All of our attorneys are constantly being asked when we expect the courts in Suffolk and Nassau Counties to re-open. While no formal announcement has been made, all of the courts on Long Island will re-open with restrictions around June 1, 2020. It should be noted that the criminal courts on Long Island have been open for limited purposes since the beginning. For example, judges have been available for “in person” arraignments of prisoners and hearings related to their detention. Family Court judges have also been present in court for emergency matters, such as child support and visitation.
However, the Civil Courts in Suffolk County have only had a few of the more than 30 judges who handle personal injury accident cases present in court, and at that to preside over only emergency applications in “essential” cases. As far as personal injury cases are concerned, all conferences and other matters have been conducted by telephone conference or Skype. This is expected to continue for approximately one more week, at which time it is planned or at lease hoped, that all of the judges will return to their court rooms. It is anticipated that court appearances will be staggered throughout the day and all attorneys and court employees, including judges, will be required to wear masks and be screened at the entrances to the courthouse. While there will be no jury trials for the foreseeable future, judges will be able to preside over non-jury matters. This will enable us to advance our accident cases forward to the point where they are ready for meaningful settlement conferences. The attorneys at Glynn, Mercep & Purcell look forward to returning to Court to represents their clients in personal injury accident cases.