COVID-19 has impacted every area of our lives, and that includes the state and federal court systems here in New York City. For individuals who are currently dealing with court cases—whether they be jurors, defendants, or plaintiffs—the fate of your case may seem uncertain. While news is changing every day, we have put together a few facts of what you should know about how NYC courts are dealing with the coronavirus.
The majority of courthouses in the New York City area have remained open throughout this pandemic, but only with limitations. According the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, trials that were scheduled to begin prior to April 27 are continued pending until further orders are given, with the exception of grand jury trials which are to continue on as normal. Jury trials that began prior to March 16 are also to set to continue.
Should I show up to court?
While court employees and staff are required to be in court, this is not necessarily the case for defendants, lawyers, plaintiffs, and/or jurors. The CARES Act allows judges to use video conferencing or telephone to conduct court proceedings, and it is strongly encouraged that judges use these devices in order to best practice social distancing. There may be a time where you have to show up to court, and when this happens you will have to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and undergo a COVID-19 screening.
Here at Reliant Court Services, we are doing everything we can to assist our clients during these tough times. For further questions on how COVID-19 could be impacting your case, contact us today either online or by phone at 631-567-3120.