As the city and state of New York implement stringent social distancing polices due to the coronavirus, all courts have been suspended citywide.
No trials or hearings will be conducted for the next four weeks. A notice published by the Commissioner of Jurors was released on March 16.
“In light of public health concerns arising over the coronavirus, please note that if you have been summoned for jury duty, beginning on March 16 or later, please do not appear at the courthouse. Your service has been suspended,” read the memorandum.
A citywide restriction has also been implemented prohibiting anyone from entering any courthouse who has been to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran in the past three weeks.
As part of the measures adopted by the NYS Unified Court System to combat the spread of COVID-19, civil, housing, small claims, family court and surrogates court will be administratively adjourned for 45 days.
All matters scheduled to be heard from March 17 through April 10 are being adjourned. Even evictions have been postponed indefinately.
The courts will remain open with a limited staff, however, in order for attorneys to file paperwork.
The courts will only hear emergency applications and will hear trials that were started before 5 p.m. on March 16. The courts, however, are still accepting new cases which can be filed during normal business hours.
The courts urge those who are not submitting an emergency application, or appearing in an already commenced trial, to refrain from appearing at the courthouse.
To also further limit human interaction, the courts are asking for attorneys to submit fully briefed motions without oral arguments. If a motion cannot be submitted, the motion will be adjourned.
For trials that are ongoing, the courts suggest remote access, such as video testimony, for witnesses.
Criminal court is only processing new arrests and arraignments.