US Bankruptcy Court WDNY Court Proceedings During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The State of New York has declared a public health emergency as a result of the introduction of the COVID-19 virus into the general population. In order to facilitate the continuance of its operations during this time of crisis, the Court will immediately implement the following procedures with regard to all matters assigned for consideration by Chief Bankruptcy Judge Carl L. Bucki, Bankruptcy Judge Paul R. Warren or Bankruptcy Judge Michael J. Kaplan:

Unless the presiding judge directs otherwise in a particular case, the Court will allow only telephonic appearances for the duration of this order. To appear telephonically, parties should call the telephone conference system sufficiently in advance of the assigned time by (1) dialing (703)724-3100; (2) when prompted for the “number you wish to dial” dial 4100033# for Judge Bucki, 4100023# for Judge Warren and 4100034# for Judge Kaplan; and (3) when prompted for the security pin enter 9999#. Parties are encouraged to advise chambers of their intent to participate, in order to allow the Court to anticipate their presence.

Telephonic appearances will connect directly to the Court’s audio and electronic recording equipment to create an official record. To facilitate the creation of that record, it is necessary to avoid background noise. For this reason, the Court discourages the use of speaker phones, public telephones, and phones while driving or in a public place.

Telephonic attendance at any proceeding will continue to be subject to the Local Bankruptcy Rules for the Western District of New York. In particular, parties are reminded of the applicability of Local Rule 5073-1, which prohibits the making of oral or video tape recordings or radio or television broadcasting of courtroom proceedings.

The Court hereby suspends all requirements for submission of paper copies of documents that have been duly filed with the Clerk of Court. Parties are encouraged to submit proposed orders electronically. Arrangements for such submissions should be made with the chamber staff of the presiding judge.

Any party required to appear at a scheduled hearing or conference may request a continuance by submitting an adjournment request setting forth the basis for the continuance and indicating whether the consent of all other interested parties has been obtained. After taking into account all relevant health concerns, the court will give appropriate consideration to the requests for adjournment.

Matters scheduled for consideration in Batavia, Mayville, Niagara Falls or Olean will be the subject of separate direction from the Court.

This order shall remain in effect until April 30, 2020, but may be extended to the extent that circumstances compel.

During these times of health emergency, the Court may find it necessary to change its practices on short notice. For updated information, please access the court’s website at www.nywb.uscourts.gov. This website will also contain links to notices regarding policies adopted by the Office of the United States Trustee and the Office of the Chapter 13 Trustee.

HONORABLE CARL L. BUCKI
Chief Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court