The New York State Court of Appeals has announced that during its June 2020 session, the court will be available to hear in-person oral arguments from counsel, following appropriate safety protocols.
The courtroom will be closed to the general public and the oral arguments will be webcast live.
By Thursday, May 28 the Albany-based staff will return to Court of Appeals Hall, though it will not be open to public visitors until further notice. Also, filings, including applications for stays, will not be accepted in person at the clerk's office until further notice.
Persons who wish to file papers in person should call the clerk's office at 518-455-7700 for instructions on alternative ways to file. The court will continue to accept submissions by mail and electronically, as permitted by its rules.
Chief Judge Provides Update
In her latest weekly address, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said 48 of the state's 62 counties so far have begun the first phase of a gradual return to in-person courthouse operations. Also, as of today, new lawsuits may be filed in all the state's 62 counties.
In regions that have reopened, new matters must be filed electronically in those courts that use the New York State Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF), and by mail in those courts where NYSCEF is unavailable.
"So, while judges and their personal staffs, and certain essential court personnel, are back and physically working in our courthouses, we are limiting public density in our buildings by relying on virtual technology to conduct as much court business as possible," said DiFiore. "Many safety measures have been put in place, including: COVID-19 screening; the wearing of masks by all who enter our courthouses; social distancing protocols; availability of PPE; strict cleaning and sanitizing standards; and the installation of plexiglass partitions in strategic courthouse locations."
DiFiore also noted that the court system's backlog of undecided motions has been cleared out in the courts outside of New York City and reduced by more than half in New York City.
Mid-Hudson, Long Island Regions to Reopen
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the Mid-Hudson Region has met all seven metrics to begin phase one of reopening, joining the Capital Region, Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions. He also said Long Island is on track to reopen tomorrow, May 27, when their contact tracing operation comes online and if deaths continue to decline.
In light of the news, the state court system announced that courts will gradually resume in-person operations tomorrow in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties, followed by Ulster and Sullivan counties on Thursday, May 28 and Nassau and Suffolk counties on Friday, May 29.
NYSBA is inviting you to join us in a special tribute to the spirit of our colleagues who lost their lives to COVID-19.
A COVID-19 memorial video will be played during the virtual meeting of the NYSBA House of Delegates on Saturday, June 13, and will also be shared on the NYSBA website and social media.
If you would like to honor an attorney, judge or legal professional who passed away as a result of the pandemic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 5, with the name and city of the colleague to be memorialized.