Allegheny County has extended the judicial emergency to August 31, 2020 – however, many of the previous provisions have been modified, so it will be important if you are involved in litigation to review the Order in its entirety.
The highlights of the Order are as follows:
Admission to Court Facilities:
All persons who enter any court facility must wear a mask. Any person who does not comply with this will be required to leave.
All persons entering any court facility shall also practice social distancing.
Do not enter a court facility if you are ill. If you are ill, the court will provide you with information so that you may participate in any essential court business remotely.
Methods for Conducting Proceedings:
Whenever appropriate and feasible, the Courts will conduct business remotely via Advanced Communication Technology (ACT). This includes civil Calendar Control Motions, Housing Court Motions, Discovery Motions, General Uncontested and Contested Motions, Oral Arguments on Preliminary Objections, Oral Arguments for Motions for Summary Judgment or Judgment on the Pleadings, and Conciliations.
When this is not appropriate or feasible, court proceedings shall be conducted utilizing protocols and policies relating to the use of masks, social distancing, etc.
Requests or Motions for Continuance shall be liberally granted.
Attorneys should encourage their clients to refrain from having non-participants accompany them to court proceedings.
When a court reporter or other approved form of recording proceedings is unavailable, alternative forms of recording shall be permitted.
Witness testimony is encouraged to be taken through ACT to reduce the number of individuals who attend each court proceeding.
Time Calculations and Deadlines:
The time calculations and deadlines which were suspended during the March 16, 2020 Order of Court have now ended.
New deadlines shall be calculated by adding the time period of the suspension (78 days) to the original deadline.
Jury trials in both Civil and Criminal Divisions remain suspended until a further Order of Court is issued.
Non-Jury trials shall commence beginning in June 2020 by ACT when appropriate and feasible.
Board of Viewers Conciliations and Hearings:
Conciliations and hearings before the Board of Viewers shall be conducted remotely where appropriate and possible using ACT.
For the full provisions above and for provisions in relation to Landlord/Tenant, Criminal, Juvenile, Family, Custody, PFAs, Orphans or Magistrate Courts, please read the full Order of Court dated 5/28/2020 which can be found at www.alleghenycourts.us.