On March 23, 2020, President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark declared a judicial emergency. A full copy of the Order regarding this judicial emergency can be viewed at www.alleghenycourts.us.

A meeting was held on April 1, 2020 which addressed some specific concerns about this judicial emergency and how it is currently affecting civil litigation in Allegheny County. Highlights include the following:

Statute of Limitations: If you have a case where the statute of limitations is nearing (2 years for personal injury and medical malpractice, 4 years for breach of contract claims), you should file at least a Writ of Summons to toll the statute of limitations. The sheriff is not serving documents while stay-at-home orders are in place. You not permitted to serve original process yourself, or with a process server. As a result, the requirement that you serve the opposing party with the Writ of Summons or Complaint in Civil Action within 30 days will begin once the courts and sheriff reopen.

May Trial List: All jury trials for May have been postponed. They will be rescheduled in September or November. All pre-trial conciliations will still occur as scheduled; likely via telephone conference.

Civil Motions: The Civil Division is working on establishing email addresses that general motions, discovery motions, and calendar control motions can be emailed to. The expectation is that these Motions will be read by the Judges/law clerks and scheduled for argument via telephone. The Court hopes to have an update on these email addresses soon.

Judicial Emergency Extended Through May 8: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has extended the judicial emergency through May 8, 2020. All courts in Pennsylvania will remain closed until at least this date. Whether or not this will be extended even further out is unclear and will depend on the status of the virus.

If you have any questions about this update or any questions in general, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 412-802-6666 or info@pghfirm.com.