Judges and staff to return to courthouses in some New York counties

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Posted at 6:07 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 18:07:18-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State court system announced the gradual return of judges and staff to courthouses in New York counties that have met the state benchmarks for reopening.

Beginning May 18 judges, chambers staff, designated clerks and support staff will return to courthouses in the following counties: Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates, Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie.

Beginning May 20 the return will take place in the following counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence

The court system has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic with limited operations, consolidated court facilities, and virtual court operations.

The court system says new cases in these counties may be filed electronically.

In the first phase of the return to courthouses the judges’ chambers, clerks’ offices and back offices will be used with social distancing and other restrictions put in place.

The court system says the following measures will also be put into place:

  • Non-employee court visitors will be required to undergo COVID-19 screening before entering the courthouse.
  • All staff who interact with court visitors must wear a mask.
  • Anyone entering the courthouse will be required to wear a mask, with masks available for those who need one.
  • Courtroom and other areas will be carefully marked to ensure proper physical distancing.
  • Court facilities will be regularly sanitized.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available throughout the courthouse.
  • Acrylic barriers and other safety features will be installed in courthouse areas as needed.

“As we enter this first phase of our return to our courthouses, we will move carefully and steadily," said Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks. "We will regularly review our safety and other practices, adapting our protocols and facilities as needed, as we strive to serve the justice needs of New Yorkers while balancing the safety of all those who work in and visit our courthouses.”