On March 16, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared a statewide judicial emergency drastically reducing the functions of Pennsylvania courts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It then issued several subsequent administrative orders outlining the impact the judicial emergency will have on court functions throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In response, most county courts of common pleas issued orders clarifying the procedures to be followed in each of those counties.

As of the date of publication of this article, the temporary, general closure of Pennsylvania courts to the public will remain in place through April 30, 2020.

Despite these general closures, courts are still permitted and required to perform essential functions. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s guidance is that essential functions include:

  • election matters
  • 孩子们的快速通道事宜,并
  • matters credibly labeled as emergency fillings

Each court within Pennsylvania has issued separate orders outlining how they are functioning during the judicial emergency and providing guidance to litigants and other court-related offices. The Supreme Court is maintaining a在COVID-19相关的订单列表that have been issued throughout the state.

So, what does this mean for litigants in Pennsylvania?

The answer, unsurprisingly, is, it depends.

一般来说

Generally, all trials and ordinary court hearings or arguments are suspended. All emergency hearings and arguments will be heard at the discretion of the court upon a determination that an emergency exists. The courts will handle emergency matters on a case-by-case basis. The courts have also expressly prohibited evictions during the judicial emergency.

If you are facing an emergency that requires court intervention, whether it be a family law emergency, contract dispute, landlord/tenant matter or something else,contact Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLPto discuss your options with one of our attorneys. Although we have closed our physical office, our1888金博宝

In addition, the courts have suspended all time calculations for purposes of time computations through April 30, 2020.

这意味着,他们已经搁置任何:

  • 期限由法律规定,(for example, the amount of time allowed to file Preliminary Objections or an Answer a Complaint) or
  • 期限由法院在特定情况下设置(例如,用于试验的预陈述或专家报告的最后期限)。

只要这些法律文件或抗辩是在2020年5月1日申请,法院会考虑他们按时提交。

Exceptions

这个一般规则的一个例外适用于接近限制期限的章程的情况。在这种情况下,当事人必须在最低限度,文件praecipe对于传票的敲响时效限制的目的令状。这意味着,虽然双方没有在法庭封闭期内提交一个完整的投诉,他们必须至少文件praecipe维护他们发起诉讼,但不运行相抵触的限制期限的法定权利。

Additional rules apply to criminal matters, and you can find them in both the Supreme Court’s and individual counties’ orders.

Although this order has closed the courts to the public and postponed non-emergency court appearances, you can still address and even resolve legal matters outside of court. Our attorneys continue to meet with clients to prepare to litigate cases once the courts reopen, deal with emergency situations, and negotiate settlements on behalf of our clients.

Laura McGarry是一名律师,在Russell, Krafft and Gruber, LLPin Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She received her law degree from Penn State Law and provides legal counsel to individuals and businesses in Lancaster and surrounding communities.