Daily Coronavirus Update: Court System Issues Procedures for Eviction Matters, Prior Test-Takers May Apply for Sept. 2020 Bar Exam
Good evening Members,
Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks issued a memorandum today establishing procedures for addressing residential and commercial eviction proceedings.
Marks said the measures are a result of concerns “about the adverse public health consequences that may arise from a sudden high-volume influx of eviction matters, often involving unrepresented tenants (and unrepresented landlords in some cases) and necessitating in-court appearances.”
The measures, he said, are also in light of an assortment of restrictions on filing and prosecution of eviction matters that remain in force under federal statutes, gubernatorial executive orders, and other legal authority.
So pursuant to Article 7 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law (RPAPL), effective June 20, 2020 commencement documents in eviction proceedings must be filed with the court by the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF) or mail only at this time.
Also, until further order, petitions in commercial and residential eviction proceedings (for nonpayment of rent or on other grounds) are required to include two additional documents. The first being a form petitioner’s attorney affirmation (or, for self-represented petitioners, a petitioner’s affidavit), indicating that counsel (or the self-represented petitioner) has reviewed the various state and federal restrictions and qualifications on eviction proceedings and believes in good faith that the proceeding is consistent with those restrictions and qualifications.
The other is a form notice to respondent-tenants (in English and Spanish), informing them that they may be eligible for an extension of time to respond to the petition in light of legal directives related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and directing them to a telephone number and/or website link for further information. Separate form notices are provided for proceedings inside and outside New York City.
Whether or not an answer is filed in an eviction matter, further hearing of the case shall be stayed until such time as gubernatorial executive orders suspending statutory timetables for the prosecution of legal matters expire.
The administrative order continues the suspension of eviction matters for the time being, with a singular exception: eviction matters commenced on or before March 16, 2020 in which all parties are represented by counsel shall be eligible for calendaring for virtual settlement conferences.
Marks said at or before the expiration of the governor’s executive order suspending statutory timetables, they will issue further directives on the processing of these cases.
Marks also noted that the court system is in the final stage of authorizing consensual electronic filing of New York City Housing Court matters, as part of NYSCEF.
“We anticipate that the system – a substantial enhancement of our e-filing functionality – will be operational later this summer,” said Marks. “Additional information about training and implementation will issue in the near future.”
Fourth Sept. 2020 Bar Exam Application Period
The New York State Board of Law Examiners has announced a fourth application period for the September 2020 Bar Exam for candidates who graduated in 2018, 2019, or 2020 with a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and who sat for one prior administration of the bar exam in New York.
Candidates who sat for more than one prior administration of the bar exam, in New York or in any other U.S. jurisdiction, are not eligible to register during this application period.
The application period began today and will close on Sunday, June 21 at 5 p.m.
A statement from the Board of Law Examiners, which operates under the auspices of the New York State Court of Appeals, said that that seating “will be sharply limited” and cannot be guaranteed to candidates who register during this application period. After the application period closes, the board will assess available seating in light of existing health and safety guidance, and applicants will be notified whether or not they will be seated for the exam.
The first round of applications held from May 5 to May 15 was limited to only those who graduated from one of the fifteen law schools located in New York State. The second round of applications was held from June 2 through June 12 and was limited to J.D. graduates of law schools outside New York.
A third round of applications was held from June 13 to June 16 for graduates with an LL.M. degree from an ABA-accredited law school located outside of New York, and who have not previously sat for a bar exam in any U.S. jurisdiction.
The statement also encouraged candidates to consider sitting for the UBE at a later date or in other jurisdictions that may be better positioned to accommodate test-takers. The statement also reminded applicants that public health concerns may ultimately preclude the administration of the September bar exam in New York, and for them to continue monitoring its website for updates.
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