On March 13, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks issued a memorandum about procedures necessitated by the current coronavirus pandemic. The memorandum announced changes to civil court proceedings to reduce courthouse traffic, in line with recent actions from Governor Cuomo restricting large gatherings as a way to combat the spread of coronavirus. Effective this Monday, March 16, civil jury trials in which opening statements have not yet been made will be postponed until further notice, and civil jury trials that have already commenced will continue to conclusion.
The Unified Court System is constructing policy around prioritizing the health and safety of both their employees but also the general public, with a “goal of minimizing courthouse appearances, maximizing adjournments and stipulations on consent, and directing remote appearances through Skype or telephone.”
Other important matters that are highlighted in the Memorandum state that the New York City Housing Court will decline to issue eviction warrants if the parties do not appear in court and that all non-essential UCS travel is prohibited until further notice.
On March 11, 2020, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) sent two letters to House and Senate leadership, urging them to call for unity and publicly denounce the increase in racist attacks and discrimination against the Asian American community, in the wake of rising concerns over the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
AABANY is proud to be among the signatories for these letters. While we recognize the growing public health and economic threat the virus poses, we believe our leadership needs to be grounded in truth and committed to taking on racism and xenophobia directly.