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State, county, local courts postpone most proceedings because of COVID-19

After today, most proceedings in state, county and municipal courts will be postponed.

Only criminal or civil trials already underway will continue in those courts, under updated protocols announced Sunday by Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks.

Effective today, all eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders are suspended across the state.

Felony criminal matters in state and county courts will be administratively adjourned for all defendants who are not in custody.

If a defendant who faces a felony criminal charge is in custody, those cases will either be administratively adjourned or conducted remotely by video where the technology is available.

In regard to criminal matters in city, town and village courts, only arraignments and applications for orders of protection will be heard by the court.

In State Supreme Court, only "essential" applications will be heard: civil commitments, guardianships and mental hygiene law applications.

"Essential" applications, as the court may allow, will be heard in Family Court, Surrogate's Court and the Court of Claims.

"Judges will exercise judicial discretion in a manner designed to minimize court appearances and traffic in the courts," Marks wrote.

Court staff were told not to report to work Tuesday unless specifically directed to show up.

Starting Tuesday, "essential" appearances in state or Erie County Court cases will be conducted in the basement courtroom at 25 Delaware Ave., said Kait Munro, spokeswoman for the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

The District Attorney's Office is working on establishing remote court appearances, Munro said.

On Friday, federal courts in the Western District of New York announced their own adjustments.

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