PA and NJ Court Deadlines and Proceedings
FHMS has been closely monitoring the response of our state and federal courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the quickly developing COVID-19 situation. Our guide to the most recent information on civil court proceedings and deadlines in all courts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey can be found here. For your convenience, the most recent changes are highlighted in yellow.
A chart containing the highlights from the orders governing the court of common pleas in each county in Pennsylvania can be found here.
August 7, 2020
By: Jacqueline E. Campbell, Matthew D. Vodzak and Zoe A. Otway
Courts throughout the country are currently evaluating and planning how to resume jury trials in their jurisdictions. There are primarily three ways courts are planning to safely resume jury trials: fully virtual, fully in-person, and a hybrid of virtual and in-person. Jacqueline Campbell, Matthew Vodzak and Zoe Otway gives an overview and discusses these different methods and New Jersey’s detailed plan for resuming jury trials using a hybrid approach. The full article can be accessed by the linked title above.
Philadelphia County: Protocol for Discovery Motions
Filed after May 5, 2020 and through July 6, 2020
A notice has been previously issued to establish a protocol for discovery motions filed before May 5, 2020 by the Court. For resolution and docketing of discovery disputes that are filed after May 5, 2020, the Court is ordering that all parties follow this protocol through July 6, 2020 or until further notice. Additional information can be found here.
Philadelphia County: Postponement of Civil Trials
All civil trials currently scheduled through September 8th, 2020, are postponed and will be rescheduled by the Court. The notice can be found here.
Philadelphia County: Protocol for Compulsory Arbitration Program During COVID-19 Judicial Emergency
Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, the Arbitration Center is going to rely on technology to move the docket forward. For this protocol to be successful, the arbitrators and litigants will need to have certain technological capabilities. The full notice can be found here.
Philadelphia County: Protocol for Agreed Upon Order for Extraordinary Relief During COVID-19 Judicial Emergency
Major Jury, Commerce, Non-Jury and Arbitration Appeals Programs
As a result of the ongoing impediments to discovery created by COVID-19, the Office of Judicial Records will enter appropriate relief for parties including necessary discovery extensions in cases where there is agreement among the parties consistent with this protocol. Recognizing that no party should gain an advantage as a result of the pending judicial emergency and that appropriate considerations must be applied so that matters proceed in a fair and just manner, the Court has released a protocol for extraordinary relief of a case management deadline or deadlines where all parties consent. The full protocol for the extraordinary relief during COVID-19 can be found here.
Philadelphia County: Discovery Motions
In order to facilitate the prompt resolution and docketing of discovery disputes that are either withdrawn, entered by agreement, uncontested, or contested, the Court is ordering that the parties follow this protocol until further notice. The full protocol for discovery motions during the COVID-19 judicial emergency can be found here.
Philadelphia County: Case Management Conferences
Case management conferences in Philadelphia are canceled from March 17, 2020 to June 1, 2020. Cases are being assigned to a track based on a case manager’s review. A PDF of the protocol for case management conferences postponed during the COVID-19 judicial emergency can be found here.
Philadelphia County: Settlement Conferences
Take notice that civil matters, previously listed for a settlement conference but postponed as a result of the COVID-19 judicial emergency, will be relisted for a settlement conference before a Judge Pro Tempore who has the ability and necessary technology to conduct audio and video conferences remotely. The full protocol for postponed settlement conferences can be found here.
We continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19’s impact on court operations and will periodically update this information. For specific questions, please contact FHMSlaw@fhmslaw.com.