Coronavirus and Civil Court Deadlines and Operations
Last updated May 19, 2020
Two months since the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, judges, attorneys and litigants have settled into a “new normal” with respect to virtual litigation, and courts have begun to ease some of the restrictions put in place at the outset of the outbreak. The below contains the most recent updates for courts in New Jersey and New York. Courts are continually updating their policies, and if you have a specific question as to how your case, or potential case, may be impacted, please contact your CSG attorney.
New Jersey State Court
New Jersey courts are moving towards normalizing court proceedings amid the pandemic, albeit virtually, and most court events and proceedings are being conducted virtually, either through telephonic or video-conference proceedings. New Jersey courts are also using live-streaming technology for certain criminal matters.
Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s April 24, 2020 Second Omnibus Order, most extensions of discovery deadlines and tolling of time periods have ended as of May 10, 2020. In recognition of the continuing health crisis, however, deadlines for discovery involving physical or mental examinations, depositions or appearances of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, as well as affidavits of merit in medical and professional malpractice cases are extended through May 31, 2020. The Supreme Court has further directed that depositions should continue to be conducted remotely through at least May 31, 2020. Additionally, administrative dismissals for lack of prosecution shall continue to be tolled through May 31, 2020, and in-person jury trials and grand jury proceedings also remain suspended through May 31, 2020. Bergen and Mercer Counties, however, will begin a pilot program for virtual grand jury proceedings, using Zoom technology, by the end of the month, with the defendant’s consent.
District of New Jersey
On April 17, 2020, the District of New Jersey entered Standing Order 2020-09, continuing all jury trials scheduled to begin before May 31, 2020. Similarly, no new grand juries will be empaneled through May 31, 2020. The District Court further ordered that all filing and discovery deadlines which were to fall between May 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 shall be extended for 30 days. This extension, however, does not alter deadlines previously extended by the Court’s Standing Order 2020-04 (which extended filing and discovery deadlines between March 25, 2020 and April 30, 2020 by 45 days). The District Court’s Standing Orders make clear that the extensions do not toll or extend the applicable statute of limitations, which must be considered by litigants contemplating filing an action.
New York State Court
On March 22, 2020, the New York court system entered an administrative order limiting all paper and electronic filings to essential matters. Effective May 4, 2020, New York courts have eased the prohibition regarding new filings. While the New York court system is not accepting new non-emergent matters, litigants may now electronically file new motions as well as responsive papers to previously filed motions and applications. Virtual proceedings are also expanding to non-essential matters in New York City courts, and in update New York certain counties have reopened to the public effective May 18, 2020. New York City court remain closed to the public. No new jury trials will commence until further notice of the Court.
Southern District of New York
In the Southern District of New York, all jury trials, both civil and criminal remain suspended until at least June 1, 2020. With respect to discovery and deadlines, judges have been directed to revise their individual rules with respect to orders of general applicability extending time in civil matters, and adjourning conferences and motions. Please contact your CSG attorney with any questions regarding how your case may be impacted.
Eastern District of New York
In the Eastern District of New York, all civil and criminal petit jury selections and jury trials, as well as grand jury selections are adjourned through June 15, 2020. As in the Southern District, adjournment of case specific deadlines in civil and criminal cases is at the discretion of the assigned judges.
For additional information pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak, please visit CSG’s COVID-19 Resource Center.
This publication contains general information on recent legal developments and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.