Courthouses in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties will begin the process of reopening starting Monday, as judges and some court staff will be returning and new cases may be filed electronically, the New York State Unified Court System announced.
The courts being allowed to reopen are in counties within regions that have met the seven state criteria for reopening. Courts in the five counties of the state-defined Western New York region — Erie, Niagara, Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua — are not among the 30 upstate counties given the green light to open next week.
Under what the court system described as the "gradual" reopening process, areas of the courthouse that may be used in the first phase include judges' chambers, clerks' offices and back offices. Safety measures will be in place, including social distancing requirements and steps to reduce courthouse traffic.
Courts across the state shut down in mid-March except for trials already under way and what were deemed "essential" matters.