The effects of COVID-19 on NY’s court system

Updated: Apr. 6, 2020 at 10:35 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Last month, the chief administrative judge for the New York State Unified Court System, issued an order limiting the types of legal cases to “essential matters.”

Local attorney Marcy Robinson Dembs appeared on 7 News at Noon Monday with anchor Diane Rutherford to discuss the changes in the judicial system. Watch the interview above.

Dembs said essential matters are those which generally involve:

- criminal court matters

- family court matters involving orders of protection and the safety of children

- emergency guardianship matters

- mental hygiene matters in Supreme Court, such as involuntary administration of medication and patient retentions in facilities

Absent are civil lawsuits such as contract disputes, malpractice cases and divorces, and Surrogate’s Court and probate matters.

In addition, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order on March 20 suspending the time frame by when a lawsuit must be brought and discovery proceedings, and suspended evictions for 90 days.

As of March 30, all appearances in courts are virtual - over Skype - with no in-person appearances.

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