Earlier today, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks announced that the New York State Courts will begin accepting new cases for filing in all trial courts throughout the state starting May 25, 2020 (yes, on Memorial Day).  This announcement marks the courts' latest, and arguably most significant, move in an effort to resume full operations throughout the state and will likely lead to the filing of thousands of new cases within the first few days.  We covered the courts' earlier administrative orders regarding its limited operations here and here.

The announcement states:

Consistent with the goal of expanding court activity while maintaining appropriate standards of public health and safety, we will be taking another important operational step commencing Monday, May 25. Beginning that day, e-filing through the NYSCEF system - including the filing of new non-essential matters - will be restored in those counties of the state that have not yet met the benchmarks required to participate in the Govenor's regional reopening plan. Those counties include the five New York City counties, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, UIster, and Westchester counties.

Last week, Chief Judge DiFiore announced that certain upstate counties could resume in-person operations, including accepting new cases for filing.  Today's announcement makes clear that with the exception of these up-state counties, in-person operations will remain suspended, but lawyers will be permitted to file papers electronically in both new and ongoing actions.

The announcement also states that the resumption of e-filing will only apply to cases where represented parties file and serve papers electronically and that unrepresented litigants may continue to file and serve papers through other means.

For more information, please visit our COVID-19 resource page for New York lawyers.