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April 28, 2020

PA Supreme Court Extends Judicial Emergency to June 1, Sets Parameters for Reopening Beginning May 4 Unless More Restrictive Local Order Applies

In a comprehensive 12-page order, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Saylor extended the judicial emergency in Pennsylvania through June 1 and established the ground rules for courts that intend to resume some operations beginning May 4. “Beginning May 4, 2020, unless otherwise provided by a local emergency order, Pennsylvania courts generally SHALL BE OPEN to conduct all court business.” The order continued, “However, all IN-PERSON ACCESS AND PROCEEDINGS SHALL BE STRICTLY LIMITED according to the terms of this Order or a more restrictive order issued by a local court under its authorized emergency powers.”

In the Philadelphia area, all county courts have issued orders extending judicial emergencies beyond May 4. In the wake of the new Supreme Court order, additional administrative orders from local courts are anticipated. Practitioners should regularly check the administrative orders posted on county court websites and in the Association’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

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