By: Michael L. Moskowitz and Michele K. Jaspan

Effective March 16, 2020, the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York Unified Court System issued operational protocols for the court system during the COVID-a9 pandemic. 

In particular, the protocols include:

  1. No civil trials will be scheduled or commenced until further notice.
  2. Only essential court applications will be accepted, such as mental hygiene and guardianships, and certain family court matters.
  3. Eviction proceedings are suspended statewide, and no foreclosure actions can be commenced.

Effective March 22, 2020, no papers may be accepted for filing or court in any matter of a type not included on the list of essential filings, which can be found here. However, an order was signed on April 30, 2020, authorizing the filing of new motions, responses to previously filed motion, other applications, and notices of appeals beginning on Monday, May 4, 2020, which can be found here

New York State Governor Mario Cuomo has issued twenty-four Executive Orders.  He declared a state disaster emergency for the entire State of New York, and issued many directives, including those that pertain to court related proceedings.

As these order impact our pending cases in New York, the Executive Orders provide as follows:

E.O. 202.8  directs that there shall be no enforcement of either an eviction of a residential or commercial tenant, nor a foreclosure of any residential or commercial property for 90 days from the date of issuance on March 20, 2020.

E.O. 202.9 modifies the Banking Law to deem it unsafe and unsound business practice to refuse to grant a forbearance to any person or business who has a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and direct the Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services to ensure that consumers are provided the opportunity for forbearance of mortgage payments facing financial hardship doe to COVID-19.

E.O. 202.14 further tolls the statute of limitations for all actions commenced in New York until May 7, 2020 .


The Supreme Court of New Jersey issued a second omnibus order on April 24, 2020, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.  The order addresses numerous matters, including court proceedings, discovery deadlines and trials and can be found here.

These directives, in part, provide as follows:

  1. No new civil trials until further notice.
  2. In cases where discovery has not expired as of March 16, 2020, the deadlines are extended through May 10, 2020.
  3. The time periods for dismissal of a civil action for lack of prosecution are tolled through May 31, 2020.
  4. The Office of Foreclosure will not review motions or judgments received after March 1, 2020 pending further order of the court.
  5. To the extent practicable, court hearings, conferences and arguments will be conducted by video or telephone.

With regard to mortgage lenders, and foreclosure actions in general, the State of New Jersey secured support from many federal and state-chartered banks, credit unions and loan servicers to protect New Jersey homeowners.  This information Is on the website of the State of New Jersey Department of Banking & insurance and can be found here.

In particular, as of March 28, 2020, (i)  there is up to a  90 day period for mortgage payment forbearance, (ii) financial institutions will not make negative reports to credit reporting agencies for late payments for borrowers taking advantage of COVID-19 related relief,  and (iii) financial institutions will not initiate foreclosure sales or evictions.

About Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP, A New York and                                                                     

New Jersey Business, Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Law Firm:

Founded in 1987, Weltman & Moskowitz, LLP is a highly regarded business law firm concentrating on creditors’ rights, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and business litigation. Michael L. Moskowitz, a co-founder, focuses his practice on business and bankruptcy litigation, shareholder and partner disputes, business divorce, commercial dispute resolution, as well as a full range of creditor’s rights, foreclosure, adversary proceeding litigation, corporate counseling, M&A, and transactional matters. Michael can be reached at (212) 684-7800, (201) 794-7500 or  Michele Jaspan is a senior associate with the firm.  Michele can be reached at

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