ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER OF THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE OF THE COURTS
Pursuant to the authority vested in me, at the direction of the Chief Judge, and consistent with the Governor’s determination approving the easing of restrictions on commerce imposed due to the COVID-19 health emergency, I hereby direct that, notwithstanding the terms of any prior administrative order:
1. In the counties and on the dates set forth in Exh. A, in courts and case types approved for electronic filing through the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF), represented parties must commence new matters or proceed in pending matters exclusively by electronic filing through NYSCEF. Following commencement, represented parties must file and serve papers in such matters (other than service of commencement documents) by electronic means through NYSCEF or, where permitted under NYSCEF court rules, by mail. Notwithstanding the foregoing, unrepresented parties may file, serve and be served in such matters by non-electronic means.
2. To the extent that NYSCEF electronic filing is unavailable in courts or case types in the counties set forth in Exh. A, represented parties must commence new matters exclusively by mail. Following commencement of a new matter, and in pending matters, represented parties must file papers through the Unified Court System’s Electronic Document Delivery System (EDDS) or by mail, and must serve papers (other than commencement documents) by electronic means or by mail. Notwithstanding the foregoing, unrepresented parties may file, serve and be served in such matters by non-electronic means.
3. In the counties and on the date set forth in Exh. B, in courts and case types approved for electronic filing through NYSCEF, represented parties must commence new matters or proceed in pending matters exclusively by electronic filing through NYSCEF. Represented parties must file and serve papers in such matters (other than service of commencement documents) by electronic means through NYSCEF. Notwithstanding the foregoing, unrepresented parties may file, serve and be served in such matters by non-electronic means. This order shall not affect procedures for the filing and service of essential matters, and supersedes AO/111/2020. A0/114/20 https://www.nycourts.gov/whatsnew/pdf/AO-114-20.pdf
Frequently Asked Questions
UCS Electronic Document Delivery System (EDDS) ========================== In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and the expansion of “virtual” court operations, the Unified Court System has initiated a new program to transmit digitized documents (in pdf format) to UCS courts, County Clerks, and other court-related offices around the State, commencing on May 4, 2020.
Q: What is EDDS? The Electronic Document Delivery System (“EDDS”) allows users, in a transaction commenced at a UCS web portal, to (1) enter basic information about a matter; (2) upload one or more pdf documents; and (3) send those documents electronically to a court or clerk selected by the user. Upon receipt of the document(s) by the court, the sender will receive an email notification, together with a unique code that identifies the delivery.
Q: Why has UCS developed this new document delivery system? The new system is intended to reduce the need for delivery or filing of paper copies of documents with the courts – and thereby to minimize foot traffic during the COVID-19 public health emergency. It will also facilitate the court system’s expanded virtual court operations, which rely upon digital documents.
Q: Can EDDS be used to file documents with courts and County Clerks? Yes – but with some notable restrictions and qualifications. Most courts that currently accept filings in paper format will accept pdf copies of the filed document through EDDS. Supreme Courts, County Courts, Family Courts, Surrogates Courts, District Courts, and City Courts. However, this program will not be available in the New York City Criminal Court and may have restricted use in some other courts. Importantly, EDDS is not intended to duplicate or supplant the New York State Courts Electronic Filing System (NYSCEF) and may not be used for filing in matters where NYSCEF is available on either a mandatory or consensual basis. Court users familiar with NYSCEF will recall that it is broadly available in many civil matters in Supreme Court, Surrogate’s Court, and the Court of Claims around the State. Before using EDDS for filing, please make sure that NYSCEF is unavailable. (A list of courts and case types approved for efiling through the NYSCEF system may be found on the Authorized for E-Filing page.)
Q: How do I file a document through EDDS? To file a document through EDDS, you must begin at the UCS EDDS page. There you will be instructed in simple steps to enter appropriate identifying information (including sender contact information, and information about the case and document[s]), to select the county and court for delivery, upload the document(s), and to complete the transmission. If a filing fee is required, you will also be instructed about payment of the fee through online credit card or, in some cases, telephonic credit card transaction. Once your transaction is complete, the clerk’s office will review the submission and, if it meets all filing requirements, will file the documents as requested. If the submission is incomplete or unsatisfactory for filing, you will be notified of the problem by email or other means.
Q: How long will it take to file a document I have submitted through EDDS? The Court System will make every effort to address filing requests promptly upon receipt. However, considering current operation restrictions, it may take one or more days for a filing request to be reviewed and approved.
Q: May I file documents with clerk’s offices in person or by mail? During the current COVID-19 public health emergency, and consistent with State and national health directives, many courts buildings and offices have remained closed and/or consolidated. Pursuant to AO/114/20, in courts and case types set forth in Exh. A to that order, to the extent that NYSCEF is not available, represented parties must commence new matters exclusively by mail. Following commencement of a new matter, and in pending matters, represented parties must file papers through the EDDS or by mail.
Q: Should I file emergency applications through EDDS? During the COVID-19 health emergency, UCS courts around the state have established locations and procedures for the submission of emergency applications. EDDS is not designed to supplant those procedures and should not be used for filing emergency applications.
Q: How should I serve documents filed through EDDS? By order of the Chief Administrative Judges, documents filed by EDDS should be served on other parties by electronic means, including email or facsimile, or in the counties set forth in AO/114/20 Exhibit A, parties can serve by electronic means or by mail. (Unlike NYSCEF, EDDS is not a system for service of papers.)
Q: What types of documents may be filed through EDDS? Any document that is currently being accepted for filing by the UCS in pending nonessential matters may be filed through EDDS or in the counties set forth in AO/114/20 Exh. A, parties can also file mail. (Nonessential matters are legal proceedings other than those deemed “essential” during the COVID-19 public health emergency, as directed by the Chief Administrative Judge in late March [AO/78/20]). However, please remember that EDDS is unavailable in courts and case types where NYSCEF filing is available.
Q: What if I have problems using EDDS? Because EDDS is a new system which substantially changes offices practices in court clerk and county clerk offices around the state – and at a time when court operations are dealing with new realities of remote and curtailed operation -- we anticipate that its rollout will not be trouble-free. Please report any problems using the new system to us by email at email@example.com, and we will do our best to remedy them as quickly as possible. Please feel free to send comments and suggestions about the new system to us at this same email address.