Daily Coronavirus Update: Virtual Courts Roll Out New Program for Digital Documents

By Christian Nolan

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Good evening Members,

The New York State Unified Court System today rolled out its new program for the transfer of digital documents as part of its expansion of virtual courts due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.

The new program transmits digitized documents in pdf format to the courts, county clerks, and other court-related offices around the state.

In a memo to the public, the court system explained that the Electronic Document Delivery System (EDDS) allows users in a single transaction to enter basic information about a matter on a court system website portal page; to upload one or more pdf documents; and send those documents electronically to a court or clerk selected by the user.

Upon receipt of the document(s) by the court, the sender will receive an email notification along with a unique code that identifies the delivery. If no email or published notification is issued indicating that the document has been accepted for filing, the sender should not assume that the filing has occurred. The sender may contact the clerk’s office to inquire about the status of a proposed filing. The clerk’s office will review the document(s) for sufficiency and if the clerk determines that filing prerequisites have been met, accept them for filing purposes.

EDDS can be used to deliver documents for filing with certain courts— including some Family Courts, Criminal Courts, Supreme Court, the Court of Claims, Surrogate’s Courts, and District Courts, and City Courts. EDDS is not available in the New York City Criminal Court.

To use the system for filing, the sender must simply check a box on the sender information screen, complete the sending of the document(s) to the appropriate court through the EDDS system and pay any required filing fee by credit card.

The court system emphasized that the new system does not replace and may not substitute for filing under the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF). Therefore, it should not be used in matters where NYSCEF is available on either a mandatory or consensual basis. Counties and case types where NYSCEF is available are listed on NYSCEF’s Authorized for E-Filing page.

Lastly, unlike NYSCEF, delivery of a document through EDDS does not constitute service of the document on any other party. If service is required, the sender must serve by some other means.

Click here for the answers to frequently asked questions about the new program.

When Might Courthouses Open?

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore released her weekly video address today and acknowledged that it’s “too soon to know” when it might be safe to begin  reopening courthouses. She also said they were “not yet in a position to formulate any final or even long-term plan.”

She said any plan the courts do put in place will align with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s phased reopening plan.

“What we do know is that our services are absolutely essential, and that as the economy restarts and businesses reopen, there will be a corresponding action by the courts,” said DiFiore. “And we remain acutely aware that so much of what we do, whether it’s conducting jury trials or screening the public at magnetometers, depends on and requires face‐to‐face interaction with many different stakeholders and constituencies, which of course poses a risk of community spread.”

COVID-19 Webinars

On Tuesday, May 5, there will be the COVID-19 Insurance Primer: Business Interruption and Bodily Injury. This program is designed to give a projection of the legal challenges to come and address what role insurance will play in responding to this challenge.

Wednesday, May 6 will feature the following two coronavirus-related webinars. Click the links below for more information and to register.

I Am No Longer Covered” – Options Lawyers Need to Know When Either You or Your Client Loses Group Healthcare Coverage. Join panelists in a discussion of what to consider for your clients, yourself and/or family members if healthcare coverage is lost due to recent extensive job losses.

When Sheltering at Home Isn’t Safe: Understanding and Responding to the Impact of the Coronavirus Crisis on Victims of Intimate Partner Violence in New York. The discussion will include why the dynamics of intimate partner violence can make this crisis especially harmful or dangerous for some victims.

Latest NYSBA.ORG Coronavirus News

We are adding new content each day to our website related to the coronavirus public health emergency and its impact on the legal community.

When it comes to working remotely, today we have four tips for law firm success.

Also, Jack Newton, CEO and co-founder of Clio, the cloud-based law practice management company, is this week’s guest on the Miranda Warnings podcast. He discusses how his company is helping NYSBA undertake one of the largest legal aid initiatives in United States history – helping New Yorkers secure benefits through the unemployment appeal process. Newton also wrote about the legal world’s transition to the cloud for the May issue of the NYSBA Journal

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