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New York State Courts to Begin Accepting Certain Filings in Pending, Non-Essential Cases Print PDF


On April 30, 2020, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks issued a Memorandum to all New York trial court justices and judges, announcing that the courts would begin accepting motions, responsive papers, and other applications in pending, non-essential cases.

Pursuant to AO/78/20, New York state courts have been closed to filings in non-essential matters since March 22, 2020.  As Judge Marks noted, however, over the past several weeks, the Unified Court System of New York has been “increasingly active and productive” since transitioning to virtual court appearances.  Indeed, once courts began conferencing non-essential matters on April 13, 2020, trial judges have conducted conference or court proceedings for more than 25,000 cases – with one-third settling or otherwise being disposed.

As part of the continuing “successful transition to virtual court proceedings,” Judge Marks announced the next phase of operations that will be effective as of May 4, 2020:

  • Expanded Motion Practice:  New motions, responsive papers to previously filed motions, and other applications may be filed electronically.  Further, the court has developed an electronic document delivery system for those matters that are not e-filed through NYSCEF.  The new document delivery system requires that service be via electronic means.
  • Appeals:  Notices of appeal may be filed through NYSCEF or the new documentary delivery system.
  • Problem-solving courts:  These specialized courts may conduct virtual court conferences via Skype for Business.
  • ADR:  Judges may resume referrals for alternative dispute resolution.

While lifting restrictions on pending cases, the Memorandum reiterated that the preclusion on filing new, non-essential cases remains intact.  Also remaining intact are the March 17, 2020 Emergency Orders from the First, Second, and Third Departments suspending indefinitely perfection, filing, and other deadlines.  It is possible, however, that those courts will soon modify these directives, in light of Judge Marks’ lifting of the restriction on filing notices of appeal.

The April 30 Memorandum from Judge Marks may be found at:

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