Justice Courts Update re: COVID-19

Effective March 17, 2020, all daytime town, village and city court arraignments will be conducted in Erie County Court, Part 27. At this time, the Assigned Counsel Program will have 1 attorney appear in this part to handle those arraignments. It is our understanding that the arraignments will be limited to in-custody arraignments only.

For pending matters in town and village courts, these cases will be adjourned up to 45 days and rescheduled to appear in Part 27. Attorney’s are asked to make sure to have current client contact information. You should also check with both the Assistant District Attorney and the court regarding future court dates. Please be aware that Criminal Procedure Law Statutes regarding speedy trial have been suspended. For our on-call attorney’s, please be advised that those night-time arraignments will be conducted in the town or village where the arrest has been made.

Finally, here at The Assigned Counsel Program, we will be operating with a skeletal staff. The best form of communication with our office is via E-mail. Please contact Rachel Valkwitch at rvalkwitch@assigned.org or Amy Brown at amy.brown@assigned.org. Until further notice, all Assigned Counsel Program in-person activities, training classes, and seminars are canceled.

All Superior Court cases have been adjourned, please check with the court Assistant District Attorney. Superior Court AOD is to report to Part 10 until further notice. The Superior Court AOD should expect longer than normal usual court proceedings.

Family Court will be hearing only emergency Order of Protection, Juvenile Delinquency cases, Visitation, Custody, Orders to Show Cause, and Article 10 Remands. These cases also will be heard in Part 27.

Thank you very much for your cooperation during this time. Rest assured that if and when more information becomes available, we will immediately alert you through E-mail.

Daniel P. Grasso
Acting Administrator