The evolving COVID-19 health crisis continues to be a challenge to all of us. We want existing clients to know that the legal matters we are assisting with remain very important to us. And potential clients should know we will treat them with the same compassionate and effective counsel we are known for.
Antonelli & Antonelli is Operating at Full Capacity
On March 23, 2020, our offices transitioned to remote work in order to simultaneously protect the health of our staff and operate as close to normal as possible. We are proud to say that we have had no reduction in staff nor in compensation during this difficult time. We all remain here for you.
Continual Updates on Surrogate’s Court Operations as They Evolve
We have been keeping our clients updated in real-time with respect to Surrogate’s Court operations as New York State sets up virtual courthouses statewide.
The most recent statewide change occurred on May 20, 2020 when New York State Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks announced that, starting May 25, 2020, courts will accept non-essential applications via e-filing (in those counties that had not yet been permitted to participate in the Governor's reopening plan; this included all of New York City). Previously, the Surrogate's Courts were only accepting essential (or emergency) cases.
Except for Queens County, the Surrogate's Courts of New York City were not set up for e-filing. As of June 1, 2020, it appears the Surrogate's Courts of the counties of New York, Kings, Bronx, and Richmond are still in the process of implementing the e-filing system. Training for court staff began in late May, and the system is expected to go live in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, in New York City, non-essential matters requiring a court date are not being entertained. Nevertheless, this is a very positive sign both for dealing with the current crisis as well as bringing long-awaited technology to the Surrogate's Courts.
Further, uncontested COVID-related estate matters are now deemed essential and may be filed.
The next step in the reopening of the courts is unclear. Even as courts reopen to the public, the number of people permitted in each court is expected to be limited. In turn, this will limit the number of in-person cases that may be heard on any given day. Therefore, it is likely that virtual appearance technology, such as videoconferencing, will become more broadly utilized.
We are keeping our clients updated as the courts progress. We receive updates from the local courts and from the State’s Chief Judge and Chief Administrative Judge, and we convey that information to our clients and potential clients in real-time via direct contact and through social media. You can follow us on Facebook and on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date.
Tips on Communicating with Us
- You can contact us by phone, email, fax, mail, and video conference.
- Please only communicate by mail if you are sending original documents and have previously discussed the mailing. We are checking our mail once per week.
- Our response times are nearly as prompt as we are known for. We believe that client communication is a top priority.
- While in-person appointments are suspended, we remain committed to prompt communication and have video conference capabilities.
- To set up a phone call or video conference:
- Email me directly at [email protected].
- Call our main number at 212-227-2424.
- Follow us on social media via the links above.
Contact Us to Discuss Your Estate Issue
If you would like to discuss how your estate issue may be affected by the new protocols, please contact us for a free consultation. And as always, reach out to us with any concerns you may have.
Very truly yours,
Daniel R. Antonelli