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New York StateUnified Court System

New York State Courts Remain Open for Essential Business


March 30th: Message from Chief Judge DiFiore

Transcript of the Chief Judge's Message


As part of our effort to provide court staff and the public with up-to-date accurate information about the impact of the coronavirus upon the courts – and especially as COVID-19 testing becomes more broadly available -- we ask the following:

If you have been tested or test positive for COVID-19 and have visited any UCS courthouse or court facility in the prior fourteen days, please fill out and submit the Covid19 Test Result Form as soon as possible. If you prefer to notify the court system by phone, call 833-503-0447.

We will then notify court personnel, attorneys and other members of the public who may have been at risk of exposure, in order that they may contact their medical professionals and take appropriate further steps for their and their families’ health and safety. Thank you for your cooperation in this important notification effort during these challenging times.

Free LEGAL ASSISTANCE by phone/web

During the current coronavirus public health emergency, the NY State Court System remains open to address all essential and critical needs of the public. Concurrently, we continue to work closely with our partners in government, including State and local health authorities, to take appropriate measures in order to prioritize the health and safety of all court visitors and staff.
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Latest News:


April 2, 2020 - Press Releases
Virtual Court Operations to Commence in:
Fourth Judicial District | Eighth Judicial District | Ninth Judicial District



April 1, 2020
New York sets up pro bono network to help people with legal matters during pandemic



Update on Rescheduling of July 2020 N.Y. State Bar Exam

On March 31, 2020, the Court of Appeals met and decided to seek to have the rescheduled July Bar Examination administered in early September, shortly before or after the September 7, 2020 Labor Day holiday. While every effort will be made to reschedule the Bar Examination in early September, the Court recognizes that logistical and other challenges may prevent administration at that time, which may in turn delay the ability of spring 2020 law graduates to engage in full legal employment. Therefore, the Chief Judge on behalf of the Court will also explore the expansion of authority for practice orders that allow law graduates who meet specified criteria to engage in certain law practice under supervision of licensed attorneys. The expansion contemplated would allow private sector attorneys and law firms, as well as government offices and legal aid organizations, to apply to the Appellate Division for practice orders, and to allow such orders to include law graduates who are awaiting the administration of the first bar examination following their graduation, as well as law graduates who are awaiting results of the Bar Examination and meet the required criteria.



March 31, 2020
Virtual Court Operations to Commence in the Sixth Judicial District Courts Remain Open for Essential Proceedings



March 31, 2020 - Media Release
Virtual Court Operations to Commence in Nassau County

Administrative Order - Tenth Judicial District, Nassau County



March 29, 2020 - Press Release
Virtual Court Operations to Commence This Week in Suffolk County, Seventh and Fifth Judicial Districts

Photo of a Virtual Courtroom
Photo of a Virtual Courtroom



March 27 - News Advisory
New York State Bar Exam Rescheduled for Fall 2020



Virtual Operations for NYC Family Court Commence Thursday, March 26th, 2020

60 Lafayette Street, New York City


Poster: All Family Court Buildings are directing visitors to the neighboring Criminal Court building for assistance.


As of Thursday, March 26, 2020, in order to mitigate and contain the ongoing spread of coronavirus while at the same time continuing to provide critical emergency relief to the children and families the court serves, the New York City Family Court started hearing by remote video appearances and/or by telephone for the following matters: Child-protective intake cases involving removal applications, Newly-filed juvenile delinquency intake cases involving remand applications, Emergency family offense petitions and Writ applications where there is a court order if custody or parenting time.

While virtual, the public can view the proceedings at the New York City Criminal Court Building at 100 Centre Street on the second floor Part N.



Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Virtual Arraignments Start in New York City Criminal Court New York County Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street, NY City

Watch Video on Virtual Arraignmentsicon for video player

Photo: Chief Judge DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Marks observe one of the first virtual arraignments.

Effective today, March 25th, 2020, New York City Criminal Court initiated its second phase of videoconferencing arraignments. Going forward, all parties will participate in court proceedings by videoconferencing using Skype for Business. All arraignments will be virtual, with the Judge, prosecution and defense attorney and defendant all from remote locations.


Non-COVID-19-involved defendants?those who have not tested positive for COVID-19 or are not in a high-risk group?will be brought to the central booking.

COVID-19-involved defendants?those who have tested positive for COVID-19or are in a high-risk group?will be detained pre-arraignment to participate in video arraignments at either Midtown Community Court or Red Hook Community Justice Center.



Photo: Judge Frances Wang, Bronx Criminal Court, conducting a night court arraignment.



Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Conference of Chief Justices Rapid Response Team Informational Webinar

Flash Studio, Beaver Street, New York City

Photo: Chief Judge Janet DiFiore participates in the Rapid Response Team Webinar

On Wednesday, March 25th, 2020, the Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators held their first coordinated national webinar to announce the names of their Rapid Response Team members.

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore was asked to present to the group about New York’s experience, strategies, decision-making processes and progress as the reshaping of the State’s court system in the wake of the pandemic continues.



Bronx Housing Court: Effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, all essential/emergency appearances for the Bronx Housing Court will be held at the Bronx County Courthouse located at 851 Grand Concourse.  For more information, please call 646-386-5409.



March 23, 2020
Administrative Order:
Non-essential filings will no longer be accepted



March 22, 2020
Press Release:
Virtual Court Operations Begin Midweek in NYC



March 22, 2020
Queens Supreme Court, Civil Term
(Revised as of 8:50 p.m., 3/22/20)



March 21, 2020

Image of State of New York Executive Chamber Seal

Executive Order No. 202.8


Friday, March 20th, 2020

Essential Operations inside Nassau Cournty Courthouse

Essential Operations in Nassau County Continue
County Courthouse, 262 Old Country Road, Mineola

Supervising Judge of the County Court, Hon. Teresa K. Corrigan presided over one of the first-ever proceedings held with multi-participant video conferencing, with a defendant seeking release from incarceration at the Nassau County Jail. 




March 20, Richmond County: Civil Court Operations for Staten Island have been relocated to the Supreme Court, Civil building at 26 Central Avenue until further notice.



Officer at a security checkpoint
Photo: Officer at a security checkpoint.

Court Officers at their Posts
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Westchester County Courthouse, White Plains, New York

Throughout New York State, essential court operations continue with New York State Court Officers continuing to provide security. New York City courthouses remain open for arraignments, Orders to Show Cause and other emergency matters. Outside New York City, court operations have been consolidated into one central location in each County. Officers at the most forward facing point of public contact, the Magnetometers, have been provided with Nitrile gloves and face masks.

Photo: Part Sergeant handling an arraignment.



Defendant being produced in court
Photo: Defendant being produced in court.

Consolidated Court Operations Continue
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Westchester County Courthouse, White Plains, New York

Courts outside New York City have consolidated essential operations to one location in each County. On Thursday, March 19th, 2020, Yonkers City Court Judge Arthur Doran, designated an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, arraigns a defendant in the County Courthouse in White Plains.

Westchester County Assistant District Attorney in court in White Plains
Photo: A Westchester County Assistant District Attorney in court in White Plains.



Photo of Court Room
Photo: Activity in Part 3

Essential Operations Continue at NY County Supreme
Thursday, March 19th, 2020
60 Centre Street, New York City

Thursday, March 19,th 2020, essential operations continue at New York County Supreme Court as Justice Joel Cohen, serving as one of the emergency ex parte judges hears oral argument on an Order to Show Cause seeking a temporary restraining order.



Photo of Special Response Team
Photo: SRT loading up for distribution

SRT Assisting in Protective Gear Distribution
Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
Office of Court Administration, Lower Manhattan

On Wednesday, March 18th, 2020, members of the Special Response Team, working with officers from the Department of Public Safety, continued to distribute protective gear to Courthouses throughout the Unified Court System. About 5,000 Nitrile gloves and 20,000 N95 masks are being distributed with 100,000 more on order.


"The New York State Court System provides essential justice services to the people of the State of New York. While we continue to remain open all nonessential functions of the courts will be postponed. All essential functions of the courts remain available to ensure that New Yorkers may access the justice system during this extremely challenging time."
- Chief Judge DiFiore

If you have specific questions about your juror service, a case already in court, or you need to start a court case, call: the Coronavirus Telephone Hotline: 833-503-0447.

Juror Service:
If you have been summoned for juror service or are serving on a jury, please see the notice from the Commissioner of Jurors regarding coronavirus and the flu.


Photo of Mental Hygiene Law Hearings
Photo: Justice Alexander Tisch presiding over a hearing.

Mental Hygiene Law Hearings Conducted Remotely
Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
Supreme Court, New York County, 60 Centre Street, NY City

On Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, four Mental Hygiene Law hearings were conducted with individuals currently receiving care at Bellevue Hospital Center and the VA Medical Center. The Judge, clerk, court reporter and interpreter, if needed, are all at 60 Centre Street. Attorneys, clients, doctors and other witnesses joined from various locations using videoconferencing technology. The Court, partnering with our Mental Hygiene working group of professionals, has been able to go forward with these critically important hearings without any delay.



Photo of Court of Appeals Hall
Photo: Court of Appeals Judges hearing arguments while practicing “social distancing.”

Court of Appeals Hearing Arguments
Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
Court of Appeals Hall, Albany, New York

On Monday, March 17th, 2020, the New York State Court of Appeals, the State’s highest Court began its March 2020 session at Court of Appeals Hall in Albany. The Court remains open to the public, subject to the precautions recommended by State and national health authorities. Counsel who are scheduled to argue but are unable to appear in person by reason of the current public health emergency may contact the Clerk’s Office and request other arrangements, including oral argument by videoconference.


Judge  Kevin McGrath arraigning a defendant
Photo: Judge Kevin McGrath arraigning a defendant

Video Arraignments Start in New York City
Tuesday, March 17th, 2020
New York City Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street

On Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, videoconference arraignments began in New York City Criminal Court. All parties but the defendant appeared in the courtroom. Healthy or non-COVID-19-involved defendants will be produced at the respective County’s central booking. There will be two video feeds – one for attorney-defendant interview and one for court appearance.

Judge Kevin B. McGrath, Supervising Judge, New York County Criminal Court, conducted one of the first arraignments.

An increasing number of Coronavirus cases has led to minimizing contact between judicial and non-judicial staff and the public.

An arraignment in progress
Photo: An arraignment in progress



New York State is experiencing an increase in cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and it is expected that the virus will continue to spread. Please be assured that the New York State Court System is monitoring developments closely and is working with our partners at all government levels to take appropriate measures as the situation progresses, and to ensure that courthouses statewide are prioritizing the health and safety of all visitors. Please continue to visit this site for updates on the latest developments concerning the New York State Courts.

Notice of Court Status:
If conditions warrant court closure or any change in operations, notice will be posted on this web site and at: 833-503-0447. Notifications also will be sent out via the New York Courts Alert Emergency Portal (to sign up  to receive alerts, visit:

Health Info:
For the latest information on coronavirus and guidance on how to protect yourself, visit: the New York State Department of Health or the Centers for Disease Control.?The State Department of Health also has a coronavirus hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Your healthcare professional always is the best person to consult for questions about your personal health and well-being.?

This page will continue to be updated as developments occur.



March 17, 2020

A message from Chief Judge DiFiore: Video | Transcript



March 15, 2020

Updated Protocols for all Judicial & Non-Judicial Personnel of the Unified Court System from Judge Marks


March 13, 2020

Memo: Procedures to Reduce Courthouse Traffic from Judge Marks



March 11, 2020


Administrative Order: Entrance to Courthouses in New Rochelle, Westchester County

Courthouse Poster (as of 3.11.20, this Poster is at the entrance to courthouses in New Rochelle)



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