Status of the Courts: A Court-by-Court Overview

Rev. July 17, 2020

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Courts have issued various orders addressing operating procedures during this pandemic. Although a full list of the orders and related news can be found on each of the Court’s websites, below is a summary of important facts of which you should be aware in courts of particular interest to our clients and friends.

This list is updated as new information becomes available so it can be used as an ongoing resource for our clients and friends. If you have any questions, please contact Stacey Scrivani at 610.478.2086 or the Stevens & Lee attorney with whom you normally work.

Delaware

District of Delaware

District of Delaware – Bankruptcy Court

  • At the discretion of the presiding judge, on a case by case basis, court hearings on or after June 17, 2020 shall be held (i) telephonically, or (ii) by a combination of telephonically and video conference, or (iii) on-site in a courtroom.
  • The manner of submitting evidence in court hearings will be determined by the presiding judge on a case-by case basis.
  • More information can be found here.

Delaware State Courts

  • Entered Phase 2 of the Court’s reopening plan on June 15, 2020.
  • A list of permitted proceedings can be found here.
  • Non-emergency and non-essential arguments, hearings, and conferences shall proceed by phone or video at the discretion of each state court.
  • Deadlines imposed by court order continue to remain in place but may be extended for good cause, including a COVID-19 related cause.
  • Certain requirements for sworn declarations, verifications, certificates, statements, oaths, or affidavits are suspending during judicial emergency.

New Jersey

District of New Jersey

  • Civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin before August 31, 2020, are postponed.
  • The Court’s Order does not toll or extend any applicable statute of limitations.
  • More information on the Court’s recovery guidelines can be found here.

District of New Jersey – Bankruptcy Court

  • All trials scheduled to begin before July 31, 2020 are postponed.
  • All motions and contested matters will be presumed to be heard on the papers. Parties may request oral argument by emailing chambers. If permitted, oral argument will be done remotely.
  • Information on continuances of 341(a) meetings and certain deadline extensions can be found here.

New Jersey State Courts

  • To the extent practicable, depositions should be conducted remotely using necessary and available video technology.
  • To the extent practicable, all court matters will be conducted by video or phone conferencing, and in-person appearances will be permitted only in emergency situations.
  • No new civil or criminal jury trials will be conducted through July 26, 2020; however, ongoing jury trials suspended during COVID-19 may resume consistent with public health precautions and the consent of all parties.
  • More information can be found here.

New York

Eastern District of New York

  • Open but restrictions on access to courthouses.
  • Civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin before September 14, 2020 are postponed.
  • Compliance with trial deadlines in civil and criminal cases is at the discretion of the presiding judge.
  • Courts will conduct proceedings by phone or video where possible.

Eastern District of New York – Bankruptcy Court

Southern District of New York

  • Civil and criminal jury trials are suspended until further notice.
  • Courts will conduct proceedings by phone or video where possible.
  • More information on phased re-entry plan can be found here.

Southern District of New York – Bankruptcy Court

  • Open but restrictions on access to courthouses.
  • All hearings and conferences in all divisions will be conducted telephonically pending further Order of the assigned judge. A party may ask for an in-person hearing or conference by motion or request.
  • All attorneys, witnesses and parties wishing to appear at, or attend, a telephonic hearing or conference must refer to the judge’s guidelines and make arrangements with Court Solutions LLC.
  • Parties should contact chambers to inquire about whether an upcoming evidentiary hearing or trial will proceed as scheduled and to discuss procedures and technology for conducting the hearing remotely.
  • For more information regarding court operations and procedures during COVID-19 click here.

New York State Courts

  • First jury trial since all trials were suspended in March held July 20, 2020.

Pennsylvania

Eastern District of Pennsylvania

  • Civil and criminal jury trials scheduled to begin through August 31, 2020 are continued pending further Court order.
  • Registered users of the CM/ECF system are required to file Complaints, Notices of Removal, Amended Complaints, and Third Party Complaints electronically.
  • For information on emergency filings, click here.

Eastern District of Pennsylvania – Bankruptcy Court

  • Unless otherwise authorized by the presiding judge in an individual case, all court appearances at hearings shall be made telephonically.
  • Until further order, Local Rule 5005-7(b) is suspended subject to the conditions in the Court’s Order.
  • Click here for more information on court operations during COVID-19.

Middle District of Pennsylvania

  • Recovery guidelines can be found here.

Middle District of Pennsylvania – Bankruptcy Court

  • Open but restrictions on access to courthouse.
  • All court hearings will be conducted telephonically unless otherwise directed by the presiding judge.
  • More information on court operations can be found here.

Pennsylvania Courts

  • Click here for more information regarding court operations for a specific appellate or local court.

Third Circuit

  • Clerk’s Office is working remotely and will process electronic filings.
  • Oral arguments will continue as scheduled; parties may ask for audio conference.
  • Parties seeking emergency relief are directed to call 267-299-4904 and leave a detailed message regarding the nature of the emergency and requested relief.
  • The 3-day time limit for requesting a verbal extension under Local Rule 31.4 is relaxed until the Clerk’s office resumes normal operations.
  • Filing of paper copies of briefs and appendices is deferred.
  • 3-day grace period for filing deadlines.
  • The due date for a notice of appeal, petition for review or other document that confers jurisdiction on the Court is not altered.

This News Alert has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal advice on any specific matter. For more information, please see the disclaimer.

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