Covid-19 Update -The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s April 1, 2020 Order
On Wednesday, April 1, 2020, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued its Second Supplemental Order regarding the Judicial Emergency caused by Covid-19. Most significantly, all Pennsylvania courts are to remain closed to the public (except for essential services) through April 30, 2020. President Judges of each court of common pleas are authorized to extend this closure through May 31, 2020, “based upon local conditions for the health and safety of court personnel, court users, and others.”
All deadlines and time calculations not expressly mentioned in the Order were deemed to be suspended through April 30, 2020, or longer as set by the local judge. This also applied retroactively to as early as March 19, 2020.
Despite this general deadline suspension, the Court emphasized that any applicable statutes of limitations remain in effect. In order to toll such statutes, plaintiffs are encouraged to file a Writ of Summons either with the applicable court of common pleas or the Superior Court.
Although the courts are to remain physically closed, judges were specifically encouraged to implement video conferences, telephone calls, or e-mails in order to continue moving non-essential cases forward.
Courts of common pleas were instructed to conduct essential court hearings either via electronic means or in courtrooms designated to minimize contact.
Finally, any evictions for failure to pay rent, mortgage, or taxes were stayed through at least April 30, 2020.
The Court’s complete order can be viewed on its website at the following link: http://www.pacourts.us/assets/files/page-1305/file-8846.pdf.