Court Status During COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, State and Federal courts have taken action to limit their activities. The lists below provide a resource of the Orders issued by State and Federal courts in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey affecting the COVID-19 limitations placed on civil matters pending before these courts:

New York State Courts

Courts across New York State have begun resuming in-person operations, and practitioners are now able to commence lawsuits in every county across the State, including for those matters previously deemed “non-essential” during the initial court shut-down period (e.g., commercial and personal injury matters). New York Courts are taking a phased approach to reopening, aimed at continued safety for judges, staff, attorneys, litigants and members of the public. The phased reopening includes increasing the number of support staff reporting in-person, with non-reporting court staff continuing to work remotely. While in-person practice is still significantly curtailed, judges are holding oral arguments, deciding motions, and issuing orders on a virtual basis.

New York Federal Courts

Unlike New York State courts, the federal courts in New York State continue to function with fewer restrictions on their operations. Although each federal district has issued its own Order(s) concerning COVID-19 related protocols, each district court continues to accept filings in pending civil matters, and continues to issue decisions and orders as appropriate.

Western District of New York

Northern District of New York

Eastern District of New York

Southern District of New York

Pennsylvania State Courts

All Pennsylvania State Courts were generally closed to the public as to non-essential matters from the close of business on March 19, 2020 through at least June 1, 2020. By order of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the general judicial emergency declared and maintained in previous court orders ceased as of June 1, 2020. In Pennsylvania, each county serves a judicial district. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has authorized the president judges of each district, as well as the president judges of the Superior and Commonwealth Courts to promulgate their own rules and procedures in light of the pandemic, including but not limited to limiting in-person access and proceedings, suspending rules that restrict the use of advanced communication technologies, suspending rules that impede local provisions for court filings by means other than in-person delivery, suspending rules pertaining to the rule-based right of criminal defendants to a prompt trial; and suspending jury trials. Such administrative orders and remain in effect until they expire or are rescinded by the Courts. Certain judicial districts, including Philadelphia, have entered Orders directing that civil pre-trial practice, including depositions and other discovery, shall continue to the extent practicable in a manner consistent with government suggested and mandated social distancing guidelines and that no party shall use the current health crisis for an advantage in the discovery process or in the litigation generally.  

The most up to date information including updates regarding county by county court operations and proceedings can be found at

Pennsylvania Federal Courts

The three Federal District Courts of Pennsylvania are all open for business, but access to the courthouses are limited. The Courts are utilizing technology to conduct some hearings and other proceedings. Each District Court is requiring parties to electronically file all case-related documents that are able to be filed electronically.  

Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Western District of Pennsylvania

Middle District of Pennsylvania  

New Jersey State Courts

As the public health emergency has been continued in New Jersey at least through July 5, 2020, in-person court operations will likely not resume in full for the foreseeable future. The Courts are encouraging as many matters as possible, including case management conferences, motions, and hearings, to be handled by telephonic or video conferencing technology.  

New Jersey State courts are implementing a Post-Pandemic Plan. Phase 1 of the Plan is in effect from March 18-June 21, 2020 and provides that less than 5% of judges and staff are to remain onsite and the Court buildings are closed to attorneys and the public. Phase 2 begins on June 22, 2020 and provides for the gradual and limited return of in-person court functionality starting with 10-15% of judges and staff returning onsite, as well as authorizes all levels of the courts to begin to conduct certain limited onsite operations and in-person proceedings that cannot proceed remotely. In Phase 2, state court facilities will be only open to attorneys, litigants, and members of the public with scheduled proceedings or appointments.

All NJ state court COVID-19 updates can be found at:

New Jersey Federal Court – District Court of New Jersey

The District Court of New Jersey has continued all civil and criminal jury selections and trials through at least August 31, 2020.  All filing and discovery deadlines that fell between March 25, 2020 and April 30, 2020 were extended by forty-five (45) days, and those that fell between May 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020 were extended by thirty (30) days, remain in effect. There are no further extensions of filing and discovery deadlines. The District Court has not tolled or extended statutes of limitation. The Court is encouraging its judicial officers to conduct proceedings by telephone or video conferencing. ADR neutrals have been authorized to permit participation in any ADR proceeding by video or telephone conferencing technology. The District of New Jersey has approved and adopted COVID-19 Recovery Guidelines which are available at: