Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term, reopens for jury trials


Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term, reopened for trials with many safety preparations Monday. The actual first trial in the state since COVID-19 closed the courts will be heard by State Supreme Court Justice Mark Partnow on Tuesday.

Considered a “trial balloon” by the State’s Office of Court Administration, this Brooklyn reopening, in what is perhaps the busiest state courthouse in the U.S., will set the stage for other openings across New York state in weeks to come.

Administrative Judge Lawrence Knipel on Monday issued the following statement:

“For the first time since jury trials in New York City were halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, jury trials have recommenced today in Brooklyn. Administrative Judge Lawrence Knipel emphasized the extensive precautions being taken to protect the health of the public and court personnel. These include social distancing, mandatory masks and other PPE, daily temperature checks, upgraded air filtration and plexiglass shielding. Jury trials in the other counties are expected to recommence in the near future.”

Inspecting the safety measures: Administrative Judge for Civil Matters Hon. Lawrence Knipel (foreground) joins Justice Mark Partnow, who will preside over the first open trial in New York State on Tuesday. On Monday, the judges were inspecting the layout of safety barriers and safely distanced seating.
Justices Peter Sweeney and Bernard Graham are seen outside the courthouse on Monday, as all judges begin prepping to preside over the state’s first open trials in days to come.
Masked and armed: Court officers are ready for the public reopening, limited though it may be.
Social distancing measures in the courthouse’s bathrooms.

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