Motion Practice to Resume in NY, Effective May 4, 2020
On April 30, 2020, J. Marks and the New York Unified Court System issued an Order which allows the filing of opposition and reply papers on pending motions, as well as new motions on pending cases, effective this coming Monday, May 4, 2020. Hopefully, this Order represents the first step in resuming some degree of normalcy in the New York Court system. The Order does not allow for filings of new civil complaints, which makes sense — to be sure, the “floodgates” need to be opened slowly. But they are opening, and this is a good sign.
It is our understanding that in the next few weeks, judges and legal secretaries will be deciding all motions that are already fully submitted, so that when all these new motions are filed, motion calendars will be cleared. Clean slates will be essential to allow courts the time and manpower to address the likely deluge of new motions in May and June.
The Order is silent on motion practice “deadlines,” including summary judgment deadlines, which is a primary concern to plaintiffs and defendants alike. But taking this Order in conjunction with Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.14 and Executive Order 202.8, any tolling of filing deadlines may be lifted as soon as May 7, 2020. So motion practice could return to “business as usual” this coming week.
But even if motion practice returns to normalcy, we’re not out of the woods just yet. A New York Law Journal article published earlier this week, Judge Marks relays that 1) virtual courts will be absolutely necessary in the coming weeks, and 2) the virtual court system, while functioning, is not yet able to handle “normal” caseloads. So it should come as no surprise that filings of new (non-essential) lawsuits are on hold for the time being.
We’re getting there, folks. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there. Any questions, please email Brian Gibbons.