What is happening with the courts as a result of COVID-19?
April 25, 2020
Except for very limited functions, courts are generally closed. Filings can be made, but it does not appear that action is being taken on them during the closure. In all but a few of our cases, every hearing that has come up during this time has been continued. Litigation matters have been proceeding notwithstanding the limited access to courts. This activity includes discovery by written questions and document demands, subpoenas, and even depositions and mediations albeit through video telephonic conferencing. The following is some more detailed information about the scope of the court closures:
- Evictions Suspended – The entry of defaults in eviction actions is suspended, unless the court finds the action is necessary to protect public health and safety.
- Judicial Foreclosures Suspended – Judicial foreclosures are suspended unless the court finds the action is necessary to further public health and safety.
- Remote Hearings – Courts may require hearings and court operations be conducted remotely via the use of technology, with the consent of the defendant in criminal cases.
- Restraining Orders Extended – Timeframes for specified temporary restraining orders are extended.
- Civil Statute of Limitations Suspended – The statute of limitations is suspended for all civil cases.
- Civil Statute of Limitations Extended – For civil cases filed on or before April 6, 2020, six months are added to the statute of limitations.
- Electronic Depositions – Parties may use technology to appear remotely for a deposition.
- Jury Trials Suspended – All jury trials are suspended and continued for 60 days. Courts may conduct a trial at an earlier date upon finding of good cause shown or through use of remote technology when appropriate.