On May 21, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an Order declaring that the previously established judicial emergency in Pennsylvania will cease after June 1, 2020. However, the Court also ordered that previously entered judicial orders in the intermediate appellate courts and local courts shall remain in full force and effect until they expire by their terms or are rescinded. Among other things, the local courts, through their respective president judges, may continue to place limits on in-person access to the courthouses, continue in place various advanced communication technologies, limit in-person paper filing of documents, and suspend jury trials.
Legal professionals are directed to comply with the executive branch guidance on the conduct of business. Attorneys and their staff may access their physical offices to the extent reasonably necessary to satisfy their professional obligations, provided they take appropriate measures to protect the safety of the public and their employees.
To read the text of the Court’s Order, please click here.
The Courts of Common Pleas in Northampton and Lehigh counties, part of the Lehigh Valley, a region with a significant number of COVID-19 cases, both have entered orders declaring that the judicial emergency shall continue in effect in those counties through May 31, 2020. The administrative orders entered in each county differ and should be consulted with respect to specific proceedings and deadlines. Whether those Orders will continue in effect or be modified or rescinded remains to be seen.
While the situation continues to be in flux, we are monitoring the Courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and will ensure that our clients’ interests are protected. If you have specific questions regarding a matter we are handling for you, please feel free to contact the attorney handling the case. Give us a call at 610-797-9000 or use the form below. We wish you well during these extraordinary times.