On Sunday, March 22, New York state courts issued Administrative Order 78. The Order was issued as part of the courts’ ongoing efforts to help curtail the spread of COVID-19, and restricts the acceptance of both paper and electronic filings in all cases to only certain “essential matters.”
The Order provides, in relevant part, that “no papers shall be accepted for filing by a county clerk or a court in any matter of a type not included on the list of essential matters” included as Exhibit A to the Order.
While the Exhibit clearly identifies what is deemed “essential” under the various types of claims, it is notable that the Order restricts filings in civil cases to:
- Matters involving the Mental Hygiene Law
- Guardianship matters
- Applications for orders of protection, including but not limited to those applications emanating from domestic violence matters
- Election Law matters
- Matters related to the coronavirus
Additionally, the following types of applications may be filed in housing matters:
- Applications addressing landlord lockouts (including reductions in essential services)
- Applications addressing serious code violations
- Applications addressing serious repair orders
- Applications for post-eviction relief
Finally, the Order includes a catch-all that allows for filings in:
- Any other matter that the court deems essential
While no guidance is given in the Order as to how the courts will determine whether a non-listed matter is “Essential,” the Exhibit to the Order indicates that this list will evolve and update over time.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to Connell Foley if you have any questions or concerns about how this Order may affect you or your business, or if you have an emergent matter that you believe requires immediate court intervention.