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Administrative Orders

Administrative

The COVID-19 pandemic has had and continues to have an extraordinary impact on the Eastern District of New York and the operations of this Court. The incidence of COVID-19 cases both nationally and throughout the Eastern District of New York and the surrounding metropolitan area has continued to increase. Although distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has begun, it will not be widely available for at least several weeks. After consultation with the Court’s epidemiologist and upon consideration of the foregoing circumstances, and balancing the need to assist in the preservation of public safety while effectively administering justice during a critical period in the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court finds it necessary and advisable to further extend all provisions of Administrative Order 2020-26, as amended by Administrative Order 2020-26-1. As such,

 

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all provisions of Administrative Order 2020-26, as amended by Administrative Order 2020-26-1 shall remain in effect through March 1, 2021.

Third Authorization to Continue the Use of Videoconferencing or Telephone Conferencing in Criminal Matters

In The Matter of Adoption of Schedules and Assignments at the Brooklyn Courthouse for 2021

In light of the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases both nationally and throughout the Eastern District of New York and the surrounding metropolitan area, and in order to protect public health and safety, Paragraph 5 of Administrative Order 2020-26, issued and made effective on November 24, 2020, is hereby amended as follows:

 

5. Criminal Proceedings Other Than Trials: For the period December 4, 2020

through January 19, 2021, all criminal hearings, conferences, sentencings, and

change of plea hearings shall be conducted remotely, unless the defendant

declines to waive the right to be physically present and the Court concludes that

the matter cannot be postponed in accordance with the CARES Act.

All other provisions of Administrative Order 2020-26 shall remain in effect.

For a period from November 24, 2020 to January 19, 2021: 

  1. All criminal and civil jury selections and trials, and all in-person bench trials, are hereby POSTPONED and CONTINUED pending further Order of the Court.
  2. The time period from November 24, 2020 through January 19, 2021 is excluded under the Speedy Trial Act.

  3. The selections of all new grand juries and replacement grand jurors are SUSPENDED.

  4. All civil proceedings shall be conducted remotely by telephone or video conference.

  5. All criminal hearings, conferences, sentencings, and change of plea hearings may continue to be held in-person, subject to modification should conditions change.

  6. Arraignments, detention hearings, preliminary hearings, pre-indictment proceedings, and initial appearances shall continue utilizing the remote procedures that have heretofore been implemented by the Court, or in a manner otherwise consistent with this Order. No hearing or other proceeding in any courthouse shall take place with more than 25 people present in the same courtroom, including the presiding judge, court staff, case participants, and members of the public, absent prior consultation with the Chief Judge.

  7. Any motion by a criminal defendant seeking an exception to this order so as to exercise their right to a speedy and public trial under the Sixth Amendment should be directed to the District Judge assigned to the matter; provided, however, that no such exception may be ordered without consultation with the Chief Judge.

  8. All prior Administrative Orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic shall remain in force and effect pursuant to their terms.

 

No hearing or other proceeding in any courthouse shall take place with more than 25 people present in the same courtroom, including the presiding judge, court staff, case participants, and members of the public, absent prior consultation with the Chief Judge.

 

Please see the Order for details.

THE COMMITTEE ON GRIEVANCES OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Members of the public or media using remote audio or video access shall comply with Local Civil Rule 1.8, which prohibits, inter alia, anyone other than Court officials engaged in the conduct of Court business from making an audio or video recording of any proceeding or any communication with the Court, an employee of the Court or any person acting at the direction of the Court, including a mediator; and members of the public or media using remote audio or video access to judicial proceedings are not permitted to photograph, record, copy, or rebroadcast the proceedings in whole or in part, in any manner.

Further, members of the public or media shall not disrupt the proceedings in any manner, and shall follow all instructions of the presiding judge relating to remote audio or video access. Please see the full text of the Administrative Order for more details.

Pursuant to the CARES Act and Administrative Order 2020-13-1, I have reviewed the
need to continue for a second time the authorization to conduct proceedings remotely. I find that
emergency conditions due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, and the need to protect public health
and safety, continue to materially affect the functioning of the courts within this District. While
the Court has begun to conduct in-person proceedings, judges and court staff, as well as
attorneys and staff at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York
and the Federal Defenders of New York continue to work remotely. Many attorneys,
defendants, members of the public, and others continue to limit their travel and are unable to
come to the courthouse because they are at high risk for contracting COVID-19. Mass transit
continues to operate on reduced schedules, and concerns about its safe use persist. Large
gatherings are still prohibited; occupancy of indoor spaces is limited to less than maximum
capacity; and social distancing must be employed, all impacting the number and type of inperson
proceedings that can be conducted safely within the courthouses of this District. A
limited number of defendants housed at local detention facilities can be produced to the
courthouse for in-person proceedings in any given day, due to quarantine and isolation
requirements imposed by the Bureau of Prisons, and the need for the U.S. Marshals service to
employ social distancing to safely transport to, and house defendants in, the courthouse. Inperson
attorney visits at these detention facilities are scheduled to resume soon, but with
limitations. These conditions, among others, make it necessary for the judges in this District to
continue to conduct criminal proceedings remotely, by videoconference or teleconference.
 
This authorization is effective for ninety (90) days, commencing on September 26, 2020,
unless earlier terminated. If the emergency persists longer than ninety (90) days, I will review
this authorization and determine whether to extend it pursuant to the provisions of the CARES
Act. Notwithstanding the foregoing, pursuant to the provisions of the CARES Act, this authority
shall terminate on the last day of the covered emergency period or the date on which the Judicial
Conference of the United States finds that emergency conditions due to the national emergency
declared by the President under the National Emergencies Act with respect to the COVID-19 virus
outbreak no longer materially affect the functioning of either the Federal courts generally or the
courts within this District.

It appearing that the Panel requires additional time in which to complete its recommendations to the Court, the deadline within which the Panel is to provide its recommendations is hereby extended nunc pro tunc from July 14, 2020 to August 17, 2020. Please see the Order for details.

This Court continues to monitor the need to protect public safety and health while effectively administering justice during this period of national emergency. Public health authorities have advised, and continue to advise, public agencies and private entities to continue to take necessary and appropriate precautions to help reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and the spread of the disease. The Court previously issued Administrative Order 2020-05 setting forth certain restrictions on courthouse visitors, which restrictions are hereby superseded. In response to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as from public health authorities in New York State, New York City, and the counties of Nassau and Suffolk, and in order to continue to further the health and safety of the public, court personnel, and all who have business in the courthouses of the Eastern District of New York, it is hereby ORDERED that the persons detailed in this Administrative Order shall not enter any of the courthouses in the Eastern District of New York. Anyone scheduled or required to appear at any courthouse in the Eastern District of New York who is unable to appear because of the restrictions in this Order is directed to contact the appropriate person(s) as detailed in the Order. Any person entering any of the courthouses of the Eastern District of New York, including the pubic, litigants, attorneys, court staff, court security personnel, vendors, contractors and law enforcement personnel, as well as all staff of and visitors to any tenant agency, must comply with the entry screening process detailed in the Order. While in the public areas of the courthouses, including the lobby, hallways, elevators, courtrooms, public counters, and restrooms, all persons must comply with the rules detailed in the Order. Anyone who fails or refuses to abide by any provision of this Order will be denied entry to the courthouse, and/or required to immediately leave the courthouse.

 

These restrictions will remain in place until further Order of the Court.

 

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