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COVID-19 UPDATE: Pennsylvania Court Closures (Civil Cases)

access_time Posted on: April 8th, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE: Pennsylvania Court Closures as of April 8, 2020

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has declared a statewide judicial emergency which has resulted in courts closing to the public.  Many hearings have been cancelled or transferred to remote technology although some will still occur.  Delinquency cases, dependency cases and some criminal cases are still proceeding at this time.  However, civil cases have largely been put on hold.  

This article deals primarily with civil cases and is not geared towards family law or criminal matters.  Family law, Orphans Court, and criminal matters may be proceeding as planned Unless your attorney has informed you otherwise. 

On April 1, 2020, the PA Supreme Court issued a new order regarding COVID-19 and the general, statewide judicial emergency that had been declared on March 16th.  The new Order requires all Pennsylvania courts to remain closed to the public through April 30, 2020 and authorizes each county’s President Judge to extend that time until the end of May at their discretion.  Some Pennsylvania Courts of Common Pleas have already chosen to extend this temporary closure.

COUNTYCLOSED UNTIL[1]
AdamsMay 1
AlleghenyMay 8
CentreMay 1
MifflinMay 31
PhiladelphiaMay 1
  
As of April 8th, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, and York Counties have not extended the emergency past April 30th.
[1]Closures announced as of April 8, 2020. This is not an exhaustive list of every Pennsylvania County. 

The PA Supreme Court’s Orders encourage and authorize the use of remote technology in courtrooms subject to constitutional requirements.  Certain essential matters continue to proceed as necessary.  The April 1stOrder makes it clear that courts can also proceed with non-essential matters if they can do so while acting in conformity with social distancing advice and other requirements. 

Attorneys are still able to assist clients in various capacities. Both the Governor’s Office and the Supreme Court have stated that teleworking should be used whenever possible and that social distancing must be continuously observed. Parties who are represented by an attorney in cases that are already pending before a court should contact that attorney for questions regarding the status of their case. 

Attorney Hunter Schenck is an attorney in the Litigation Department at CGA Law Firm. Please contact her at (717) 848-4900 or hschenck@cglaw.com for a consultation. 


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