Critical Updates on the Status and Operations of the Philadelphia Courts Amid the Covid-19 Crisis

By Emily Kowey Roth

As of March 23, 2020 at 3 p.m., access to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Civil and Orphans’ Court E-filing System has been restored. All writs of summons received through the E-filing System will be considered docketed when acknowledgement of receipt is sent by email. However, Orphans’ Court and Civil emergency petitions must still be filed over-the-counter in person as specified in Emergency Administrative Order No. 10 of March 17, 2020 (“Order No. 10”)

In addition, given the continued impact of COVID-19, the Administrative Governing Board enacted Emergency Administrative Order No. 15 (“Order No. 15”) on March 20, 2020, extending certain dates set forth in its prior Order No. 10.

The provisions of Order No. 15 addressing the reopening of the Court and certain filing deadlines are as follows:

All First Judicial District of Pennsylvania courts and related offices will remain closed through the workday of April 3, 2020 and will reopen Monday April 6, 2020, extending the prior, April 1, 2020 date for re-opening by one week;

Any legal papers or pleadings which would have been required to be filed between March 17, 2020 and April 6, 2020 will be deemed timely filed if they are filed by Monday, April 13, 2020, extending the prior, April 6, 2020 deadline by one week; and

The suspension of time calculations for the purposes of time computation relevant to court cases or other judicial business, as well as time deadlines will remain in effect as set forth in Order No. 10 until further order.