn, King's County Supreme Court Civil Term
  • Chris Heyne, Richmond County Supreme Court
  • Thomas Kenniff, United States Air Force
  • Brian Lynch (Alt. Captain), Suffolk County Court
  • John Mendocino, Kings County Supreme Court Criminal Term
  • Peter Nawrocki, Nassau County Family Court
  • Andrew Proler, Saratoga County Public Defender's Office
  • Nick Thorgersen, Richmond County Supreme Court Criminal Term

The New York State Court Officers Hockey Team was proud to represent both the Unified Court System and the Three Strohm Sisters Family Foundation founded by New York State Court Officer-Lieutenant Edward Strohm in its campaign for cancer research.

 


June 14, 2021 - Mask Policy Program, Revised

New Family Court Opens in New Rochelle
Thursday, June 10, 2021
26 Garden Street, New Rochelle

Judge Kathie E. Davidson and Westchester County Executive George Latimer cut the purplse ribbon.
Photo: Ribbon cutting-center L to R, Judge Kathie E. Davidson and Westchester County Executive George Latimer

On Thursday, June 10, 2021, in a ribbon cutting ceremony, Ninth Judicial District Administrative Judge the Hon. Kathie E. Davidson and Westchester County Executive George Latimer unveiled a state-of-the-art Family Court facility at 26 Garden Street in New Rochelle, adjacent to the city’s transportation hub.


The new, New Rochelle Family Court occupies the third and fourth floors of a six floor building and has two courtrooms, three hearing rooms, judge’s chambers, offices for non-judicial staff as well as for staff from the Office for Women, Department of Probation and other County agencies. The 35,000 square foot space features the latest technology and equipment, from assisted-listening capabilities to HVAC systems that provide for a good fresh-air ratio.

Courtroom inside the New Rochelle Family Court
Photo: Courtroom inside the New Rochelle Family Court


New Rochelle Family Court is one of three family courts in Westchester County, along with courts in White Plains and Yonkers. These courts hear cases involving children and families, including child neglect, child custody and support, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, adoption and guardianship, among other matters.

 



Monday, May 24, 2021
Full Staffing In All Court Facilities Resumes Statewide

Courts in New York State

masked person behind cashier's window
Photo: New York Criminal and Supreme Court

On Monday, May 24, 2021, all 16,000 members of New York State’s Judiciary returned to full staffing in all courthouses and other court facilities throughout New York State. This comes fifteen months after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the court system to shift to video-linked virtual courtrooms for most proceedings and drastically reduced courthouse activity.

The return to court, however, does not mean a return to the way the system operated before the pandemic. All health and safety protocols will continue including COVID-19 screenings, mandatory masking and social distancing, acrylic barriers, and strict cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

court officer and members of public by magnetometers
Photo: Kings County Supreme Court

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has said that the decision to return to full staffing is being done to support the fuller resumption of court operations, including jury trials and other proceedings in the courts. However, it does not mean a return to the densely crowded courthouses of pre-COVID days. The plan is to limit the number of people physically present in the courthouses by relying on remote technology and virtual appearances to hear those matters not requiring the physical presence of lawyers and litigants.

office workers wearing masks
Photo: Nassau County Supreme Court

In the continuing effort to provide vaccinations, the court system has partnered with New York City to provide pop-up vaccination sites on Monday, May 24th and Tuesday, May 25th. The sites are near our courthouses in three boroughs, Queens (Borough Hall Plaza), Staten Island (26 Central Avenue) and the Bronx (Lou Gehrig Plaza) and will operate from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on both days.

people standing around table
Photo: Ontario County Court

As with vaccination appointments scheduled elsewhere, employees are entitled to excused leave of up to 3.5 hours for this purpose. There will be a person at the pop-up site who can answer any employee’s questions about the vaccines.

Photo of Staten Island Vaccination Site
Photo: Pop Up Vaccination Site, Staten Island Criminal Court.

 


Wednesday, May 19, 2021
New Court Officer Recruit Class
New York State Captain William H. Thompson, Sergeant Thomas Jurgens, Sergeant Mitchel Wallace Court Officers Academy Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Photo of Court Officer Academy candidates receiving temperature checks
Photo: Court Officer Academy candidate receiving temperature check prior to sitting down to take the psychological exam.

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, it was announced that a new Court Officer Academy class will commence training on September 7, 2021. The class of up to seventy recruits will train at the academy’s facility at Castleton-On-Hudson. All will be required to be fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus prior to the start of training.

Several Court Officer candidates came to the New York State Captain William H. Thompson, Sergeant Thomas Jurgens, Sergeant Mitchel Wallace Court Officers Academy in Brooklyn to take the required psychological examination, part of the selection process before being chosen for the new academy class.

The rigorous, four-month basic training regimen for Court Officer-Trainees includes classroom instruction on criminal law, civil law, family law, constitutional law and arrest procedures, along with training in such areas as intermediary weapons including baton, pepper spray and firearms; proper use of force; first aid, CPR and basic life support; crowd control; tactical communications; domestic violence awareness and mandatory reporting obligations.

Graduating officers will be assigned to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Judicial Districts outside of New York City.

Photo of Court Officer Academy candidates taking exams. Photo: Court Officer Academy candidates taking exams.

 


May 18, 2021 - Press Release
Elder Justice Resource Guide Now Available Online

May 17, 2021 - Press Release
NY Courts Proceed with Implementation of Proposals from Special Adviser on Equal Justice in the Courts

May 7, 2021 - Press Release
New Access-to-Justice Initiative Launched in Albany

May 3, 2021
Law Day 2021 Poster

Law Day 2021 Program

April 22, 2021 - Press Release
New Dutchess County Court Addresses Opioid Crisis

April 5, 2021
Commission to Reimagine Future of NY's Courts Issues Two New Reports: Press Release | Report & Recommendations of the Future Trials Working Grp. | Improving & Streamlining the Presentation of Evidence

March 31, 2021 - Statement from the Chief Judge on the Passing of Court of Appeals Associate Judge Paul G. Feinman

March 22, 2021 - Statewide Resumption of Jury Trials
New York County Supreme Court - Criminal Term
Tenth JD - Nassau County

On March 22nd, 2021, for the first time since last November, civil and criminal jury trials resumed throughout New York State.

Photo of Jurors being sworn in

Photos: Jurors are sworn in for criminal trials in New York City and in Mineola, Long Island.

In New York City, there are 26 jury trials, 19 civil and 7 criminal, that are scheduled to begin in all five counties this week. And in the 57 Counties outside the City, there are a total of 27 trials, 18 criminal and 9 civil, that are set to begin this week in all Judicial Districts across the State.

Photo of Jurors being sworn in

While we are eager to begin to normalize court operations, our number one priority is the same in each courthouse across the State - maintaining a safe environment that instills confidence in jurors, staff, lawyers, witnesses, and all other court users. That means disciplined adherence to established protocols like temperature screening, social distancing, strict cleaning regimens and use of PPE.

Photo of Jurors being sworn in

 


 

March 17, 2021
Credit Card Service Fee, Eff. April 1, 2021

March 15, 2021
NY State Unified Court System - Annual Report 2020

NY State Unified Court System - Annual Report 2020

 

March 2, 2021 - The State of Our Judiciary

State of Our Judiciary Poster

 

Mar. 2, 2021 - Press Release
Chief Judge DiFiore Delivers 2021 State of Our Judiciary Address

Feb. 26, 2021 - Press Release
Mental Health Court Opens in Albany

Feb. 11, 2021
Virtual Bench Trial Protocols & Procedures

Feb. 11, 2021
Child-Parent Security Act (eff. 2.15.2021)

Feb. 5, 2021
Kings County Courts Black History Month Programs

Feb. 3, 2021
UCS Anti-Discrimination & Anti-Harassment Policy

Feb. 2, 2021 - Press Release
Commission to Reimagine Future of NY’s Courts Issues Additional Recommendations

Feb. 1, 2021
Commercial Division Rules & AO-270-20

Jan. 27, 2021 - Press Release
NYC Civil Court Launches Online Dispute Resolution Pilot Program

Jan. 13, 2021 - Press Release
Hon. Deborah Kaplan Named NYS Justice Task Force Co-Chair

Jan. 5, 2021 - Press Release
Robert L. Haig Named to NYS Commission on Judicial Nomination

Dec. 30, 2020
Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act

Dec. 17, 2020 - Press Release
Commission to Reimagine Future of NY Courts Issues Additional Proposals

Chief Judge Prioritizes Plans to Implement Equal Justice Reforms

Dec. 9, 2020 - Press Release
NYS Judicial Institute Dean to Retire

Nov. 23, 2020
Survey Spurs Recommendations to Enhance Gender Fairness in NYS Courts: Press Release | Report

Nov. 19, 2020
Limited English Proficiency Report

Nov. 17, 2020 - Press Release
Milton Mollen Award Recipients to Be Honored at Virtual Ceremony

Nov.17, 2020 - Memo
Revised Procedure for Addressing Eviction Proceedings

Nov. 16, 2020 - Press Release
Commission to Reimagine the Future of NY’s Courts Issues Initial Recommendations

Nov. 13, 2020 - Memo
Revised Pandemic Procedures in the Trial Courts

This follows the resumption of the empaneling of Grand Juries in July outside of New York City and August in New York City. More than one hundred Grand Juries have been seated by the end of August Statewide.

Photo of a Jury Trial

Oct. 27, 2020 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named in Third Judicial District

Oct. 26, 2020
Jury Trials Resume in New York City
New York County Supreme Court – Civil & Criminal Terms
60 & 100 Centre Streets, New York City

PPE bags at 60 Centre Street

Photo: PPE bags at 60 Centre Street.

On Monday, October 26th criminal jury trials commenced in New York, Kings and Richmond Counties for the first time since mid-March. Criminal trials will resume next week in Queens and the Bronx. Civil trials also resumed in New York and Queens Counties. Civil trials resumed last week in the Bronx, Kings and Richmond Counties. Jury trials commenced outside New York City in early September.

Distanced seating for Jurors

Photo: Distanced seating for Jurors.

Approximately 4,600 prospective jurors in all five boroughs have been summoned to report over a series of days to prevent crowding.

Judge Michael Obus conducting voir dire on a criminal case

Photo: Judge Michael Obus conducting voir dire on a criminal case.

Each county will have one criminal trial at a time and should any adjustments need to be made they will be implemented.

Jurors are screened upon arrival at the courthouse, temperatures taken and are given masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and gloves, if requested.

Courtrooms have Plexiglas barriers and seating is appropriately distanced.

Plexiglas surrounds all public facing areas

Photo:Plexiglas surrounds all public facing areas.

 

Counsel tables with Plexiglas barriers.

Photo: Counsel tables with Plexiglas barriers.

 


 

Oct. 22, 2020
Revised Procedure for Foreclosure Proceedings

 


 

Oct. 15, 2020
Independent Review Yields Recommendations to Promote Diversity, Advance Equal Justice in the NYS Courts
Special Adviser on Equal Justice, Report Cover

 

Oct. 09, 2020
Eviction Proceedings: Revised Procedure (Effective Monday, October 12)

 


Oct. 05, 2020
Uniform Case Scheduling Order Adopted in City Civil Cases Litigated in Supreme Court Across New York City

 


Oct. 02, 2020 - Press Release
Innovative Access to Justice Initiative Launched in Westchester

 


Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 - Press Release
Court System Rolls Out Online Tools to Facilitate Expanded Use of Mediation

 


Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 - Press Release
Chief Judge Names Business Council to Boost Access to Justice Efforts

 


Friday, Sept. 18, 2020
Statement from Chief Judge Janet DiFiore regarding the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The New York State Unified Court System mourns the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a native New Yorker and pioneering lawyer and judge who made history as the second woman ever to serve on our nation’s highest court.  After graduating first in her class from Columbia Law School, Justice Ginsburg overcame adversity and gender-based discrimination to become a distinguished law professor and influential national advocate for women’s rights.  In 1993, she was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton, where she spent the next 27 years forging an exceptional legacy as a stellar judge and passionate defender of constitutional rights.  Throughout her judicial career, Justice Ginsburg remained close to the New York legal community and returned here often to participate enthusiastically in bar- and court-sponsored lectures and events.  We feel like we have lost one of our own, and we extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.

 


 

Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 - Press Release
Important Information Regarding NY's Recently Enacted Expungement Law

Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 - Marihuana: Destruction of Expunged Conviction Record

Friday, Sept. 11, 2020

Photo of Court Officers saluting the flage   Photo of Court Officers touching the names of the 9-11 memorial
9/11 Commemoration: Unified Court System Remembers Officers Killed at the World Trade Center

 



September 9th, 2020

Photo of Jury Trial

Resumption of Jury Trials Begins Outside of New York City
Cromarty Court Complex, Riverhead, New York

On Wednesday, September 9th, 2020, a slow measured pilot program to resume in person jury trials commenced outside of New York City.

Schyler County began picking jurors for a civil trial and in Suffolk County Court, jurors were being picked for both a civil and a criminal trial. To ensure health and safety, Court Officers supplied masks and face shields to whom ever requested one.

Photo of Court Officers at a Jury Trial

This follows the resumption of the empaneling of Grand Juries in July outside of New York City and August in New York City. More than one hundred Grand Juries have been seated by the end of August Statewide.

Photo of a Jury Trial

 

September 9, 2020 - Chief Judge’s Civil Legal Services Hearing: 9/21

August 12, 2020 - Eviction Proceedings, Order & Memo

August 10, 2020 - Grand Juries Sworn In

On Monday August 10th, Grand Juries resumed hearing cases in New York City. They join the other 57 Counties outside of New York City that began hearing cases on July 13th.

photo of outside the courthouse

There will be a total of fourteen seated Grand Juries in the City’s five counties, four in Manhattan, three each in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens and one in Richmond.

photo of inside the courthouse

Jurors will be required to wear masks and jury rooms will be outfitted with all appropriate health and safety measures with an emphasis on social distancing at all times.

Senior Court Clerk Jon Helfman greets prospective grand jurors at 100 Centre Street in Manhattan.

photo of inside the courthouse

 


August 5, 2020 - Press Release
Commission to Reimagine Future of NY Courts Issues Its First Report | Report

 

August 3, 2020 - Press Release
Appellate Term Appointments Announced

 


July 28, 2020
Murder Trial Resumes in Bronx Supreme Court

Judge at Bench in front of In God We Trust

Tuesday, July 28th, marked the resumption of an Intentional Murder jury trial in Bronx Supreme Court before Judge Steven Barrett. The jury, which had already been seated before trial operations ceased in mid-March due to the pandemic, returned, albeit with the courtroom looking very different.

Courtroom with people in  it

Twelve jurors and three alternates, all socially distanced two seats apart in three rows, resumed listening to testimony.

 


 

July 24, 2020 - Memo
Revised Procedure for Addressing Residential & Commercial Foreclosure Proceedings

July 23, 2020 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named in Suffolk County

July 23, 2020
Bronx Supreme Court

As New York City courthouses continue to gradually increase in-person operations, the Bronx Hall of Justice implemented safety enhancements including plexiglas and markings on court benches and elevators.

Photo of elevator floor with sticker marking social distancing

Photo of Justice Robert Neary presiding over cases in the SCA Part under the watchful eye of court officers

Justice Robert Neary presides over cases in the SCA Part under the watchful eye of court officers.

Photo of Bronx Hall of Justice courtroom benches marked to ensure social distancing

Bronx Hall of Justice courtroom benches marked to ensure social distancing.

 


 

July 23, 2020
Court Officers Graduate

Having to reinvent the way the New York State Court System conducts business due to the pandemic has been paramount over the past few months.

Photo of graduating Court Officers

In mid-March the current class of 211 Court Officer recruits was suspended and their graduation in April postponed.

Photo of graduating Court Officers

Over the past few weeks, smaller groups of recruits returned to the Academy to complete their basic training. This is the first of 6 squads to return to and complete their basic training. A total of 36 trainees, 32 for courts outside New York City and four for 4 New York City courts graduated this week and will deployed starting Monday.

The remainder of the class, five more squads, are all destined for New York City courts.

 

 

July 28, 2020
Murder Trial Resumes in Bronx Supreme Court

Judge at Bench in front of In God We Trust

Tuesday, July 28th, marked the resumption of an Intentional Murder jury trial in Bronx Supreme Court before Judge Steven Barrett. The jury, which had already been seated before trial operations ceased in mid-March due to the pandemic, returned, albeit with the courtroom looking very different.

Courtroom with people in  it

Twelve jurors and three alternates, all socially distanced two seats apart in three rows, resumed listening to testimony.

 


 

July 24, 2020 - Memo
Revised Procedure for Addressing Residential & Commercial Foreclosure Proceedings

July 23, 2020 - Press Release
New Administrative Judge Named in Suffolk County

July 23, 2020
Bronx Supreme Court

As New York City courthouses continue to gradually increase in-person operations, the Bronx Hall of Justice implemented safety enhancements including plexiglas and markings on court benches and elevators.

Photo of elevator floor with sticker marking social distancing

Photo of Justice Robert Neary presiding over cases in the SCA Part under the watchful eye of court officers

Justice Robert Neary presides over cases in the SCA Part under the watchful eye of court officers.

Photo of Bronx Hall of Justice courtroom benches marked to ensure social distancing

Bronx Hall of Justice courtroom benches marked to ensure social distancing.

 


 

July 23, 2020
Court Officers Graduate

Having to reinvent the way the New York State Court System conducts business due to the pandemic has been paramount over the past few months.

Photo of graduating Court Officers

In mid-March the current class of 211 Court Officer recruits was suspended and their graduation in April postponed.

Photo of graduating Court Officers

Over the past few weeks, smaller groups of recruits returned to the Academy to complete their basic training. This is the first of 6 squads to return to and complete their basic training. A total of 36 trainees, 32 for courts outside New York City and four for 4 New York City courts graduated this week and will deployed starting Monday.

The remainder of the class, five more squads, are all destined for New York City courts.

 

July 17, 2020
Photo of Judge Mark Dwyer, State Supreme Court, New York County Criminal Term

Judge Mark Dwyer, State Supreme Court, New York County Criminal Term, sentences a defendant on a felony conviction, during an in person appearance at 100 Centre Street.

Photo of New York County Criminal Term court room

All health and safety protocols were in place, including Plexiglas barriers, sanitizer, masks and gloves for all involved.

Photo of New York County Criminal Term court room

 


 

July 16, 2020

Bar Exam/Temporary Practice Order Update

On July 16, 2020, the Board of Law Examiners made the difficult decision to cancel the September 9-10 administration of the bar examination in New York. The Board arrived at this decision after careful consideration of current conditions and with a singular focus on the health and safety of all participants. Unfortunately, the global pandemic presents a persisting threat in a growing number of states and therefore, at this juncture, an in-person exam is not yet a safe or practical option in New York.

The Court of Appeals commends the members of Board of Law Examiners, ably lead by Diane Bosse, for their tireless efforts to administer the bar exam under these difficult circumstances and for their considered decision to suspend the September exam. The Court is also appreciative of the input and cooperation of the Deans of New York’s fifteen law schools, who generously offered their facilities in order to make possible the Board’s redesigned exam administration.

Because suspension of the September exam has always been a real possibility, the Court has proceeded on dual tracks: working towards a safe administration of the exam while simultaneously developing contingencies to ameliorate the effects of further postponement. As previously announced, the Chief Judge has approved a program designed to provide temporary authorization for qualified law graduates to engage in the supervised practice of law. To formally implement the program, the Court has amended its rules, effective July 22. As provided in the Court’s amended rules, the temporary authorization program is available to all first-time takers of the bar examination employed in New York, including both J.D. and LL.M. candidates, irrespective of their graduation year. Once authorized, eligible candidates will be permitted to work under a qualified supervising attorney prior to their admission to the bar and to perform, subject to supervision, many of the functions of admitted attorneys across the State. Candidates may remain in the program through their formal admission to the bar, so long as candidates pass their first bar examination no later than 2021 and promptly seek admission to the bar following the release of exam results.

Court Order 524, July 1, 2020

A standardized and streamlined application process has been developed to enable candidates to swiftly secure temporary authorization to practice. Qualified candidates may apply for authorization through the department of the Appellate Division in which they expect to be certified for admission by the New York State Board of Law Examiners. Application forms and related information can be found on each Department’s website. The Appellate Division will begin processing applications on July 22, when the Court’s amended rules take effect.

In addition, the Chief Judge has assembled a Working Group, to be chaired by retired Court of Appeals Judge Howard A. Levine, to study the future of the bar exam in New York. The Working Group has been tasked with evaluating, in a comprehensive manner, the primary assessment tool for New York bar applicants (presently, the Uniform Bar Examination) as well as other proposed metrics for bar admission – including a fully remote bar exam and a diploma privilege, among other alternatives. Relevant considerations will include health and safety, feasibility, equality, security, and the reliability of each proposed alternative as an accurate measure of an applicant’s proficiency. As its first priority, the Working Group will evaluate the emergency remote testing option to be offered by the NCBE on October 5-6 and endeavor to reach a recommendation by early August. This important work will explore innovative methods of adapting our professional licensure process in a responsible manner as we emerge from the most acute stages of this crisis.

 

July 14, 2020
Resumption of New York City's first jury trial

Judge prepares for Jury Trial

Preparations being made for the resumption of New York City’s first jury trial since all trials were suspended in March, at 100 Centre Street. Judge Ann Scherzer along with attorneys, court staff and security readying the courtroom for both in-person and virtual appearances by witnesses. Jurors will be returning Monday July 20th.

Courtroom prepared for Jury Trial

Courtroom prepared for Jury Trial

 


 

July 14, 2020 - Nassau County
Photo of Nassau County Courtroom

Administrative Judge Norman St. George greets prospective Grand Jurors for the first time in nearly four months as Courts outside of New York City continue to gradually increase in-person operations.

Photo of Nassau County Courtroom

Nassau County Court Judge Robert Bogle takes the bench to preside on Long Island's first criminal trial since the coronavirus forced trials to be postponed in March. While Jury trials are still on hold, Bench trials are now going forward.

Photo of Nassau County Courtroom

Photo of Nassau County Courtroom

 


 

July 13, 2020 - Grand Jury

Photo of a Grand Jury proceeding practicing safe distancing

In-person Grand Jury proceedings resumed today in all Counties outside of New York City. In Monroe County, potential jurors are sworn in at the Hall of Justice in Rochester.

Photo of a Grand Jury proceeding practicing safe distancing

Photo of a Grand Jury proceeding practicing safe distancing

 


 

July 10, 2010
Covid-19 Screening Protocols for UCS Judges and Nonjudicial Employees

July 9, 2020
Updated Guidance on Eviction and Foreclosure Proceedings

July 8, 2020 - Press Release
Courts in 3rd, 9th and 10th Judicial Districts Begin Phase 4 of Return to In-Person Operations

July 7, 2020 - Press Release
Grand Juries to Resume in NYC; NYC Courts Expand In-Person Proceedings


July 6, 2020 - TEMPERATURE CHECKS

Court Officer uses thermometer to check person's temperature
Effective today, all visitors, attorneys, witnesses, spectators, law enforcement officers, prisoners, vendors, and all other non-court personnel, to any Unified Court System facility will be required to submit to temperature screening and questioning upon entry into the facility by New York State Court Officers and prior to magnetometer security screening.

Court Officer uses thermometer to check person's temperature

If the visitor's registered temperature is less than 100.0" F., and the visitor answers "no" to the questions, the visitor shall be permitted to proceed to security screening.

Court Officer uses thermometer to check person's temperature

If the visitor's registered temperature is equal to or greater than 100.0. F., or the visitor answers "yes" to any of the questions, the visitor will be questioned about their court business, given a recommended course of action and not permitted entrance to the building.

Court Officer uses thermometer to check person's temperature

 

 


June 30, 2020
Upstate Courts to Begin Phase 4 of Return to In-Person Operations

June 30, 2020
Covid-19 Screening of Courthouse Visitors - Memo
Screening Questions Poster: English | Español

June 26, 2020

Photo of workers testing a plexiglass screen in Queens courtroom
As we continue to slowly increase in-person operations in New York City Courthouses, various safety enhancements are being implemented. Facilities personnel from the Office of Court Administration along with New York City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services are in the process of fabricating and installing Plexiglas dividers in Courtrooms throughout the City.

Photo of workers testing a plexiglass screen in Queens courtroom

Workers here are measuring a template in Queens Supreme Court in Jamaica.

Photo of workers testing a plexiglass screen in Queens courtroom


June 25, 2020 - Press Release
Courts in 3rd, 9th and 10th Judicial Districts Enter Phase 3 of Return to In-Person Operations 

June 23, 2020
Procedure for Addressing Residential and Commercial Foreclosure Proceedings

June 23, 2020 - Press Release
New Queens County Administrative Judge Named

June 23, 2020 - Press Release
NYC Courts Begin Phase 2 of Return to In-Person Operations

June 23, 2020
New York City Housing Court continued its incremental expansion to full operations. Continuing with virtual proceedings with represented parties, today, new matters may be filed either by mail or NYSCEF electronic filing system only. 

Photo of waiting area in courthouse

Judges, chambers staff, Court Officers and support personnel returned to the courthouses, where here, at 141 Livingston Street in downtown Brooklyn, the foot traffic was minimal. 

Second Photo of waiting area in courthouse

Third Photo of waiting area in courthouse

 


 

June 18, 2020
Updated guidance regarding commercial and residential eviction proceedings effective June 20

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. 

 

Photo of Judge Tameko Amaker

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.

 

Photo of Chief Clerk Justin Barry

New York City Criminal Court Chief Clerk Justin Barry in the arraignment part clerk’s office as cases are being docketed.

 

Photo of Information Booth

Information booth at 100 Centre Street with the newly installed plexiglass barrier.

 

Photo of Court Officers in the lobby of Supreme Court

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 of the Administrative Board Meeting

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
Chief Judge Announces Independent Review of Court System Policies, Practices in Ongoing Efforts to Advance Equal Justice

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. 

Photo of Darrell Cross

Photo of Darrell Cross

Sgt. Cross getting  hug from his wife, Renee. 

 

Photo of staff from the Kessler Rehabilitative Institute give Mister Cross a sendoff

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.

Photo of Court of Appeals

Attorneys argued two of the three cases virtually with appearances on the third.

Photo of Court of Appeals

 

Photo of Court of Appeals

Photo of Court of Appeals

Photo of Court of Appeals

 


 

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. 

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 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

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. 

 

Photo of Court Officer

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. 

 

Photo of Court Officer

 

Photo of Court Officer

 


 

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. 

photo of court staff

photo of court staff

Judges, chambers staff, other support personnel and Court Officers returned to their posts, albeit with masks, gloves, sanitizer and Plexiglas as the new normal.

photo of court staff

photo of court staff

Left to take the first step in normalizing operations is the Hudson Valley and Long Island next week and finally New York City.

photo of cleaning products

The photos show the first day back for courts from Monroe, to Madison, and from Onondaga, to Oneida to Ontario. 

photo of court staff 

photo of court staff

photo of court staff

photo of court staff

 


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 20, 2020
Courts in Downstate Counties to Accept New Case Filings

May 19, 2020 - Press Release
NYC Housing Judges to Conduct Virtual Conferences in Pending Eviction Cases

May 19, 2020
In-Person Court Operations Commence

Photo of Court Staff wearing a mask

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.

Photo of Court Staff wearing a mask

Enhanced cleaning, social distancing, masks and gloves were the order of the day, as virtual hearings and conferences continued. 

Photo of Court Staff cleaning door handle

Photo of Court Staff wearing a mask

 


May 15, 2020
NY County Surrogate’s Court Action for COVID-Related Cases

May 15, 2020
NY City Family Court, Additional Guidelines for Practitioners in Virtual Courtrooms

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.

May 1, 2020 - "VIRTUAL" LAW DAY
Law Day 2020 Video. Your vote, your voice, our democracy. The 19th amendment at one hundred


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

 



Photo of Court Officer recruits in classroom

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] [2] and 520.17 [c] [3]) 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] [2] [ii] and 520.9 [a] [3] [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

 


 

April 13, 2020 - NYSBA
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Announces State Court System and New York State Bar Association Will Assist Unemployed New Yorkers

 


 

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

Photo of 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.

Photo of Family Court Virtual Courtrooms

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

 


 

April 2, 2020 - Press Releases
Virtual Court Operations to Commence in:
Fourth Judicial District | Eighth Judicial District | Ninth Judicial District

 


 

April 1, 2020
New York sets up pro bono network to help people with legal matters during pandemic

 


 

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
Virtual Court Operations to Commence in the Sixth Judicial District Courts Remain Open for Essential Proceedings

 


 

March 31, 2020 - Media Release
Virtual Court Operations to Commence in Nassau County

Administrative Order - Tenth Judicial District, 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
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

 

Poster of New York City Family Court with Virtual Operations Message
Poster: All Family Court Buildings are directing visitors to the neighboring Criminal Court building for assistance.

 

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.

 


 

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Virtual Arraignments Start in New York City Criminal Court New York County Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street, NY City

Watch Video on Virtual Arraignmentsicon for video player

Chief Judge DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Marks observe one of the first virtual arraignments
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.

 

Photo of a computer Monitor showing participants in a virtual court trial

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.

 

Observering a Virtual Court appearance

 

Judge Frances Wang, Bronx Criminal Court, conducting a night court arraignment.
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

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore participates in the Rapid Response Team Webinar
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
Administrative Order:
Non-essential filings will no longer be accepted

 


 

March 22, 2020
Press Release:
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

Image of State of New York Executive Chamber Seal

Executive Order No. 202.8

 



Friday, March 20th, 2020

Essential Operations inside Nassau Cournty Courthouse


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.

 


 

Officer at a security checkpoint
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.

Part Sergeant handling an arraignment.
Photo: Part Sergeant handling an arraignment.

 


 

Defendant being produced in court
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.

Westchester County Assistant District Attorney in court in White Plains
Photo: A Westchester County Assistant District Attorney in court in White Plains.

 


 

Photo of Court Room
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 of Special Response Team
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 of Mental Hygiene Law Hearings
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 of Court of Appeals Hall
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.


 

Judge  Kevin McGrath arraigning a defendant
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.

An arraignment in progress
Photo: An arraignment in progress

 

Overview:

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/

Health Info:
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 17th, 2020

A message from Chief Judge DiFiore: Video | Transcript

March 15th, 2020

Updated Protocols for all Judicial & Non-Judicial Personnel of the Unified Court System from Judge Marks

March 13th, 2020

Memo: Procedures to Reduce Courthouse Traffic from Judge Marks

March 11th, 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)