Court is now in session! Following a three-month long closure of courtrooms throughout New York City and Brooklyn, courthouses are now allowed to open their doors, Chief Judge Janet DiFIore announced this week. Almost every judge in the area will be returning to their offices on Wednesday, along with roughly 20 percent of the court’s staff, as essential and in-person emergency cases will be resuming. All other court staff will continue to work remotely as courts adjust to this new normalcy.
“We will rigorously monitor safety protocols and day-to-day operations, carefully balancing the justice needs of those served by our New York City courts with the safety of all those who work in and visit courthouses in the five boroughs,” declared Chief Judge DiFiore.
This new way of operating means all non-worker courthouse visitors must undergo COVID-19 screening prior to stepping foot in a courthouse. Any workers who interact with visitors and all visitors must wear face masks when entering the building. Courthouses must also be clearly labeled to encourage social distancing, facilities must be regularly cleaned and sanitized, with acrylic barriers throughout the establishment. Hand sanitizers and other safety procedures should be installed in the courtrooms as needed.
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