PROVIDER ALERT: New York and New Jersey Courts Limit Filings and Extend Deadlines In Response to COVID-19

As the battle against COVID-19 continues, the ability for litigants to pursue relief in New York and New Jersey courts is also being impacted. On March 22, 2020, the New York Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts entered an Administrative Order mandating that no new court papers may be accepted for filing in any matter, with limited exceptions as set forth in the Administrative Order until further notice.  The Administrative Order only permits judicial relief for what the Court has deemed essential proceedings while New York State, which declared a state of emergency on March 7th, focuses its resources to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to its residents. The list of essential proceedings permissible under the Administrative Order is subject to ongoing review but, generally, a court may allow filings for “any other matter that the court deems essential” in addition to those specifically delineated by the order. Virtual court operations, in which these matters will be heard by video conferencing, is beginning this week in Suffolk County District Court and County Court, as well as the Seventh and Fifth Judicial Districts. In the meantime, the procedural requirements underlying new legal actions, notices or motions are being put on hold pursuant to Executive Order No. 202.8, in which Governor Cuomo tolled all statutes of limitations from the date of the order through April 19, 2020. This means that, effective immediately, all New York court filings for which are not deemed essential will not be accepted during this time period.

This past Friday, the New Jersey Supreme Court entered an Order further tolling various statutes of limitations until April 26, 2020. The Order continued previous interim measures, including but not limited to mandatory phone and video conference in lieu of in-person court appearances following Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 107. The Order removes the access of a litigant to civil or criminal jury trials under further notice. In addition, all current grand jury and Civil Arbitration sessions are cancelled through April 26, 2020. While New Jersey courts are currently closed to the public except for certain emergent matters, litigants will still be able to participate in case management conferences, motions and hearings through telephone or video conference. 

How Frier Levitt Can Help

Frier Levitt is continuing to monitor this situation closely for its healthcare and pharmacy provider clients with ongoing or potential litigation. Call Frier Levitt if you have questions about how these orders affects you and/or if your practice needs emergent relief.

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