Probate Bench-Bar Committee - 5.11 Key Take-Aways

Key take-aways from May 11th meeting:

Notes from the meeting:

  • Temporary guardianship hearings are still being held on Tuesdays and Thursdays via Zoom.
  • Formal probates and post-judgment guardianship hearings will be scheduled on Monday and Wednesday afternoons via Zoom, with 30-minutes reserved per hearing unless otherwise requested and 45-minute hearings for matters involving interpreters.
  • Informal hearings on notice may be held via Zoom going forward.
  • For all Zoom hearings, attorneys must ensure that all heirs, personal representatives, and all interested parties have access to the necessary technology to participate / be present electronically at the hearing.
  • Please note that there have been changes to the probate forms (e.g., e-mail addresses and phone numbers are now required).
  • Those probate and guardianship matters that were put “on hold” during Safer at Home will be scheduled before the new matters are scheduled.
  • Anyone with a case number who wants clarification as to whether their filing is considered a new matter or an old filing matter contact Deputy Register in Probate Amy Wochos. 
  • The judges are still making every possible effort to get cases heard to prevent a backlog in the future. 
  • Please allow one week for waivers that need to be signed by Corporation Counsel.
  • The Spring GAL CLE will be rescheduled, most likely as a 3-part series of one-hour segments at noon, based on the feedback received from the participants in the meeting today. 
  • The judges have requested ideas for improved safety and efficiency in hearings using new technology during this pandemic (and after).
  • The idea of a seminar on the use of technology was explored as a supplement to Judge Kahn’s introductory “Tools and Technologies for Online Court Appearances” available online through the MBA (free to members) so, for example, attorneys can learn how to share documents using Zoom. 
  • The next Bench-Bar Meeting via Zoom will be on June 8th at 12:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Nancy L. Shue


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