What Happens to Your Court Date During COVID-19?
The entire New York State court system has ordered that only “essential” courts and court services will remain available during the coronavirus crisis.
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore posted a notice on the state court’s website stating that:
- No new trials will be started until further notice, though jury trials in progress in civil and criminal cases will continue.
- Special court parts, including motion parts, preliminary conference parts and compliance parts, are suspended.
- Residential evictions, residential foreclosures and court-ordered auctions are suspended.
DiFiore said that parties will be advised of rescheduled court dates when normal court business resumes.
The New York City courts specifically are open only for criminal arraignments, requests for orders of protection, driver’s license suspension lifts and emergency matters. Check the New York City Criminal Court’s website for updates in the coming days and weeks as the justice system and all New Yorkers continue to cope with the impact of COVID-19.
All other matters in the NYC Criminal Court have been adjourned. If you have a pending court date, the court will reschedule and notify you of your new court date at some point in the future. This applies to:
- Desk appearance tickets
- Any pending matter other than arraignments or emergencies
The New York City courts have also announced that a “virtual criminal court” is being set up, effective immediately. The virtual court is a system of video conferencing in which:
- Defendants, prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges will appear on video screens to conduct proceedings.
- Spectators will be able to sit in the courtroom, though they must practice social distancing.
Courts outside New York City may impose varying closure practices based on their circumstances. The state court has posted an informative summary of procedures in place in designated locations.
If you have any questions about your court date, contact the NYC Criminal Court Call Center at 646-386-4900.
The entire team at Tacopina, Seigel & DeOreo is working to keep clients informed. If you have any questions at all regarding your court date or need to speak with a criminal defense attorney for any reason during this COVID-19 crisis, call us at 212-227-8877 or contact us online and we will reply as quickly as possible.