UPDATED UNIFIED COURT SYSTEM COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
The Unified Court System released a memorandum on on June 15, 2022 outlining updated protocols related to COVID-19, mask mandates and social distancing within all courts. Among other things, the memorandum includes:
Green Passes for Attorneys and Agency Staff
Attorneys or staff of public or private agencies who regularly conduct business inside a court facility may submit one of the following items and receive a green Attorney/Agency pass that will permit them to by-pass the daily health safety screening (subject to the direction below) and conduct their business in all areas of the courthouse without wearing a mask or face covering:
• proof of full vaccination (defined as two weeks after the second of two doses of Pfizer or Modema or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine) within the last year; or
• proof of booster or additional dose(s) (subsequent to the initial full vaccination) within the last year.
To obtain this pass, attorneys and agency personnel must show a valid secure pass or valid office/agency identification card, along with proof of vaccination as defined above, in the name of the person matching the identification card to a court officer at the court facility entrance. Acceptable proofs of COVID-19 vaccination include:
• COVID-19 vaccination card;
• Photograph of a COVID-19 vaccination card contained on a mobile device; or
• COVID-19 Vaccination New York State Excelsior Pass Plus
Participating attorneys and agency personnel will be issued a green Attorney/Agency pass valid for six months from the date of issuance or one year from the date of their last vaccination or booster dose, whichever is shorter. The green pass must be displayed on the outermost portion of clothing at all times when inside a court facility.
The court officer issuing the green pass will advise the holder that they must follow all UCS COVID-19 protocols; they will not be screened by court officers but they must self assess their health condition before entering a UCS facility and not enter if they would have answered "yes" to one or more of the COVID health safety screening questions listed on the courthouse entry signs; and must wear a well-fitting mask when returning from isolation or quarantine, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines outlined below.
Click here to read the complete MEMORANDUM.
SUPREME COURT, CIVIL TERM UPDATE
For the Supreme Court, Civil Term: commencing on April 25, 2022, there will be in person motion calendars resuming for all non e -filed motions only. Parties should check E Courts for the date and times of their motions. E-filed motions will remain in their current status with no in person appearances required. Please be guided accordingly. We will update everyone with additional developments when they occur.
ONLINE FORM FOR REQUESTING DISABILITY ACCOMODATIONS PILOT PROGRAM EXPANDS TO ALL NEW YORK CITY TRIAL COURTS
The Office of Court Administration’s new online form for requesting disability accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is now available for use in all New York City trial courts. In this second stage of the online form’s pilot program, NYC trial court users now have the option of using the online form to ask for an accommodation before coming to court. The online form is also available for use in the original pilot locations: Nassau, Suffolk, and Monroe counties.
The online form can be used by litigants, attorneys, jurors, witnesses, and spectators, or by someone submitting the request on their behalf.
Click HERE for local ADA information by courthouse (select the county and then the courthouse within that county).
Click HERE for additional information and instructions.
QUEENS SUPREME COURT-CIVIL TERM UPDATED FORECLOSURE AUCTION RULES
Click HERE to read the updated Foreclosure Auction Rules.
QCBA ISSUES STATEMENT ON UKRAINE CRISIS
The Queens County Bar Association strongly condemns the Russian Federation’s unlawful and barbaric invasion of Ukraine. We urge the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine, restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and international borders.
As an organization of legal professionals in the most diverse county in the country, with over 138 languages spoken by residents from more than 150 countries, the Queens County Bar Association is committed to uphold the principles of international legal order.
The war in Ukraine is responsible for the greatest European refugee crisis since World War II. To date, more than 2 million people have fled Ukraine, seeking refuge in the neighboring countries. Countless others, including innocent women and children, have fallen victim to shelling and military aggression.
The Russian Federation has glaringly violated the United Nations Charter on the principles of fundamental freedom and respect for human rights and decency. The Queens County Bar Association joins the New York State Bar Association in calling upon the U.S. government and the international community to restore the rule of law and to prosecute any and all war crimes.
Click HERE to read the full statement and for additional resources to help the victims of this war.
SECOND DEPARTMENT TO RESUME IN-PERSON ORAL ARGUMENTS
Beginning Monday, February 28, 2022, and subject to any future change in protocol the notice of which will be timely posted on our website, all oral arguments on appeal at the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department will be held in person at the courthouse located at 45 Monroe Place, Brooklyn, New York or at such alternate locations as may be announced by the Court. Therefore, all counsel and self-represented litigants who have submitted briefs on matters in which oral argument is permitted under the Second Department Rules of Practice (see 22 NYCRR 670.15[b]) and who have properly requested argument time on their brief, may present their oral argument in person. Alternatively, counsel and self-represented litigants may submit their cause without argument (see 22 NYCRR 670.15[e]) . The Court will not be entertaining requests for remote arguments on appeals calendared on or after February 28, 2022, as all such matters either shall be orally argued in person or shall be submitted without argument.
As previously advised, the Unified Court Systems’ green attorney/agency pass and visitor pass programs remain suspended at this time. Therefore, in order to ensure the health and safety of all court users, until further notice, all court users, regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear a face mask while present in the public areas of the courthouse, including during oral argument. In addition, all court users must have their temperatures taken and undergo COVID screening before entry to the courthouse and otherwise follow the instructions of our court officers to maintain appropriate social distancing in the courthouse facilities. Thank you for your cooperation.
QUEENS SUPREME COURT
Please see the OCA memo below regarding increasing Trial capacity and reducing the social distancing guideline for Criminal Term Jury trials to 3 foot distancing. This will enhance our jury trial capacity from 6 courtrooms to 10. With the 3 foot distancing, overflow courtrooms for jury panels won’t be as necessary as they were with 6 foot distancing. A revised up to date EA Part schedule will be sent out in the few days indicating the Judges’ new courtroom designations. Please pass the attached to your respective staff members.
William M. Reyes
Chief Clerk VII
Queens Supreme Court
View OCA memo by clicking HERE.
QUEENS SUPREME COURT
COMPLIANCE CONFERENCE PART
Hon. Tracy Catapano-Fox - CSCP1
Hon. Laurentina McKetney-Butler - CSCP2
Hon. Sally Under - CSCP3
Effective February 7, 2022, Compliance Conference Orders will be automatically generated by the assigned Compliance Conference Part. The So-Ordered Compliance Conference Order will be forwarded to the County Clerk. A copy of the Order can be obtained via NYSCEF (if it is an efiled case) or from the County Clerk (if it is a non-e-filed case). No appearance is required.
Where the Court directs, or if discovery is not complete or the parties require a judicial ruling on a discovery issue prior to the Certification Order date, a virtual conference with the Compliance Conference Part will be held via Microsoft Teams. The parties shall request a conference via email to the address provided in the generated Compliance Conference Order. E-mails forwarded to any email address other than the email address set forth in the Compliance Conference Order will not be processed. A So Ordered Stipulation will be generated at the conference resolving outstanding discovery and extending the Certification Order date if necessary.
Parties should refer to Justice Catapano-Fox’s, Justice McKetney-Butler’s, and Judge Unger’s Part rules for further guidance.
Click HERE for a PDF version of this notice
FEBRUARY 7, 2022 UPDATE FROM THE QCBA SUPREME COURT COMMITTEE:
1 All parties are to appear for all existing virtual teams conferences previously scheduled by the compliance conference judges. They are still going forward, even though orders are no longer being submitted as
per the court’s new compliance conference guidelines.
2 We have been advised of the e mail addresses for the new compliance conference parts are as follows:
These are the e-mail addresses to be used when corresponding with the court about compliance conference issues. One of the three judges will be assigned to your cases. E mails are to be directed to the assigned Compliance Conference judge. This would include requesting a conference to resolve discovery issues as per the new Guidelines. If you cannot find out who is assigned compliance conference judge, there is a likelihood that a compliance conference judge is not yet assigned.
We continue to monitor developments regarding the changes to the compliance conference procedures, and we will advise of additional information if and when it is available.