Local New York Courts On-Track for Reopening
The court systems in Nassau and Suffolk counties are beginning to reopen just three months after an unprecedented closing due to safety concerns related to COVID-19. As of June 8, nearly all New York courts will be open in some capacity.
A ‘New Normal’ for Court Appearances
After a successful (and temporary) transition to a virtual court system, New York courts have entered a new phase of limited in-person court appearances. According to New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, the first phase of the reopening of courthouses across the state proceeded smoothly.
“Over the last two weeks, we have now restored in-person courthouse operations in every region outside New York City,” New York’s Chief Judge said on June 1. “It is, clearly, a “new normal” for all of us in the courts, a new normal defined by reduced courthouse traffic, personal distancing, face coverings and a host of operational and safety measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus.”
New York Courts Enter Phase 2
As many businesses across New York open their doors, the state’s court system is on a similar path to becoming fully operational.
New York’s Phase 2 reopening allows for a limited number of essential matters to happen in courthouses. In fact, all courts in Nassau and Suffolk counties have resumed at least partial in-person operations.
Family court will see an increase in the number of in-court appearances, according to New York’s Chief Judge. Mediation/alternative dispute resolution will still be conducted virtually. Non-essential matters will also be heard virtually.
Court System Prioritizes Safety
The New York State court system plans to approach its reopening cautiously. The goal is to safely and gradually increase the number of in court appearances.
To protect everyone involved, steps will be taken to encourage social distancing and reduced the number of people in any given courtroom at one time. To achieve this goal, New York courts will stagger case types, court calendars and courtroom use.
Additionally, non-employee court visitors will be required to be screened for COVID-19 before entering a courthouse. Face masks will be required for both visitors and court personnel who interact with visitors.
- All court facilities will be regularly sanitized.
- Acrylic barriers and hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed.
- Courtrooms and other areas will be marked to encourage proper social distancing.
“And anything else that we think of that can be reasonably and responsibly implemented,” Chief Judge DiFiore said.
Contact Us to Help with Your Legal Case
As this ‘new normal’ begins in the New York courts, now is the time to proceed with that matrimonial or family law matter you postponed during quarantine. Our trusted team of attorneys can provide personalized guidance that will help you reach your legal goals.
Contact us today to arrange a consultation.