Judge Marks Issues Administrative Order 160A/20

ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER OF THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE OF THE COURTS
{corrected 8/13/20]

Pursuant to the authority vested in me, at the direction of the Chief Judge, and consistent with the Governor’s determination approving the easing of restrictions on commerce imposed due to the COVID-19 health emergency, I hereby direct that, effective August 13, 2020, notwithstanding the terms of any prior administrative order, the following procedures and protocols shall apply to the conduct of residential and commercial eviction matters before the New York State courts:

  1. Commercial Eviction Matters Commenced Prior to March 17, 2020: Commercial eviction matters commenced prior to March 17, 2020 may proceed in the normal course, subject to the following:
    a. Consistent with Executive Order 202.28, as modified by Executive Order 202.48, “[t]there shall be no initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of
    …an eviction of any…commercial tenant, for nonpayment of rent…rented by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic” for a period of sixty days beginning on June 20, 2020.
    b. Further proceedings in commercial eviction matters may be governed by the suspension of “any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as described by the procedural laws of the state,” set forth in Executive Orders 202.8, 202.14, 202.28, 202.38, 202.48, and 202.55.
  2. Residential Eviction Matters Commenced Prior to March 17, 2020: Effective August 13, 2020, residential eviction matters commenced prior to March 17, 2020 may proceed as follows:
    a. Prior to conducting any further proceedings in any pending residential eviction matter filed prior to March 17, 2020, the court must initiate a status or settlement conference. This requirement shall apply in all matters at any stage of the eviction process, including any matter where a warrant of eviction has issued and been delivered to an enforcement agent but has not been executed.
    b. At the conference, the court shall review the procedural history of the matter; confirm compliance with notice requirements; inquire into the effects, if any, that the COVID-19 pandemic has had upon the parties; review any special relief under state or federal law to which the parties may be entitled in light of the pandemic, including the New York Tenant Safe Harbor Act (L. 2020, c. 127); refer unrepresented parties to local civil legal service providers and housing counseling agencies; assess any pending and anticipated motions; approve briefing schedules proposed by stipulation of the parties; and use best efforts (including referral to alternative dispute resolution) to resolve any outstanding issues.
    c. Following the conference, the court may take such further steps as it deems appropriate, including allowing the matter to proceed. If the court directs an eviction to proceed following the conference, the eviction shall be scheduled or rescheduled to take place no sooner than October 1, 2020.
    d. Further proceedings in residential eviction matters may be governed by the suspension of “any specific time limit for the commencement, filing, or service of any legal action, notice, motion, or other process or proceeding, as described by the procedural laws of the state,” set forth in Executive Orders 202.8, 202.14, 202.28, 202.38, 202.48, and 202.55.
    e. In ordering relief in any residential eviction matter, the court should remain particularly mindful of additional prohibitions on evictions that may be commanded by executive order, state statute, or federal law.
  3. Continued Suspension of Eviction Matters Commenced After March 16, 2020: Eviction proceedings commenced after March 16, 2020 shall, upon the filing of a petition (if no answer is filed thereafter) or the filing of an answer, be suspended until further order. Notwithstanding the foregoing, eviction matters in which all parties are represented by counsel shall be eligible for calendaring for virtual settlement conferences.
  4. Filing and Service: Filing and service of process in eviction proceedings shall continue as set forth in Administrative Order AO/121/20.
  5. Notice to Respondent Tenant: Petitions in eviction proceedings pursuant to Article 7 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law shall continue to include a Notice to Respondent Tenant in the form attached as Exh. la (if filing within the City of New York) or Exh. 1 b (if filing outside the City of New York).
  6. Remote Proceedings: Eviction proceedings should be conducted remotely whenever appropriate.
  7. Essential Matters: This order shall not affect procedures for the filing and service of essential matters.
  8. New York City: In addition to the applicable provisions of this Administrative Order, eviction matters before the New York City Housing Court shall also be governed by DRP 213 of.the Civil Court of the City of New York.
  9. This order supersedes Administrative Order AO/127/20, and further supersedes the provisions of any other Administrative Order inconsistent with its terms.

Hon. Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts
Dates August 13, 2020
AO/160A/20