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Courts throughout Finger Lakes, Central New York go virtual due to COVID-19

More changes are coming to local courts amid the Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic.

Judge Craig Doran, 7th Judicial District Administrative Judge, made the announcement that effective immediately virtual court operations will commence.

He says video conferencing will be utilized for all courts within Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates Counties for essential proceedings.

“Under the guidance of New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, we have implemented various temporary measures to significantly reduce courtroom traffic for the health and safety of our court employees and all who enter our courthouses,” Judge Doran said. “Providing the ability to conduct court operations virtually is one way we are helping to stem the spread of the Coronavirus.”

On March 16th Judge Doran announced that all non-essential functions of the courts were postponed until further notice and that each county’s court operations were consolidated in one building per Administrative Order. An amendment to this Order allows judges, defendants/litigants, attorneys and some court staff to appear by video conferencing capability.

A minimal core team of essential staff, which includes security, will remain at each courthouse to ensure the ability to intake papers, operate video conferencing equipment, process orders, keep court record, answer telephones and conduct other essential court functions. The Virtual Courtroom Protocols that were developed apply to all categories of essential court functions and have been distributed to stakeholders.

“As we continue to make changes in court operations to meet the continually challenging and changing operational environment, our court system remains open for business, maintaining essential and emergency operations. We will continue to proactively monitor the COVID-19 situation and make adjustments accordingly,” Doran added.

Individuals with court-related questions are encouraged to call his/her designated county courthouse. Contact information as well as information related to postponements is available online for all courthouses in the 7th Judicial District by clicking here.