March 06, 2020
Philadelphia Bar Association Coronavirus ResponseUpdated August 12, 2020
- August 12, 2020: Administrative Judge Allen and Supervising Judge Shirdan-Harris have issued a Notice to the Bar extending the Protocol for Civil Case Management Conferences During the COVID-19 Judicial Emergency.
- July 28, 2020 - All Philadelphia civil jury trials scheduled through January 4, 2021 are postponed and will be rescheduled, non-jury trials scheduled after September 6 will be heard using remote technology. See notice.
- July 21, 2020 – President Judge Fox has issued an order regarding continuation of the stay in certain mortgage foreclosure and landlord tenant matters related to dispossession of property.
- July 17, 2020 - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered that all landlords filing evictions between March 27 and August 24, 2020 must file an Affidavit of Compliance with the federal CARES Act in the form attached to the order.
- July 16, 2020 – Administrative Judge Allen and Supervising Judges New and Glazer have issued Policies and Protocols for Use of Advanced Communication Technology for Court Proceedings in Civil Matters
- July 13, 2020 – President Judges Fox and Dugan have issued an order implementing the reopening in phases of the Philadelphia Municipal Court Civil Division to in-person proceedings and providing information about appeals from Municipal Court Judgments.
- July 13, 2020 – The Criminal Justice Center has issued a main level floor plan and photo showing the social distancing plan for reopening the building.
- July 9, 2020 – Gov. Wolf issued an Executive Order extending protections from foreclosures and evictions in qualifying cases through August 31, 2020.
- July 9, 2020 – The PA Board of Law Examiners has announced that the 2020 bar exam will be administered remotely over three days, on October 5, 6 and 7. See the Board’s letter for additional details.
- July 8, 2020: Administrative Judge Allen and Supervising Judges Glazer and New have set new protocol for the handling of Discovery Motions filed after July 6 through September 7.
- July 8, 2020 – Montgomery County Courts have issued a Phase II Operations Plan for reopening, affecting cases in the Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions, as well as some operations in MDJ courts. The Plan is effective July 20, 2020.
- July 8, 2020 – The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts has issued guidance to all President Judges and Court Administrators in Pennsylvania regarding the application to courts and courthouses of the Secretary of Health’s order requiring face coverings. AOPC strongly recommends adherence to the Secretary’s order, including inside courtrooms.
- July 6, 2020: President Judge Fox has issued an order updating the protocols for pending Municipal Court and Common Pleas Court criminal cases.
- July 6, 2020 – President Judge Fox and Administrative Judge Allen have issued an order staying the requirement of deposit of rent to maintain the supersedeas in landlord tenant appeals through Sept 8 or further order of the court.
- July 2, 2020 – President Judge Fox and Administrative Judge Allen issued an order continuing Mortgage Foreclosure Conciliation Conferences and Case Management Conferences subject to Reg. No. 2008-1 and setting the procedure for pending cases.
- July 2, 2020 – President Judges Fox and Dugan have ordered that all Municipal Court Landlord/Tenant cases scheduled through September 2 are postponed. The issuance and service of writs of possession and alias writs of possession are stayed until further order of the court.
- July 2, 2020 – President Judge Fox has updated the protocol for essential juvenile delinquent proceedings.
- June 29, 2020 – The PA Workers’ Compensation Office of Adjudication has published guidelines for in-person hearings and mediations for counties that have entered the “green” phase of reopening.
- June 26, 2020 - Philadelphia Administrative Judge Allen and Supervising Judge New have issued a Notice to the Bar with an extension of protocol for civil case management conferences during COVID-19 Judicial Emergency.
- June 22, 2020: Philadelphia’s Commerce Court has started a Temporary Financial Monitor Program designed to help small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. The program assigns volunteer legal or accounting professionals as Temporary Financial Monitors who “shall be responsible for evaluating the financial information provided by the petitioning entity and, upon consultation with the entity and its creditors, shall prepare a proposed Operating Plan to enable the entity to resume and/or continue operations while paying off its accumulated debts.” See Administrative Order 42 of 2020 for details.
- June 18, 2020 – President Judge Fox has postponed the July, August and September Mortgage Foreclosure Sales and Tax Sales to dates later in fall.
- June 11, 2020: Philadelphia courts set protocol for Compulsory Arbitration Program cases during COVID-19 Judicial Emergency.
- June 11, 2020 – Philadelphia Municipal Court sets procedure for criminal court status hearings beginning June 15, 2020.
- June 10, 2020 – Philadelphia President Judges Fox and Dugan issued an order setting the guidelines for public access to preliminary arraignment hearings.
- June 4, 2020 – Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas President Judge Fox has issued an order postponing the June 23 Tax Sheriff Sale to September 22.
- June 1, 2020 – President Judge Fox has ordered that, consistent with the PA Supreme Court order of May 27, the Judicial Emergency in the First Judicial District shall continue pursuant to the terms and conditions as set forth in Administrative Orders No. 06 through 35 of 2020, as applicable.
- June 1, 2020 – President Judge Fox has issued an order setting for the Orphans’ Court citation procedure for the remainder of the local Judicial Emergency.
- May 27, 2020 – PA Supreme Court issues Order terminating statewide Judicial Emergency as of June 1. Local Administrative Orders and Judicial Emergencies remain in effect. Order also provides guidance to legal professionals on resuming operations.
- May 27, 2020 – Philadelphia Common Pleas Administrative Judge Allen and Supervising Judges New and Glazer have set new protocol for Discovery Motions filed after May 5 through July 6.
- May 21, 2020 - President Judge Fox Cancels June Criminal Trials and Hearings; Amends Reopening Protocols
- May 21, 2020 – Orphans’ Court Administrative Judge Carrafiello issued protocol for assignment of Petitions for Minor’s Compromise, Incapacitated Person’s Compromise, and Settlement and Distribution of Wrongful Death/Survival Actions.
- May 15, 2020 - President Judge Administrative Order, Docket Number 33 of 2020 - In re: Resumption of Court Proceedings - Critical Functions- Updated Protocols
- May 15, 2020 - President Judge Administrative Order, Docket Number 34 of 2020 - In re: Family Court - Resumption of Operations - Updated Protocols
- May 15, 2020 - Philadelphia Municipal Court President Judge Patrick Dugan and Civil Division Supervising Judge Bradley Moss issued a plan to reopen its Civil Division to the public and offered their interpretation of the CARES Act and Governor Wolf's Executive Order regarding eviction proceedings.
- May 13, 2020 - Philadelphia Administrative Judge Allen, Supervising Judge New and Supervising Judge Glaser have issued a Notice to the Bar postponing all civil trials currently scheduled through July 6.
- May 11, 2020 - Philadelphia Administrative Judge Allen and Supervising Judge New issued a Notice to the Bar with new protocol for pending cases in the Compulsory Arbitration Program.
- May 8, 2020 - Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Administrative Judge Allen and Trial Division Supervising Judges New and Glazer have issued Protocols for Agreed Upon Orders for Extraordinary Relief during the judicial emergency for the Major Jury, Commerce, Non-Jury and Arbitration Appeals Programs.
- May 8, 2020 - The City of Philadelphia has unveiled a COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program providing grants for low income tenants impacted by the pandemic who meet certain eligibility requirements. Information and an application are available on the program website and an information flyer is also available.
- May 7, 2020 - Governor's Executive Order Stays Eviction and Foreclosure Proceedings Until July 10
- May 7, 2020 - Phila. Commerce Program Supervising Judge Glazer sets protocol for non-discovery motions filed in Commerce Program cases prior to and during judicial emergency.
- May 7, 2020 - Governor Wolf signs Executive Order granting limited immunity to healthcare professionals for good faith actions taken while providing services during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.
- May 6, 2020 - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Thomas DelRicci issued an order setting forth the process for the gradual reopening of Montgomery County courts and facilities beginning June 1.
- May 6, 2020 - FJD Notice To The Bar: Protocol For Discovery Motions During Judicial Emergency Created By COVID-19
- May 1, 2020 - FJD Notice to the Bar: Protocol for Case Management Conferences Postponed During COVID-19 Judicial emergency
- May 1, 2020 - Delaware County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Kelly issued an order extending Family Section emergency cancellations and revised scheduling protocols through June 1.
- April 30, 2020 - FJD Notice to the Bar: Protocol for Settlement Conferences Postponed During COVID 19 Judicial Emergency
- April 30, 2020 - Filing of Cases to Toll the Statute of Limitation
- April 28, 2020 - PA Supreme Court Allows Limited Practice, Bar Exam Postponed to September
- 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
- April 28, 2020 - Bucks County President Judge Bateman has issued Emergency Order 2020-13, extending the judicial emergency in Bucks County through May 31, 2020. There will be no jury trials until August 3, 2020. All civil and criminal jury trials as well as arbitrations are continued generally and will be rescheduled.
- April 28, 2020 - Law Office Closure Exceptions Expanded to Address Critical Needs
- April 27, 2020 - Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Deadline Moved to June 15, 2020
- April 23, 2020 - Recognizing that relief from execution on personal property is an essential function, President Judges Fox and Dugan issued an order halting the issuance and service of writs of execution or attachment seeking the enforcement of money judgments. The order also provides instructions on how to file an emergency petition claiming an exemption or challenging the judgment or attachment.
- April 22, 2020 - Philadelphia Courts Closed Through May 29, Evictions Stayed, Sheriff's Sales Postponed
- April 22, 2020 - Montgomery County Register of Wills posts remote probate instructions.
- April 20, 2020 - Chester County Courts have extended the declaration of judicial emergency through May 31, 2020.
- April 20, 2020 - Pennsylvania's new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance filing website is now open. A person may be eligible for PUA who is self-employed, does not have sufficient work history to qualify for regular Unemployment Compensation, or has exhausted rights to regular Unemployment Compensation benefits or extended benefits. See website for details.
- April 20, 2020 - Remote Notarization of All Documents Legal in Pennsylvania Until 60 Days After COVID-19 Disaster Emergency Expires
- April 16, 2020 - Philadelphia Trial Division: All Civil Trials with Dates Certain of June 1 Postponed.
- April 15, 2020 - PA Supreme Court Waives Six Credit Limit on Distance Learning
- April 15, 2020 - Philadelphia Trial Division Postpones Trials, Arbitrations, Civil Court Events
- April 14, 2020 - Montgomery County Courts have extended the declaration of judicial emergency through May 31, 2020.
- April 13, 2020 - Philadelphia Bar Association Statement on Pennsylvania Bar Exam Administration and Licensing in Light of Covid-19
- April 9, 2020 - Remote Pro Bono Opportunities With Philadelphia Bar Association Legal Aid Nonprofit Partners
- April 8, 2020 - President Judge Fox Issues Order Regarding Discovery Practice During COVID-19 Crisis
- April 8, 20202 - Bucks County: Update to Family Division Procedures During Judicial Emergency.
Bucks County President Judge Bateman has issued an order setting forth the general standards that will apply to the operation of the Family Division during the judicial emergency.
- April 7, 2020 - Resources for Financial Assistance
- April 4, 2020 - PA Ban on Remote Notarization Lifted for Some Documents
- April 3, 2020 - Suburban County Courts Extend Judicial Emergency Declarations.
Bucks County has extended the judicial emergency for all courts to May 15, 2020. Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County Courts have extended their declarations of judicial emergencies to April 30, 2020.
- April 2, 2020 - Court Sets Process for Essential Dependent Juvenile Proceedings.
- April 2, 2020 - Court Postpones May Sheriff's Tax and Mortgage Foreclosure Sales to July.
- April 2, 2020 - NOTICE: COVID-19 Crisis - PHILADELPHIA MUNICIPAL COURT TRAFFIC DIVISION IS CLOSED
- Maureen Eagen, Director of the First Judicial District Arbitration Center has advised that any arbitrations scheduled between March 17 and May 1 will be cancelled. The Arbitration Center will send out new scheduling notices. It is not necessary to file an Arbitration Application for any of these cases.
- April 2, 2020 - Philadelphia Declaration of Judicial Emergency Extended to May 1
- April 1, 2020 - PA Supreme Court Extends Judicial Emergency - All Courts Closed to Public Through April 30
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has directed that the general, statewide judicial emergency declared in March is extended through April 30, 2020, and all Pennsylvania courts shall remain generally closed to the public, subject to the exceptions set forth in the Supreme Court's order of March 18, 2020.
See order for details.
- April 1, 2020 - PA Superior Court Offers Help with Appeals in Children's Fast Track Cases
Recognizing that filing appeals when courts are closed may be difficult, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, with the approval of the Supreme Court, is permitting appeals in Children's Fast Track Cases to be filed with Superior Court.
- March 27, 2020 - Hearing and Process Changes for Workers' Compensation Practitioners
- March 27, 2020 - Understanding the CARES Act: The $2.2 Trillion Stimulus Bill
- March 27, 2020 - President Judge Fox Sets Procedure for Expedited Criminal Motions
Honorable Idee Fox, as Chair of the Administrative Governing Board of the First Judicial District, has issued an
order regarding expedited criminal motions that are to be filed electronically and decided on the papers. See
the full order for details.
- March 24, 2020 - All April Sheriff's Tax Sales Postponed Until May
President Judge Idee Fox and Administrative Judge Jacqueline Allen have issued an order amending Administrative
Order 11 of 2020 and postponing all April Sheriff's Tax Sales to May. No additional notices or costs are
required. See order for new dates.
- March 23, 2020 - President Judge Fox Issues Order Regarding Civil E-Filing Essential Functions
- March 23, 2020 - President Judge Fox Issues Order Regarding Emergency Custody Petitions
Honorable Idee Fox, Chair of the Administrative Governing Board of the First Judicial District, recognizing that addressing custody disputes is an essential court function, has issued an order setting forth the process for the filing and handling of Emergency Custody Petitions.
- March 23, 2020 - Solo Practitioners, Small Firms Encouraged to Apply for Grants and Loans through New City Fund and SBA
- March 23, 2020 - In-Person Requirement Suspended for Court Reporters
Governor Wolf granted the Department of State's request to suspend the requirement for physical presence of notaries who are court reporters/stenographers participating in criminal, civil and administrative proceedings in this Commonwealth. See notice.
- March 23, 2020 - Governor's Office Clarifies Exceptions to Law Office Closures
- March 22, 2020 - City Issues Stay at Home Order Clarifying Restrictions on Business Activity in Philadelphia
- March 22, 2020 - First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Notice to the Bar Re: Postponement of Civil Jury Trials Date Certain Scheduled for Monday, April 6, 2020
- March 21, 2020 - Pennsylvania Extends Personal Income Tax Return Filing Deadline to July 15, 2020
March 21, 2020 - President Judge Idee Fox, as Chair of the Administrative Governing Board of the First Judicial District, has issued an order setting forth procedures for filing and handling temporary Protection from Abuse petitions.
The Wolf Administration is delaying enforcement of the order that all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania must close their physical locations to slow the spread of COVID-19 until Monday, March 23 at 8:00 am. The Administration has updated the list of life-sustaining businesses that may remain open. The revised list includes clarifying language that legal services must remain closed “Except as permitted expressly by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.”
- March 20, 2020 - AOPC Update for Lawyers Participating in Court Functions
The following statement has been issued by H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr., court administrator, Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts:
In the view of AOPC, restricted access to law offices and facilities by legal professionals, staff, and clients is permitted to the degree necessary to allow attorneys to participate in court functions deemed essential by a President Judge per the Supreme Court's order of March 18, 2020, so long as social distancing and other mitigation measures are employed for the protection of lawyers, staff, and clients. Pursuant to the Governor's order, all other business must be conducted remotely; necessary retrieval of files or other materials should be accomplished expeditiously.
- March 20, 2020 - President Judge Idee Fox, as Chair of the Administrative Governing Board of the First Judicial District, has issued three additional orders pertaining to court functions in the face of the Covid 19 crisis. Administrative Order 13 specifies that Motions to Lift Detainers are classified as emergencies, qualifying as an exception to court closure, provided that the motion must contain sufficient information to allow for a “paper review only.” The order also clarified that motions for early termination of Probation or Parole are deemed not to be emergencies. See Judge Fox's order for further details and procedure. Administrative Order 14 postpones and reschedules the April 7 Sheriff's Mortgage Foreclosure Sale to June 2. Administrative Order 15 directs that courts and related office will remain closed and reopen April 6. Legal papers required to be filed between March 17 and April 6 will be deemed timely filed if they are filed by April 13. The order also addresses Juvenile Detention Hearings, shelter care hearings and bench warrant hearings.
- March 19, 2020 - Governor Wolf Orders All Law Offices to Close
- March 19, 2020 - The Philadelphia Bar Association has been informed that, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has extended the April 30 CLE compliance period to Aug. 31, 2020. At this time, the Supreme Court has left other compliance periods unchanged. Read the order here.
- March 19, 2020 - Federal Law To Mandate Paid Sick Leave, Enhanced Unemployment for Workers Affected by Pandemic
- March 18, 2020 - Pa Supreme Court Closes all Courts to the Public for Non-Essential Functions
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has ordered that, except for certain essential functions specified in the order, court facilities in all judicial districts in Pennsylvania shall be closed to the public through at least April 3, 2020. The order of closure also applies to the Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, Magisterial District Courts and all minor courts in Philadelphia and Allegheny County. All evictions and ejectments are stayed and PA R.C.P. 600(c) with respect to time calculations is suspended.Click here read the order
- March 17, 2020 - ABA Journal - March LSAT canceled and National Conference of Bar Examiners monitoring July bar exam
- March 17, 2020 - About Your Practice EO and Explanation of Prohibition on Non-Essential Businesses
- March 17, 2020 - Latest Update From Philadelphia's First Judicial District
President Judge Idee Fox, as Chair of the Administrative Governing Board of the First Judicial District, has ordered that all First Judicial District of Pennsylvania courts and related offices, including the Office of Judicial Records and other filing offices, the Juvenile and Adult Probation Departments, and the Family Court Children's waiting area, with the exception of certain services specified in the Order, will be closed beginning on Tuesday March 17, 2020 and will reopen on Wednesday April 1, 2020. Administrative Orders 7-2020 and 8-2020 remain in effect. Please see below. Be sure to check the courts' Twitter feed @PhilaCourts for the latest news and updates.
- President Judge Administrative Order No. 10-2020 In re: EMERGENCY JUDICIAL ORDER.
- President Judge Administrative Order No. 8-2020 In re: Stay of the Execution of Alias Writs of Possession.
- President Judge Administrative Order No. 7-2020 In re: Stay of Issuance of Residential Writs of Possession and Stay of Execution of Issued Residential Writs of Possession.
- March 17, 2020 - Pennsylvania Superior Court Administrative Order
- March 17, 2020 - Temporarily Closing Our Physical Office For The Foreseeable Future
- March 16, 2020 - WCOA update - All offices closed
- March 16, 2020 - Pa. Supreme Court Declares Statewide Judicial Emergency
- March 16, 2020 - Statement on Announced Court Closures Due to COVID-19
- March 16, 2020 - Statement on Court Actions Due to COVID-19
- March 14, 2020 - Statement on Temporary Hold Order
- March 13, 2020 - An Update on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Philadelphia Bar Association is following the recent directives of Governor Wolf and Mayor Kenney to close all non-essential businesses by temporarily closing our physical office at 1101 Market Street for the foreseeable future. The recent outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is being closely monitored by health organizations and governments worldwide.
Although our office is closed, the Philadelphia Bar Association as an entity is open and working remotely. Our staff is ready and available to continue to service our members. Please feel free to contact staff by email or phone, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All scheduled meetings will now take place via conference call. Please refer to your meeting announcement for conference call details, or contact Dawn Petit at email@example.com or (215) 238- 6367. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Tracey McCloskey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 238-6360.
All CLE programming, until further notice, will be offered via webcast. For course offerings, dates, and times, please visit:
Then, type "CLE" in the search box and hit "Go."
The Philadelphia Bar Association is committed to the health and safety of our staff, members, and visitors. We wish you and your loved ones well during these unusual circumstances. Further announcements will be made as necessary.
During the week of February 23, the first incidence of “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) was reported in the United States. COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus—named “SARS-CoV-2”—which causes a respiratory illness whose symptoms can range from mild to severe. The illness was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, before spreading into other countries. The first U.S. cases have been the result of importation via travelers from Wuhan and their close contacts.
Clinical information currently suggests that most cases are mild, with serious illness occurring in about 16% of cases. Those prone to serious occurrences of the disease are older people, those with underlying health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes, and those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms, such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, can appear 2-14 days after exposure. The disease is believed to be spread through the mucus membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth, and via airborne droplets from coughing or sneezing.
The United States Centers for Disease Control's current risk assessment of COVID-19 as it relates to the U.S. population is that most of the American public is unlikely to be exposed at this time, and the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is low. Healthcare workers and travelers returning from affected international locations are at an elevated risk.
Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
Information and advice from the CDC about COVID-19 is available here. If you experience symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or who has recently traveled from an area currently experiencing an outbreak, the CDC recommends that you call your doctor.
Information About the Coronavirus
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Provides information on what you should know about the disease, including how it spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, testing, and frequently asked questions. It also provides daily situation updates and information for communities, schools, businesses, and travel.
- World Health Organization
Provides advice for the public, daily situation updates, travel advice, and country-specific information.
- Pennsylvania Department of Health
Frequent updates on the status of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, guidance on getting your household prepared for an outbreak, and advice on large gatherings and community events.
- Philadelphia Department of Health
Planning guidance for businesses and nonprofit organizations and the latest local information on COVID-19.
- Pennsylvania Public Health Law Benchbook
Designed for the courts and useful to practitioners, this benchbook provides a glossary of public health-related terminology, analysis and background information for some of the legal issues a court may be called upon to consider when a major health issue arises, model orders, and a table of cases.
For Announcements on the Status of Court Operations:
- Bucks County Court of Common Pleas
- Chester County Court of Common Pleas
- Delaware County Court of Common Pleas
- Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas
- Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Superior Court
- Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
- Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts