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Top judge asks to modify COVID rules

Nov 01, 2021 2:03 pm

Nick Reisman reports for Spectrum News that New York's court system is backed up because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is not because of court workers not getting vaccinated. Chief Judge Janet DiFiore says "almost 100 percent of our judges and professional staff" have submitted either proof of vaccination or a medical/religious exemption. But the mix of in-person trials and video conferencing during the pandemic has slowed the courts down. On Nov. 1 DiFiore said court officials were asking state leaders to put "modifications to the current social distancing rules" to increase trial capacity, even in the face of persistent case counts locally. "Now, we are all aware that the pending dockets in some of our courts have grown in response to the extended impact of the pandemic on court operations. But we cannot, and of course, we will not, use the public health crisis as an excuse for mounting backlogs in those courts," she said. "We have an obligation to move and resolve cases efficiently and promptly, and we are determined to get back to the outstanding progress that we were making under the Excellence Initiative to manage our dockets efficiently and effectively." Read more about this story in Spectrum News.

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