Kings County Supreme Court Uniform Civil Term Rules

Part A- Papers

Part B- Preliminary Conference (PC) Rules

Part C- Motions In IAS Parts/ Motion Calendar Calls

Part D- Note of Issue

Part E- Central Compliance Part Rules

Part F- General Foreclosure Rules

Part G- Foreclosure Settlement Part Rules

Part H- Foreclosure Auction Rules

Part I- Foreclosure Auction Plan

Part J- Commercial Division Rules

Part K- Uniform Matrimonial Rules

Part L- Condemnation Part Rules

Part M- Consolidated Discovery Part Rules

Part N- Kings Neutral Evaluation Part Rules

 


The Judges of the Civil Term Supreme Court, in order to promote the efficient and impartial administration of justice, hereby adopt the following common and uniform rules (see Note #1):

PART A

Papers

This rule applies to all Civil Term Parts of the Court.

Motions, orders, and other filed papers shall be indexed with protruding tabs. Clerks are required to reject papers that do not have protruding exhibit tabs, except papers in matrimonial cases and papers filed by pro se litigants. Motion papers must be filed with the E-file/Motion Support Office located in Room 227, Ex Parte Office located in Room 295, Foreclosure Part Office located on the 10th Floor, OR in the Guardianship/Mental Hygiene Office located in Room 285 (see Note #2), at 360 Adams Street at least five (5) business days before the return date of the motion. Cross-motions must be filed at least two (2) days before the return date of the motion (see Note #3).


Notes

1. Rules pertaining to Matrimonial, Commercial, and Foreclosure Parts are incorporated herein. Where rules in such parts differ from general rules, specialized rules shall govern.

2. These rules do not otherwise control the Guardianship/Mental Hygiene or Condemnation Parts.

3. Room changes may be made upon appropriate notice.

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PART B

Preliminary Conference (PC) Rules

1. The filing/purchasing of an RJI will automatically prompt the scheduling of a preliminary conference.

2. The attorneys shall, in the first instance, attempt to reach an agreement on all relevant discover. Disputed matters will be adjudicated by the Court.

3. The parties must be prepared with bills of particulars, medical reports, and insurance coverage.

4. Strict compliance with the PC order shall be enforced by the imposition of costs and sanctions when appropriate.

5. Discovery in third party and joint actions will be expedited.

6. Any motion seeking discovery-related relief filed prior to the PC shall be scheduled concurrently with the PC in the Intake Part.

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PART C

Motions in IAS Parts

1. Motion papers, answering affidavits, and reply affidavits must be served on adversaries in accordance with CPLR 2214.

2. Irrespective of the return date indicated in the notice of motion, motions will be rescheduled by the E-file/Motion Support Office to a date designated by the assigned Judge.

3. All motions require appearances and oral argument.

4. Unless the Judge’s Part Rules provide otherwise, motions may be adjourned twice, on consent, without appearance, for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days from the initial return date of the motion. Adjournment of motions without appearance may be done by usage of stipulation or affirmation submitted no later than the previous workday. Any subsequent adjournment shall be by personal application.

5. No courtesy copies of motion papers are required by the Court, except as may be required for electronic filing or by the Judge’s Part Rules. In tort cases against the City of New York, courtesy copies shall be supplied to the Corporation Counsel’s office in Brooklyn.

6. Post Note of Issue Summary Judgment Motion: In cases where the City of New York is a defendant and is represented by the Tort Division of the Corporation Counsel’s office, summary judgment motions may be made no later than 120 days after the filing of a Note of Issue. In all other matters, including third-party actions, motions for summary judgment may be made no later than sixty (60) days after the filing of a Note of Issue. In both instances, the above time limitation may only be extended by the Court upon good cause shown. See CPLR 3212(a).

Motion Calendar Calls

7. There shall be two (2) calendar calls on motion days. The first calendar call shall be at 9:30 AM and the second calendar call shall be at 10:45 AM unless the Judge’s Part Rules provide otherwise. Defaults shall only be taken on second call. Attorneys with appearances elsewhere in the courthouse may advise the clerk of their whereabouts to avoid a default. Failure to so advise the clerk or appear at the default calendar call will result in a default order being entered or the motion being marked off the calendar.

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PART D

Note of Issue

1. The filing requirement for Notes of Issue in Kings County is an original and two copies.

2. Any party objecting to the filing of a Note of Issue may move to vacate, pursuant to Uniform Rules for the NYS Trial Courts section 202.21(e).

3. Any third-party action commenced after the filing of a Note of Issue shall be subject to severance.

4. A 90-day notice (CPLR 3216) shall permit a plaintiff to file a Note of Issue within such ninety (90) days without a Court order.

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PART E

Central Compliance Part Rules

Courtroom 282
Opens at 9:30 A.M.
Telephone number: 347-296-1626

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The failure of the parties to upload a Central Compliance Conference order, on consent, within three weeks of the scheduled conference date, shall result in the court, sua sponte, issuing and uploading an order on the parties’ default.

Compliance Conferences

1. The purpose of the compliance conference is to monitor the progress of discovery, set a deadline for filing a Note of Issue, and resolve any outstanding discovery issues. Consequently, parties attending the compliance conference must be fully familiar with the case, the status of any disclosure proceedings, and any settlement negotiations.

2. Appearance at the compliance conference is not necessary if a Note of Issue has been served and filed with the court prior to the compliance conference date. In such cases, a copy of the Note of Issue may be presented to the part clerk on or before the date of the conference or a party may notify the clerk prior thereto.

3. There will be no adjournments of a scheduled compliance conference except in special circumstances.

Conference Calendar Calls

4. Compliance conference forms are available in the courtroom and may be completed when all parties are present. When all parties are present and there is a disagreement on any issue, a court attorney will conference the case in the first instance. If the court attorney is unsuccessful in resolving the issue, the matter will be referred to the assigned Judge/JHO.

5. There is one calendar call at 11:45 AM. This is also the default call. Attorneys with appearances elsewhere in the courthouse should advise the clerk of their whereabouts to avoid a default.

6. Cases dismissed for non-appearance may be restored by written stipulation signed by all parties within 30 days of default or by motion.

Motions

7. Motions that only seek discovery-related relief are scheduled in the Centralized Compliance Part by the E-file / Motion Support Office, on the date the motion is scheduled to be heard, regardless of judicial assignment. Attorneys are advised to consult, inter alia, the New York Law Journal or the Unified Court System's Future Court Appearance Website for the return dates.

8. Hard copies are required to be filed for any motions, answering papers, stipulations, etc. for E-filed cases returnable in this Part at least 5 days before return date for main motions, and 2 days for cross-motions.

9. Motions must be accompanied by an affirmation of good faith pursuant to NYCRR 202.7(a), indicating what efforts have been made to resolve the motion.e

Orders

10. Any order granted on default must be served on all defaulting parties within seven (7) days of the order.

11. If all parties served with the motion are present, they may enter into a consent order. If a new Note of Issue date is required, the order should be filled out and signed by all parties leaving a space for the Note of Issue filing date to be entered by a court attorney. Order should include all outstanding discovery or indicate that discovery is complete. Consent orders are not effective or allowed to be copied until they have been reviewed by a court attorney and signed by Judge or JHO.d

Adjournment of Motions

1. Appearances are required on all motions. Motions are heard on the return date and are only adjourned upon good cause. Applications for adjournment on consent of all parties shall be heard by the court attorneys.

  • If all parties are not present, an application may be made by the party(ies) present at the default calendar call at 11:45 AM.df
  • There shall be no extension of time for filing summary judgment motions after the Note of Issue, except upon application to the Court.f

STIPULATIONSd

Stipulations will only be accepted to restore a case to either the CCP or Preliminary Conference calendars. Stipulations to extend the note of issue date or summary judgment date WILL NOT be accepted by the court.

1. Caption must match Court computer including third party actions.

2. All parties must be accounted for in the stipulation, including parties in default, parties dismissed on summary judgment, parties who have not appeared or answered, discontinuances, etc.

3. Signatures must be by an attorney; a law firm's name is insufficient.

4. If the case was disposed for failure to appear at either a PC or CC conference, the clerk of the court will assign the new conference date.

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PART F

General Foreclosure Rules

1. All foreclosure matters dealing with the same block and lot number shall be assigned to the same judge even where an earlier matter has been previously disposed.

2. In all foreclosure proceedings, the following form orders, judgments, and applications, available at the Clerk’s office or online, must be utilized: the Order of Reference; the Judgement of Foreclosure and Sale; a Deficiency Judgment; the Order in a Surplus Money Proceeding; and the Referee’s Application for Additional Compensation.

3. The Ex-Parte Clerk is authorized to reject:

  • Motion papers that are not in compliance with the CPLR;
  • Motion papers filed less than five (5) days before the return date of the motion;
  • An application for an Order of Reference or Judgment that does not contain a statement pursuant to CPLR 3408, indicating eligibility/exemption from conference;
  • A notice of sale that does not comply with Rule 12;
  • An application for surplus money that does not contain a recognized title search or its equivalent as an exhibit.
  • A discontinuance in a foreclosure action except upon court order after an RJI has been filed.

4. A proposed order must be attached to any motion submitted to the E-file / Motion Support Office. In the event that a proposed order is not submitted with the motion, it must be submitted to the IAS Judge within 60 days or the motion may be deemed abandoned.

5. Each Order of Reference must have appended thereto, the history of the property by way of a chain of assignment, the date of the assignment, and a reference to the tab where that assignment is located.

6. If opposed, motions will be adjourned by the clerk to the assigned judge’s next available motion date for argument.

7. Every affidavit for an exemption from a conference made pursuant to CPLR 3408 and RPAPL 1304 must specify the grounds for same and provide supporting documentation and affidavits from persons with direct knowledge. Where the claim is that the borrower is not living in the subject house, then an affidavit of investigation substantiating this allegation must be appended which states inter alia that the borrower is not living in the house and that no action by the mortgagee or its agents procured same. This affidavit shall be included in the motion for a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale.

8. Within one year after the signing and entry of an Order of Reference, an application for a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale must be made. Such period of time will be suspended by the filing a Forbearance or Settlement Agreement with the clerk of this court. Failure to comply will result in an automatic dismissal of the action.

9. The court-appointed referee shall determine the date of the sale which is to be held at the time and place indicated in the Judgement of Foreclosure and Sale and shall notify plaintiff sufficiently in advance thereof to permit publication of the Notice of Sale in compliance with RPAPL §231.

10. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to arrange for publication. The costs of publication may be recouped from the proceeds of the sale.

11. A Notice of Sale must be submitted to the Foreclosure Department at least ten (10) days prior to the date of the auction. A copy of the Notice of Sale must simultaneously be sent to the owner of the equity of redemption at both his/her last known address and the property address. An affidavit of service of such notice shall be presented to the clerk on or before the auction sale.

12. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to notify the referee of any encumbrances in advance of the sale date.

13. In the event plaintiff adjourns or cancels the sale, at least five (5) days' notice, both written and telephonic must be given to the referee. If such notice is not timely given, plaintiff shall pay $250.00 to the referee in compensation.

14. A legally competent representative of plaintiff authorized to act on plaintiff’s behalf, must appear at the auction sale.

15. The upset price may not be greater than the amount stated in the referee’s report of sale together with CPLR judgment interest running from the filing of the Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale together with the amount represented by receipted bills for taxes. The referee appointed for the sale of the property may add judgment interest and taxes to the upset price at the time of the auction. Any additional maintenance charges or other expenses must be by separate order of the Court.

16. All Forbearance Agreements must be filed with the Foreclosure Clerk of the Court within twenty (20) days of the execution thereof.

17. No action may be discontinued except upon application to discontinue or stipulation by the plaintiff to discontinue submitted for approval by the Court. Payment of the fee required by CPLR 8020(d)(1) shall precede submission of the proposed discontinuance to the Court. Where a defendant homeowner has appeared for a settlement conference in a residential foreclosure action, either in person or by an attorney, an application to discontinue or stipulation of discontinuance must be served on opposing counsel or pro se defendant.c

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PART G

Foreclosure Settlement Part Rules

The purpose of this part is to preserve community housing, preserve banking funds, and help a homeowner avoid the loss of his or her home.

1. A conference may be required by statute or mandated by appearance, reference, or request.b

2. An appearing homeowner shall file a notice of appearance in the action indicating the homeowner’s name, address, telephone number, cell phone number, and e-mail address on a form provided by the Court, with the clerk of the Foreclosure Conference Part who shall then forward it for appropriate filing.

3. Each appearing homeowner shall be provided with an information sheet that informs him/her of the foreclosure process.

4. Plaintiffs’ counsel must appear in the Foreclosure Conference Part with the work-out package describing potential loss mitigation options, reasonably current payoff and reinstatement figures, and with settlement authority and/or a direct contact number where a servicing agent with settlement authority can be reached and participate in settlement discussions before the Court.

5. The homeowner or his/her agent shall provide to the conference part employment verification, tax, and other records as required.

6. For cases involving servicing agents who have opted into the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), counsel shall appear in the Foreclosure Conference Part with a status report regarding the outcome of the servicing agents’ evaluation for HAMP modification, and specific written justification with supporting details if modification under HAMP was denied.

7. All foreclosure cases in which the servicing agent, as well as the homeowner, has agreed to a trial modification, whether under HAMP or otherwise, shall be given a control date in the Foreclosure Conference Part coincident with the trial modification period.

8. In cases where settlement cannot be reached, plaintiffs’ counsel shall submit a letter to the Foreclosure Conference Part, and to the IAS Part, indicating the appearance of the homeowner and the good faith basis for the termination of the settlement negotiations that may result in foreclosure which may lead to the defendant’s losing his/her home, cf. CPLR 3408(a).

9. Foreclosure cases will be marked off the Foreclosure Conference calendar if: (a) the defendant has failed to appear for two (2) scheduled settlement conferences; (b) the Court has determined that the parties would not benefit from further settlement discussions; or (c) a settlement has been reached and the plaintiff has filed a Stipulation of Discontinuance or Forbearance Agreement with the Foreclosure Settlement Conference Part as well as the Court.

10. Any agency or representative assisting the homeowner shall provide copies of all documents, including the completed work-out package, to the homeowner, who should bring them to the settlement conference.

11. All parties must appear at the settlement conference until the action is settled by means of a modification or other agreement signed by all parties as well as the IAS judge or the matter is referred to the IAS part.

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PART H

Foreclosure Auction Rules

General

1. The Referee and all interested parties must be present at the time and place designated by the Foreclosure Dept. and subsequently published in the Notice of Sale.
 
2. The referee, or his/her designee, must provide a copy of the Terms of Sale, including any known encumbrances, upon request.

3. Referees shall announce any encumbrance on the property prior to bidding.

4. Referees will accept either 1) cash; or 2) certified or bank check made payable to the Referee. No double-endorsed checks will be accepted.

5. A successful bidder must have in his/her possession at the time of the bid the full 10% of the sum bid, in cash or certified or bank check to be made payable to the Referee.

6. All bidders must have proof of identification and will be required to stand and state their names and addresses on the record at the time the bid is made.

7. No sale will be deemed final until the full 10% deposit has been paid to the Referee and a contract has been signed, which must be done in the courthouse immediately following the sale.

8. If a successful bidder fails to immediately pay the deposit and sign the Terms of Sale, the property will be promptly returned to auction the same day.

9. Bidders are cautioned that the failure to pay the full purchase price bid and appropriate closing costs at a closing to be scheduled within thirty (30) days following the auction may result in the forfeiture of the 10% deposit. The consent of the Court will be required for adjournment of the closing beyond ninety (90) days.

10. The amount of the successful bid, which will become the “purchase price,” will be recorded by the court reporter.

11. If the successful bidder defaults in concluding the transaction at the purchase price, he/she may be liable for the difference if the property is subsequently sold at auction for a sum that is inadequate to cover all items allowed in the Final Order and Judgment.

12. It is the responsibility of the bidder to acquaint him/herself with the property, any encumbrances thereon, and the Terms of Sale before placing a bid and to be certain that adequate funds are available to make good the bid. The failure of the successful bidder to complete the transaction under the terms bid will presumptively result in the bidder’s preclusion from bidding at auction for a period of sixty (60) days.

Surplus Funds

13. A court clerk will be present at all court-ordered foreclosure auctions. If there is a potential for Surplus Funds, the clerk will record the sale price, amount awarded in the final judgment of foreclosure, and the upset price, and enter that information in CCIS (Foreclosure Surplus Screen).

14. When the sale price exceeds the greater of the judgment amount or upset price, the clerk will provide the referee conducting the sale a Surplus Monies Form at the auction to complete.

15. The form will include the following information: a case caption; name, address, and telephone number of the referee; the plaintiff's representative and the purchaser; a judgment amount; and the upset and sale price. The form must be signed by the referee, plaintiff representative, and purchaser of the foreclosed property.

16. The referee will complete the form at the auction, and deliver the signed form to the court clerk, who will subsequently provide it to the County Clerk.

17. All cases with potential for Surplus Funds will be calendared for a control date in the Surplus Funds Part, no later than six months after the auction. (This is a non-appearance part.) On the control date, the clerk will consult the County Clerk Minutes. If Surplus Funds have been deposited or the Report of Sale indicates a deficiency, the appearance will be appropriately marked. In the event that no Report of Sale has been filed, but there are motions pending, the clerk will adjourn the case to a date beyond the motion return date in the Surplus Funds Part. If a Report of Sale has not been filed and no motions are pending, the case will be adjourned to the IAS Judge for further proceedings, as necessary, and the referee shall be notified.

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PART I

Foreclosure Auction Plan


This plan outlines the procedures to be used in recommencing Foreclosure Auctions effective October 29, 2020.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Foreclosure Auctions in Kings County were initially conducted on the courthouse steps.  About 20 years ago, that process was changed and the auctions were moved to a courtroom inside the courthouse, under the guidance of court staff.  Sales were held on Thursdays at 2:30 PM.  Calendars ranged from 50 to 70 properties.  The courtroom accommodates 250 people and on many occasions, there was standing room only.

AUCTION RULES

The current pandemic has forced us to formulate a plan that is viable and takes into account all the health protocols that are needed for indoor assembly and outdoor assembly.

1.    Location 

Until further notice, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to ensure the implementation of safety measures, foreclosure auctions will temporarily be held outside on the courthouse steps on Adams Street. It is the duty of the referee assigned to conduct the auction to make sure that all bidders, interested parties, and observers are wearing masks and observing proper social distancing.  Banks must schedule the auction date and time with the court before commencing publication of the auction notice. Please note that all of the below-listed rules apply.
 
When it is determined that auctions can be held indoors, they shall be held in Room 224, 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY.

2.    Day and Time of Sale

Auctions will be held on Thursdays at 10:30 AM.  Initially, only 15 auctions will be calendared.  This number will be evaluated and increases will be made based upon the success and health and safety protocols.  The Court’s Calendars will list the specific times for each auction.

 
Prior to scheduling an auction, plaintiffs must contact the Foreclosure Department via e-mail at 360ASupremeCivilForeclosure@nycourts.gov to request that a COVID Assessment Conference be calendared pursuant to AO 262/21. Plaintiff must state that the conference request is for an auction eligible case, i.e., a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale has been granted by the Court. This includes cases where judgments of foreclosure and sale have already been issued (even prior to March 15, 2020).
  
If the matter is not resolved during the conference, plaintiff shall contact the Foreclosure Department via e-mail at 360ASupremeCivilForeclosure@nycourts.gov for the next available auction date and must confirm that the case in question has had a COVID-19 Assessment Conference. 

3.    Ensuring Health and Safety at Auction Site

For indoor auctions, temperature checks and COVID Assessment Questionnaires will be administered upon entry to the courthouse.  This procedure applies to all individuals, including referees, plaintiffs, etc.

Social distancing through markers will be strictly enforced.  The wearing of masks will also be enforced.

Attendance will be limited to 25% of Courtroom capacity and initially, only qualified bidders will be allowed access.  All other individuals and those wishing to observe will be accommodated in (an) overflow Courtroom(s) where virtual viewing of the process will be facilitated.  As COVID-related circumstances change, additional parties will be allowed entry. 

4.    Closing and Deed Transfer

Following the auction, the successful bidder will deposit at least 10% of the sale price with the Referee.  The balance of the funds, along with the transfer of title documents will occur at such location as determined by the Referee, or at such other place as agreed upon by the parties in writing, within the time limits specified in the Terms of Sale. All participants in the closing must comply with any face-covering rule, regulation, or order in effect at the time of closing.  Should a bidder fail to comply, the Referee may cancel the closing and hold the bidder in default.

5.    Publishing and Posting

A summary of these special COVID-19 policies and procedures shall be included in the public notices published and posted pursuant to RPAPL §231.

 
6.    COVID-19 Auction Policies

Until further notice, every Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale and In Rem Judgment shall contain a decretal paragraph directing the Referee in a mortgage foreclosure action or the Petitioner in an In Rem Tax Foreclosure proceeding to comply with the Kings Supreme Civil COVID-19 Policies concerning Public Auctions of foreclosed properties.

7.    Kings Supreme Court - Civil Term Foreclosure Auction Rules shall be included in every Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale.

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PART J

Commercial Division Rules

General

1. The following rules are intended to supplement the Statewide Standards and Rules for the Commercial Division (Uniform Rule § 202.70), which are applicable in Kings County. Counsel are expected to comply with all Statewide Rules as well as those promulgated herein.

2. The monetary threshold for cases in Kings County Commercial Division has been raised from $50,000.00 to $75,000.00.

3. Any party requesting a preliminary conference must annex a copy of the pleadings to the RJI when the request is filed with the Court.

4. Other than as expressly provided in the Rules of the Commercial Division or upon instruction of the Court, the Court will not accept or entertain letter applications for substantive relief. Unless directed by the Court, no communications are to be FAXED to chambers other than Stipulations of Adjournment in compliance with these rules, PC Orders prepared in conformity with Rule 7, or disclosure-related communications pursuant to Rule 18.

5. Courtesy copies should not be provided unless the Court so directs.

Conferences

6. Preliminary Conferences. All preliminary and compliance conferences will be held on Wednesdays beginning at 9:45 AM unless otherwise directed by the Court. The conference calendar will be called after the first call of the motion calendar.

7. Online Preliminary Conference Orders. Preliminary Conference Orders may be entered on consent of the Court and all parties by printing and filling out the Preliminary Conference Form posted on the Kings County Commercial Division website. Following a conference call with the Court, the PC order, executed by all parties, must be faxed to Chambers two (2) business days prior to the date scheduled for the PC conference. Failure to timely comply with the procedural constraints herein will require an appearance on the scheduled date.

8. Prior to appearing for a preliminary conference, counsel should confer with clients so that schedules can be set for discovery.

9. Adjournment of Preliminary Conference. Adjournment of a preliminary conference may be requested by submission of a written stipulation at least two (2) business days prior to the scheduled date. Stipulations must be accompanied by a cover letter explaining the reason for the adjournment. The adjournment of a conference is at the discretion of the Court and may be permitted for good cause shown. No preliminary conference shall be adjourned more than once or for more than thirty (30) days. Fax numbers for all counsel must be provided in the cover letter or the stipulation. Any request for further adjournments will be entertained only under the most compelling circumstances and must be made via a telephone conference call with the Court in which all parties participate.

10. Adjournments of any other conferences are permitted for good cause with the approval of the Court on written stipulation of all parties submitted at least two (2) business days prior to the scheduled date of the conference. Stipulations may be faxed to the Judge’s chambers. Fax numbers may be found on the Kings County Commercial Division website under the Judges’ Part and Chambers Information.

Motions

11. The Court will entertain motions, as scheduled in the New York Law Journal and on E-Courts, on Wednesdays unless otherwise directed by the Court. Information on future court appearances is available on E-Courts. All motions require appearances and oral argument. All responsive papers must be filed with the Motion Support Office or the Clerk of the Part at least two (2) business days before the scheduled date of the motion.

12. The first call of the motion calendar will be at 9:45 AM. The second and final call will be held at 10:15 AM.

13. An appearance by an attorney with knowledge of the case and authority to bind the party is required on all motions and conferences.

14. Upon the argument of a dispositive motion, the Court will determine whether discovery shall proceed pending decision. As a general rule, discovery is not stayed by the filing of a dispositive motion.

15. Motions for Summary Judgement. All summary judgment motions shall be accompanied by a Statement of Material Facts as set forth in the Uniform Rules, §202.70(g), Rule 19-a.

16. Following argument and reservation of decision by the Court, no supplemental submissions will be accepted by letter or otherwise unless expressly authorized in advance. Uniform Rules, §202.70(g), Rule 18.

17. Adjournment of Motions. Dispositive motions (made pursuant to CPLR 3211, 3212 or 3213) may be adjourned only with the Court’s consent. Non-dispositive motions may be adjourned by written stipulation no more than three times for a total of no more than sixty (60) days unless otherwise directed by the Court. Adjournments must be obtained at least two (2) business days in advance of the return date except in the case of an emergency. Stipulations must be accompanied by a cover letter explaining the reason for the adjournment. Fax numbers for all counsel must be provided in the cover letter or the stipulation.

18. Disclosure Disputes. Parties must comply with the Uniform Rules, §202.70(g), Rule 14, regarding consultation among counsel prior to contacting the Court. If counsel are unable to resolve a dispute, the party seeking Court intervention shall send a letter to the Court, of no more than two (2) pages, upon notice to all parties, describing the problem and the relief requested. Such letter may be answered within eight (8) days by letter of no more than two (2) pages, also on notice to all parties. The party requesting relief shall then contact Chambers to arrange a conference (preferably by telephone) to resolve such dispute. If no effort is made by counsel to schedule such conference, the Court will infer that the matter has been resolved and will take no action. The Court may order that a motion be made but no discovery motion will be entertained without prior compliance with this rule.

19. The Kings County Commercial Division will strictly enforce Uniform Rules, §202.70(g), Rules 6 and 17 relating to the form and length of papers submitted to the Court. Unless the Court has authorized a longer brief in advance, counsel is advised that briefs and affidavits in excess of 25 and 15 pages as specified in the rules may be rejected.

Orders to Show Cause
Temporary Restraining Orders

20. Orders to Show Cause are argued on the date indicated in the order unless otherwise adjourned with the consent of the court.

21. Where no affidavit of prejudice has been provided pursuant to Uniform Rules, §202.70(g)(3), Rule 20, notice of applications for Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) contained in an Order to Show Cause must be given to opposing counsel, or parties if no attorney has previously appeared, at least six hours in advance of submission to the court and must contain a specific time and date of submission so as to afford an opportunity to appear. Proof of such notice (which may be by attorney’s affirmation) must accompany the proposed Order.

22. Contested applications for TROs will not be heard after 4:00 PM absent extraordinarily compelling circumstances. [See Uniform Rules, §202.70(g), Rule 20. Temporary Restraining Orders]

Trials

23. A firm trial date will be established at a final settlement conference to be held at the conclusion of discovery. The Court may direct the parties to appear at such conference.

24. At the final settlement conference, a pre-trial conference will be scheduled in compliance with Uniform Rules, §202.70(g), Rules 25 to 33, to be held following the filing of a Note of Issue and approximately ten (10) days in advance of the trial date. Trial counsel must appear. Pre-marked exhibits, pre-trial memoranda, requests to charge, witness lists, and in-limine applications, which are to be made by letter of no more than two (2) pages, duly served upon all parties and the Court at least eight (8) days in advance of the date of the pre-trial conference, shall be provided at the pre-trial conference as required pursuant to Uniform Rules, §202.70(g), Rules 25 to 33. Responses to in-limine applications, also in letter form of no more than two (2) pages, shall be served at least five (5) days prior to the pre-trial conference. Short and concise pre-trial memoranda are preferred, containing a statement of the facts and issues of the case and the relevant principles of law with citations to controlling authority. Counsel must confer prior to appearance at the pre-trial conference so that exhibits that are not disputed can be identified and stipulated into evidence. Failure to identify an exhibit on the pre-trial list of exhibits may result in preclusion of such exhibit at trial.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

25. In the interest of expediting prompt resolution of disputes at a minimum expense to the litigants, a mediation program is available through the Kings County Commercial Division. Pursuant to Uniform Rules §202.70(g)(3), the Court may direct counsel and the parties to participate in non-binding mediation. In Kings County, experienced former jurists, acting as JHOs, are available at no expense to the parties. Alternatively, Kings County has available a roster of trained practitioners willing to accept a referral from the Court for mediation, to whom litigants may be referred. Discovery continues pending mediation unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Counsel are referred to the rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution for Kings County for more detailed information.

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PART K

Kings County Matrimonial Part Uniform Rules and

Protocols During Pandemic Emergency

[As of September 8, 2020]1 ​​​​​​

These rules apply to all matrimonial actions in Kings County, New York.

The Matrimonial Clerk’s office can be reached at 360ASupremeCivilMatrimonial@nycourts.gov or 347-296-1714

Email Contacts for Matrimonial Chambers: 
Honorable Jeffrey S. Sunshine - Part 5G - Sbonanno@nycourts.gov 
Courtroom telephone: 347-296-1654 
Courtroom e-mail: KingsMat5G@nycourts.gov    
Chambers telephone: 347-296-1527
 
Honorable Rachel A. Adams - Part 5F – lravinsk@nycourts.gov 
Courtroom telephone: 347-296-1636 
Courtroom e-mail: KingsMat5F@nycourts.gov
Chambers telephone: 347-401-9260

Honorable Eric I. Prus - Part 5A - Dgonzale@nycourts.gov 
Courtroom telephone: 347-296-1646 
Courtroom e-mail: KingsMat5A@nycourts.gov
Chambers telephone: 347-296-1486

Honorable Delores J. Thomas - Part 5T
Courtroom telephone: 347-401-9211 
Courtroom e-mail: KingsMat5T@nycourts.gov
Chambers telephone: 347-296-1539

Honorable Lorna J. McAllister - Part 5L - aschain@nycourts.gov
Courtroom telephone: 347-296-1572 
Courtroom e-mail: KingsMat5L@nycourts.gov
Chambers telephone: 347-296-1555

Honorable Theresa M. Ciccotto - Part 5J – Esrodrig@nycourts.gov 
Courtroom telephone: 347-296-2632  
Courtroom e-mail: KingsMat5J@nycourts.gov
Chambers telephone: 347-404-9954

Honorable Esther Morgenstern – IDV- mschwart@nycourts.gov 
Courtroom telephone: 347-401-9332 
Courtroom e-mail: KingsMatIDV@nycourts.gov
Chambers telephone: 347-401-9208 

Please contact the IDV Part directly for the IDV Part rules.

Email Contacts for Matrimonial Referees: 
Diana Szochet - dszochet@nycourts.gov 
Courtroom telephone: 347-401-9205 
Chambers telephone: 347-296-1779
 
Carolyn Genovesi - cgenoves@nycourts.gov 
Courtroom telephone: 347-296-1454 
Chambers telephone: 347-404-9855
 
NOTE: ALL EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE COURT MUST BE ON NOTICE TO ALL PARTIES/COUNSEL.  THE COURT WILL NOT ACCEPT EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS. THIS REQUIRES INCLUSION OF ATTORNEYS FOR THE CHILDREN.

Emails to Chambers should only be sent during courthouse business hours NOT after courthouse business hours, on weekends, or on holidays. If you are represented by an attorney, you cannot communicate with chambers or the Court directly.

The Matrimonial Virtual Scheduling Form (Exhibit C) should be completed at the commencement of the action.

Office of Self-Represented Litigants 
At present, the Office of Self-Represented can be reached by telephone at 
347-296-1740 or by e-mail at 360ASupremeCivilSelfHelp@nycourts.gov.   
Many forms and resources are also located at nycourts.gov and on the Kings County Supreme Court website at http://ww2.nycourts.gov/courts/2jd/kings/civil/index.shtml where the most up-to-date information about protocols and scheduling will be posted.  When in-person court operations resume, the Office of Self-Represented will offer assistance at 360 Adams Street, Room 122-C, Brooklyn NY 11201. 

E-Filing 
Electronic filing (e-filing) provides a safe alternative to in-person filings and is an efficient, convenient, and practical tool to afford the legal community access to courts.  E-filing should be used whenever possible to mitigate unnecessary in-person appearances.  Self-represented litigants are not required to utilize NYSCEF but are encouraged to do so to facilitate contactless processing which decreases unnecessary exposure for all parties. 
1.    Proceedings may be converted to e-filing pursuant to Administrative Order 114/20 (available at nycourts.gov) where both parties are represented by counsel, except for commencement or pursuant to court order.  To consent to e-filing: upload a consent to convert stipulation through the EDDS system at https://iappscontent.courts.state.ny.us/NYSCEF/live/edds.htm.  
2.    Email addresses for all parties/counsel should be included on all filings to facilitate and expedite scheduling and resolution. 
3.    E-filing is not to be used to upload communications with adversaries and/or the Court without prior Court permission.  Any such communications will be rejected.   
4.    At this time EDDS should only be used to upload the consent to e-filing stipulation. All subsequent filings should be through the NYSCEF unless otherwise directed by the Court. 
5.    If an attorney refuses to consent to e-filing the movant may make an essential application seeking authorization to use e-filing.  If that application is granted by the Court, the movant may use e-filing and the non-consenting party (attorney or self-represented party) may file in hard-copy. In such a “hybrid” situation, or where a self-represented litigant does not consent, service must be accomplished by any conventional method prescribed by the Court or, if there has been no such designation, pursuant to CPLR 2103.  In a case where both parties are represented by counsel and one attorney, or both attorneys, do not consent to e-filing and no judge has yet been assigned, counsel must arrange a telephone conference on the issue with Hon. Jeffrey S. Sunshine: to schedule that telephone conference please e-mail sbonanno@nycourts.gov.  If a matter has been assigned to a Judge, the Judge’s chambers shall be contacted at the e-mail indicated above.
6.    Additional information about NYSCEF, including how to register and tutorial for attorneys and litigants is available at:

https://iappscontent.courts.state.ny.us/NYSCEF/live/training.htm  
 
NOTICE: No photography or video or audio recording is permitted during court appearances (virtual or in-person) without express Court permission. Violation of this provision could result in arrest or being held in contempt of Court.

Virtual Appearances 
The Kings County Justices have adopted the Virtual Appearance Protocol (Exhibit A) in the Kings County Matrimonial parts.  All conferences, including arguments on motions and orders to show cause, hearings, and trials, will occur virtually or by telephone, if video access is not available unless an in-court appearance is specifically authorized by the Court. 
1.    If a party does not have access to the virtual platform, arrangements for a telephonic proceeding or conference may be made. 
2.    Utilizing virtual appearance is the most efficient way to conduct a court proceeding. The video function allows the Court to see the attorneys and parties and for the court reporter to identify who is speaking which is necessary to take down an accurate record.  Video appearance also allows the Court to quickly address any technical problem and pause the proceeding if an attorney or party loses connection. Using video also enables the Court to notify lawyers and parties if clarification of the record is needed due to a technological malfunction or to notify everyone if someone is speaking too quickly for a record to be made.   
3.    ALL VIRTUAL PROCEEDINGS OR TELEPHONIC PROCEEDINGS FOR COURT APPEARANCES SHALL BE SET UP BY COURT STAFF.  
4.    Counsel and parties must adhere to all pre-scheduled appointments.  Counsel and litigants are expected to join the virtual proceeding 10 minutes before the scheduled court proceeding to test audio/visual equipment in ADVANCE of the scheduled time. 
5.    No recording of any proceedings or conferences is permitted except by the official court reporter. 
6.    Participants should MUTE their microphones when they are not speaking to reduce background noise interference. 
7.    Litigants must take the steps necessary to ensure no children can overhear or witness any court appearances and/or proceedings and should ensure they are participating from a location without background noise interference (TV, radio, street noise). 
8.    If a litigant does not have access to a virtual-capable device or telephone, a separate location in the courthouse may be provided or, where appropriate, upon Court direction an in-person appearance, upon application.  
9.    All parties must be present at each virtual appearance unless excused by the Court for in-person proceedings at this time Court instruction will be provided if permission is granted for an in-person proceeding. 
10.    A Notice of Appearance shall be e-filed before the first appearance by counsel.

Adjournments
1. Requests for adjournments should be made in advance. If the request for adjournment is granted by the Court then counsel or self-represented litigants shall prepare a stipulation including the caption and index number of the case, the appearance date, the adjourned date, and the reason for the adjournment. The stipulation shall be e-mailed to the chambers e-mail listed above, NOT uploaded to e-filing, at least one (1) day prior to the scheduled appearance date. All adjournments are subject to final approval by the Judge. 
2. All adjournments on the grounds of engagement of counsel shall be granted only in accordance with Part 125 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts. Affirmations in e-filed cases must be submitted through NYSCEF. In cases that have not been converted to e-filing, affirmations must be emailed to the Court using the part e-mail address listed above at least one (1) day prior to the court appearance on notice to all sides.  It is the obligation of the parties/counsel to notify the Court if there are existing temporary order(s) of protection that would expire on the scheduled court appearance. If the temporary order(s) of protection are continuing to the adjourn date the parties must appear on the originally scheduled date for service of extended temporary order(s) of protection to the adjourn date.

In-Person Appearances
In-person appearances are by prior court permission and prior arrangement. The current Kings County Supreme Court pandemic protocols are available at http://ww2.nycourts.gov/courts/2jd/kings/civil/index.shtml

Temporary Orders of Protection
1. Ex parte Orders of Protection are heard within twenty-four (24) hours of filing and, when possible, they are heard the same day they are filed (N.Y. Domestic Relations Law 240). No notice to opposing counsel or litigant is required pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.7. The party filing any application that includes a request for an ex parte order of protection shall notify the Matrimonial Clerk's Office that it is a request for a temporary order of protection at 360ASupremeCivilMatrimonial@nycourts.gov or 347-296-1714 and, if a Judge is assigned, to the part e-mail listed above.
2. Applications for orders of protection shall be made by order to show cause, not by notice of motion.
3. Moving counsel are required to have their clients available unless excused by the Court.

Court Interpreter Services 
Chambers staff and the part clerk must be notified by email at least three (3) court days in advance of EACH court proceeding (including conference, oral argument, hearing, trial) if a court interpreter is needed. 
 
Alternative Dispute Resolution 
See Exhibit B.  

Automatic Order
Pursuant to Domestic Relations Law section 236 B (2), when serving a summons, a copy of the Automatic Orders; Notice of Domestic Relations Law section 255; and Notice of the Maintenance Guidelines must also be served.

Ex Parte Applications
Any application for temporary injunctive relief shall contain an affirmation demonstrating there will be significant prejudice to the party seeking the restraining order by giving notice. In the absence of a showing of significant prejudice, an affirmation must demonstrate that a good faith effort has been made to notify the party against whom the restraining order is sought in accordance with 22 NYCRR 202.7. This rule does not apply to temporary orders of protection. The parties must be available to participate.

Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI)
1. Pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.16(d), an RJI shall be filed within forty-five (45) days of the date of service of the summons.
2. A request for a preliminary conference shall accompany the RJI and both must be served on all parties.
3. A copy of the RJI and the request for a Preliminary Conference (PC) shall be e-filed.  If the party is not using e-filing, these copies must be filed with the Kings County Clerk’s office and the Matrimonial Clerk’s office: they can be mailed with the payment due. If not previously filed, a copy of the notice of appearance should be filed at this time.

Motions and Orders to Show Cause
1. Motions shall be made returnable only on the part’s motion date(s), or they can be calendared to the part’s next available motion date by the Matrimonial Clerk’s Office. If the case already has a date scheduled in the future, the motion may be made returnable on that previously assigned date even if it is not a regularly scheduled motion date.
2. Oral argument is required on all motions unless dispensed with by the Judge.
3. All responsive papers, including cross-motions, shall be e-filed (or filed in the Matrimonial Clerk’s Office) at least three (3) days prior to the return date of the motion except filing is acceptable within two (2) days if made by overnight mail. All cross-motions must conform to CPLR 2215. In calculating service dates the date of filing is not included pursuant to General Construction Law 20.
4. All exhibits to in-person filed documents are to be tabbed.  In cases that are e-filed, exhibits must be uploaded separately. Single-sided pages only.
5. Any application related to child support shall include a Child Support Standards Act worksheet. All applications and responses thereto for pendente lite maintenance shall include a worksheet and calculation -pursuant to the applicable maintenance guideline in effect as of the date of commencement of the action as well as an affidavit of net worth. Any request for deviation must articulate which of the deviation factors the moving party is relying upon and the reason for the deviation request. All applications for financial relief, or in opposition to requested financial relief, including counsel fee applications must contain a current affidavit of net worth and supporting documents attached in the official form. The form affidavit of net worth can be printed from https://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/forms.shtml#Statewide.
6. Counsel and the parties are required to appear virtually, unless an in-person appearance was authorized by the Court, on all motions and orders to show cause unless the Court orders otherwise.
7. Pursuant to the CPLR, after argument of an application, sur-replies, memorandum, and letters addressed to the substance of the pending application will not be considered without prior permission of the Court.
8. Allegations of fact submitted to the Court, including allegations contained in an affidavit or the complaint must be certified by counsel in the form prescribed by the Chief Administrative Judge.
9. Copies of the Family Court petition and any existing orders must be submitted with the application to consolidate. All orders to show cause and motions for consolidation must be served on all attorneys who have appeared or been appointed in the Family Court if there is presently an action pending in Family Court.
10. Initial post-judgment applications shall be brought by Order to Show Cause. In the event there is a post-judgment application pending, further applications may be made by Notice of Motion or cross-motion.
11. All motions for contempt must be made by Order to Show Cause in conformity with the Judiciary Law and contain the required warning in correct typeface and type size.
12. All submissions must comply with the requirements, including page limits detailed in 22 NYCRR202.16-b.

Preliminary Conference-Time Specified  
1.    Uniform P.C. Forms can be filled out in OmniForm from the Court website. 
https://www.nycourts.gov/LegacyPDFS/forms/matrimonial/PreliminaryConferenceOrderFillable.pdf The parties may consent to execute the last page separately and submit. 
2.    The requirement pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.16(f) that litigants be present at the preliminary conference may be interpreted that participation by virtual or other approved appearance shall constitute an appearance.  
3.    Unless necessary and ordered by the Court in advance, all preliminary conferences are to be held virtually. 
4.    Pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.16(f)(1), net worth affidavits shall be filed with the Court ten (10) days prior to the conference date, accompanied by the attorneys’ retainer statements and the parties’ recent pay stubs or W-2. A blank preliminary conference form can be downloaded at https://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/forms.shtml#Statewide.
5.    A STATUTORY RECORDS CHECK FORM MUST BE COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED TO THE PART CLERK IN EVERY CASE WHERE THERE ARE CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OLD unless waived by the Court because a statutory records check was previously completed within the prior ninety (90) days. Please notify chambers more than one (1) day in advance of each court appearance where a statutory records check is required and submit the form so the records check can be prepared in advance of the court appearance.
6.    The Court encourages use of Interrogatories in lieu of depositions during this time; however, where necessary, virtual depositions may be conducted. 
7.    Where practicable, and where authentication of records is not required, production of financial records may be provided by online access from clients’ accounts instead of subpoenas and direct requests from agencies.

Compliance Conference -Time Specified 
1.    Appearances by both litigants and counsel shall occur virtually unless in court appearance is approved by the court as necessary.  

Pre-Trial Conference - Time Specified  
1. A Note of issue shall be filed prior to the pre-trial conference, in accordance with the compliance conference order. A copy of the Note of Issue shall be filed prior to the pre-trial conference.
2. Each party shall provide the Court with a statement of proposed disposition, updated net worth statement, maintenance guidelines calculation, child support worksheet (if applicable), and the last three (3) years tax returns; W-2s; 1099s, and any K-1 together with all schedules. If the prior year's tax return has not yet been filed, copies of all W-2; K-1; 1099 and a copy of the filed extension must be provided.
3. All motions in-limine shall be made by the time of the pre-trial conference.

Pre-marking Conference - Time Specified 
1.    Virtual pre-marking shall be held with the part clerk or law clerk at least one (1) week prior to trial for electronic submission. 

Trial
1. Please check with the Court part prior to trial/hearing regarding specific protocols in effect, if any, related to uploading evidence in advance.
2. If a case has been resolved please notify the Court by conference call if there is a signed stipulation of settlement and do not wait until the trial date.  Proposed stipulations of settlement shall NOT be uploaded to e-filing – they shall be provided to the Court for review as PDF attachments to an e-mail on notice to all parties.  If a stipulation of settlement is approved by the Court, it will then be uploaded into e-filing.
3. The following, if applicable, shall be provided to the Court at least one (1) week prior to the date of trial, if not previously provided at a pre-trial conference:
•    Marked pleadings
•    Updated affidavits of net-worth; copies of three (3) years prior tax returns (if the tax filing deadline has not expired and returns have not been filed for the prior year that party must provide current W-2/1099s/K-1/etc.; statement of proposed dispositions and maintenance and child support worksheets; blank form affidavits of net worth can be downloaded at http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/forms.shtml#Statewide.
•    A witness list and any pre-trial memorandum
•    Expert reports which were served no later than thirty (30) days before trial
•    A list of all proposed exhibits
•    A list of documents, pre-marked by counsel, which counsel may stipulate into evidence
•    A written copy of any issues or facts to which parties can stipulate before trial, to be read into the record or marked into evidence at the commencement of trial
4. There will be no adjournments of the trial date without express court permission.
5. Failure to proceed may result in a judgment of default or dismissal of the action.
6. Copies of trial memorandum/decisions will be uploaded to the e-filing system and can be accessed there by counsel and self-represented litigants.
7. Applications for counsel fees must include a retainer agreement, copies of billing records, and affirmation of services.  If the parties do not stipulate to the issue of the final counsel fee award being decided on submission of papers, the Court must hear testimony at the conclusion of the trial on the issue.  Submission of documents can be uploaded through e-filing, where the case has been converted on consent or other methodology as permitted by the Court on a case-by-case basis, pursuant to ongoing virtual trial protocols.

Trials, Hearings, and/or Oral Arguments will be held VIRTUALLY unless Prior Approval of the Court.

In-camera Interviews 
1.    In-camera interviews will be conducted by prior arrangements and where practicable virtually.  
2.    Where practicable the child may be asked to appear in Attorney for the Child’s office or other secured location where confidentiality and social distancing can be assured. In-camera interviews in the Courthouse will be only by prior permission of the Court.  

Coordination of In Court Proceedings-Physical Courtroom 
1.    Updated Kings County Supreme Court Civil Term pandemic protocols are available here: http://ww2.nycourts.gov/courts/2jd/kings/civil/index.shtml
2.    Conferencing shall not be held in chambers and robing rooms at this time.

Inquests and Stipulations 
1.    Inquests and allocutions shall occur on the record virtually or, on the Court’s prior approval, by submission of documents and a written sworn affidavit in lieu of an oral allocution. 
2.    Proposed signed agreements, once fully executed, should be sent by e-mail as a PDF to Chambers for review at least one (1) day in advance of the scheduled inquest and allocution.  
3.    If the case involves custody of children, a fully completed registry check form shall also be provided at least one (1) day in advance. 
4.    Contact the Court part for sample questions for inquests.

Forensic Reports and other Confidential Reports 
1.    If confidentiality affirmations are signed by counsel, forensic reports can be sent to counsel confidentially by utilizing “@secure” in the e-mail subject line. They may be shared, but not copied, only in the presence of counsel and may not be sent electronically to litigants. 
2.    Self-represented litigants may access the report in the courthouse by appointment only. Self-represented litigants shall not make copies or images of the reports.  

Judgments of Divorce
1. All proposed judgments of divorce shall include a completed copy of the Matrimonial Term Clerk office’s contested judgment checklist, including all necessary attachments.  If the matter was e-filed or converted to e-filing then the proposed judgment roll should be e-filed.
2. Pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.48 proposed judgments with proof of service on all parties must be submitted for signature unless otherwise directed by the Court within sixty (60) days.
3. All judgments and orders must include a notice of settlement in compliance with Rule 202.48. If papers are rejected the re-submitted proposed judgment/order must include a new notice of settlement.  
4. Counter-proposed judgments of divorce must comply with NYCRR 202.48.

Post Judgment Applications
1. If a contested judgment of divorce was signed within 18 months of an application to modify the issue of custody and/or visitation, the application will be heard in the Supreme Court at the discretion of the Court.
2. Post-judgment applications must be brought by order to show cause if there are no presently pending post-judgment applications with service as directed by the Court. 
3. Initial post-judgment applications must be personally served unless waived by the Court or adversary. Service on prior counsel is defective service.
4. Case law requires that a new retainer agreement must be entered into by the litigant and counsel for post-judgment representation even if the attorney was the attorney of record on the underlying action.
5. All post-judgment applications, except requests for an ex parte temporary order of protection, related to an order, judgment, or agreement must have a copy of the underlying order, judgment, and agreement annexed.

Referee Referrals
Referrals to referee parts are expected to be trial-ready on the date selected for trial and prepared to be heard day-to-day thereafter. These referrals are NOT for the purpose of extensive conferencing and the dates selected should not be adjourned without good cause. Referees will notify the referring justice of any adjournments.

PLEASE NOTE THAT EACH PART MAY HAVE ADDITIONAL INDIVIDUAL PART RULES.

EXHIBIT A 
Suggested Protocol for Virtual Oral Arguments in Matrimonial Proceedings 
Hon. Jeffrey Sunshine 
 
1.    Everyone identifies themselves after the case is called in.  
2.    Everyone identifies how they are appearing (by phone or virtual). 
3.    Everyone identifies themselves each time they speak in order to be seen on the virtual system. 
4.    No recording allowed except court reporter.  
5.    Where practicable when you are not speaking phone or video must be muted.  
6.    When anyone speaks, including the Judge, identify themselves each time.  
7.    Counsel and litigants may NOT interrupt each other or talk over each other.  
8.    Judge articulates on record before the argument begins the motions sequence and the papers being considered and confirms with counsel or litigants on the record.  If appropriate, ADR alternatives are discussed. 
9.    Appointments in advance for oral arguments with strict limited time period.  
10.  Plaintiff or movant goes first.  
11.  If court reporter has a question or cannot hear - the Court Reporter shall interrupt, and EVERYONE must stop speaking.   
12.    Children are not to overhear the proceedings.  If this is not possible due to safety concerns, the litigant or their attorney must notify the court.  
13.    If litigant is represented by counsel, counsel speaks on behalf of the litigant.  
14.    Professional attire by counsel is expected during virtual court appearances consistent with the rules established by the Appellate Division, Second Department for virtual appearances.
 

EXHIBIT B 
KINGS COUNTY PRESUMPTIVE MEDIATION
(Revised - Effective July 15, 2020)

Introduction: All matrimonial cases in Kings County are considered eligible for presumptive mediation at the initial return dates for preliminary conferences and post-judgment applications.  Inquiry as to mediation will be explored pursuant to a screening protocol. At this time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic emergency, unless otherwise ordered, the preliminary conference, the screening for appropriateness, and the mediation will be conducted virtually. 

Effective July 15, 2020 post-judgment actions relating to parenting time, custody, and/or child support will also be considered eligible for presumptive mediation. Please note that issues related to relocation are not eligible for post-judgment mediation. 

Mediation: Presumptive mediation means that all cases assigned to the Kings County Matrimonial Term may be deemed eligible for mediation (and post-judgment cases within the limitations above) and may, at the Judges’ discretion, be assigned to one mandated mediation session. Initial mediation sessions are at no cost to the parties for the mediator’s services. A party or counsel may opt out of presumptive mediation by filing and signing a form on the date of the preliminary conference (PC), or an adjourned date of the PC, stating that they wish to not participate in mediation. If they wish to engage in mediation, a preliminary conference will be conducted considering expanded time frames to accommodate the mediation.

Cases eligible for mediation will meet with a mediator and talk about the concerns that brought them to court to resolve contested issues. The mediator is a trained neutral who conducts the mediation session. The mediator may be associated with a not-for-profit mediation service provider or an independent mediator whose credentials and qualifications have been reviewed and approved to work together with the Court in this program. A mediator is not a judge and will not decide issues if parties cannot agree. Some mediations may take place with co-mediators or experienced mediators who are professor(s) accompanied by law students.

Mediation is voluntary, which means that parties can stop the process at any time; parties also do not have to agree to anything. Mediation is confidential with one of the exceptions being an allegation of child abuse or neglect. Anything said during mediation is not shared with the Judge.

Initial Screening: Screening for eligibility at this time will be done virtually will be done by the Court with the assistance of the Court’s Case Analyst Natasha Pasternack, LMSW, and NY Peace Institute, a not-for-profit Community Dispute Resolution Center. Not all cases will be deemed eligible for mediation. Eligibility may be denied based upon a host of factors, such as past or present orders of protection, a power imbalance, past or present neglect or abuse petitions, complexity of issues, need for extensive discovery, or other factors determined by the Judge assigned.

Cases may be postponed for consideration of eligibility by the Judge pending determination of, or an agreement as to, interim issues of temporary child support, temporary maintenance, interim counsel fees or assignment of counsel (custody and visitation), or an attorney for the child(ren).

Screening, as the rest of the mediation process, is being conducted virtually.

Mediators: The Court’s Case Analyst will assign mediators to cases based upon availability of resources and any threshold income requirements of a mediation program. 

If parties wish to select their own mediator, they may do so but must notify the Court’s Case Analyst within 5 court days of the name of the mediator and the date and time of the scheduled mediation. If the parties or counsel fail to provide the information the Case Analyst will designate a mediator.

Mediation Sessions and Scheduling: Counsel may attend the virtual mediation with their clients. Counsel must provide notice to their adversary and to the assigned mediator if they plan on attending with their clients. Any additional mediation session is optional for the parties and not mandated by the Court. If parties opt to continue mediating beyond the initial session, they may arrange to mediate with the same mediator or engage a new mediator. If the parties and mediator want to continue to mediate beyond the initial mediation session, and the mediator charges a fee, the mediator must enter into a written agreement with the parties spelling out the payment details.

Parties must also contact the court-assigned mediator, if one has already been assigned, to cancel any scheduled session. If either party fails to attend the scheduled mediation or does not provide advance written notice to the mediator that they are not attending a scheduled mediation session, they may incur a fee from the mediator.

No mediation of pre or post-judgment financial ancillary issues may occur without the exchange of an affidavit of net worth and the prior year’s tax returns with supporting W-2s, 1099, and K-1 forms (unless waived), which if they have not been provided as required by 22 NYCRR 202.16 at the PC must be completed and exchanged five days prior to the mediation, unless waived. While discovery should continue during the period of mediation, no depositions or financial experts need to be retained or appointed until after the mediation, unless done so on consent or ordered by the Court.

All communications between the parties and the mediator about the dispute are excluded from court or any other proceedings including any disclosures made with a view towards settlement. However, when credible information concerning child abuse or neglect or seriously threatened harm to anyone comes to the attention of the mediator, they are not required to adhere to the confidentiality restrictions.

Under this protocol, a party may not call the mediator as a witness to testify in any other proceeding regarding any aspect of the mediation. The parties shall not require the production in court or in any other proceeding of any records or documents made by the mediator.

For further information, you may contact Family Counseling and Case Analyst Natasha Pasternack, LMSW during regular court hours at npastern@nycourts.gov.

EXHIBIT C

Matrimonial Virtual Scheduling Form
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PART L

Condemnation Part Rules

These local rules supplement Uniform Rule § 202.61 with respect to obtaining Index Numbers for Claims and exchange and Filing of Appraisal Reports in Eminent Domain Proceedings.

Rule 1. Index Numbers for fee Claims. Within sixty days from the expiration of the time set forth, pursuant to EDPL 503 (B), in an order of acquisition for the filing of written claims or notices of appearance, condemnor shall obtain an index number for each of the fee claims on file with the court pursuant to the said order so that the Clerk can separately maintain the claim and all further proceedings with respect thereto, and the condemnor shall notify the claimant or its attorney of record of the index number assigned to its claim. Thereafter, papers pertaining to each claim shall be separately prepared and filed under the index number assigned to the claim. A Request for Judicial Intervention is required to initiate proceedings before the court pertaining to the claim. This Rule shall take effect on March 1st, 2012, and shall apply to all Eminent Domain Proceedings in which the time for filing written claims or notices of appearance expires after February 29th, 2012.

Rule 2. Index Number for Fixture Claims. Within six months after appraisals of fixtures have been exchanged pursuant to Uniform Rule § 202.61 (a)(1), condemnor shall obtain an index number for each individual claim for which appraisal has been exchanged so that the Clerk can separately maintain the claim and all further proceedings with respect thereto; and the condemnor shall notify the claimant or its attorney of record of the index number assigned to its claim. Thereafter, papers pertaining to each claim shall be separately prepared and filed under the index number assigned to the claim. A Request for Judicial Intervention is required to initiate proceedings before the court pertaining to the claim. This Rule shall take effect on March 1st, 2012, and shall apply to all Eminent Domain Proceedings in which appraisals of fixtures are exchanged after February 29th, 2012.

 

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PART M

CONSOLIDATED DISCOVERY PART RULES*

(Effective date: January 1, 2020)

(*Does not apply to Matrimonial, Commercial, Guardianship,

Condemnation, Foreclosure, and Tax Cert. cases.) 

NOTE: PLEASE SEE PRE-NOTE DISCOVERY FLOW CHART.

 

Appearance is Mandatory in all six Consolidated Discovery Parts: Intake/PC (rm 282), CCP (Central Compliance Part, rm 282), Motions (rm 282), FCP (Final Conference Part, rm 277), FDP (Final Disposition Part, rm 277), and City Discovery Part (rm 296).

Compliance with discovery orders shall be required during the pendency of motions to withdraw/be relieved, or during settlement discussions/ arbitration, unless otherwise ordered by the discovery court. The discovery court ordinarily will order compliance with discovery orders during the pendency of pre-note dispositive motions (CPLR §§ 3211, 3212, etc.) unless stayed by the IAS judge.

PRE CALENDAR PROCEDURES:
Discovery in any action need not involve the court.  In cases where the parties are represented by attorneys, those professionals may comply with the CPLR, statutes, and case law to accomplish discovery without input by the court. Where a party is not represented by an attorney, they should consider involving the court from the very beginning.
    
The filing of the Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) starts court intervention and commences the rigorous timeline in which to complete discovery: Pre-note Standards & Goals (S&G) on an: Expedited tracked case is 8 months, a Standard tracked case is 12 months, on a Complex tracked case is 15 months. These rules are promulgated by the Chief Judge.

Copies of medical records and authorizations shall be served upon all parties at least twenty (20) days before the PC Conference (see 22 NYCRR 202.17 (b)). A Bill of Particulars must be filed before the Preliminary Conference. 

The parties shall discuss and decide how discovery shall be conducted regarding social media and other forms of electronic discovery.

If your firm name is not on the printed calendar or is written onto the calendar, please legibly fill out a notice of appearance, which are located in the front of the courtroom, so that the clerks can update the court’s computer. You must indicate which party you represent or who you are substituting for. 


INTAKE/PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE (PC)
Courtroom 282
Opens at 9:30 AM
Telephone number: 347-296-1626
There is one calendar call at 11:00 AM. This is also the default call. Attorneys with appearances elsewhere in the courthouse should advise the clerk of their whereabouts to avoid a default.

A PC shall be scheduled within 45 days of filing the RJI. These conferences are co-located in the Central Compliance Part. It is compliance with the PC order that DRIVES the rest of the centralized discovery parts.

The filing/purchasing of an RJI will automatically prompt the scheduling of a preliminary conference. A PC Order will be entered on default of any non-appearing party. If no party appears, the case shall be dismissed. An RJI filed with a Bill of Particulars BP attached shall have priority for scheduling a PC.  

Bill of Particulars (“BP”): A BP must be filed and provided prior to the PC, if it is not, your action may be administratively dismissed at the Preliminary Conference. The Preliminary Conference is not to be adjourned, even on consent, unless good cause is shown for the adjournment. Mere failure to serve a B/P is insufficient reason to adjourn a PC, an order shall be entered on the date of the PC, failure to file/provide a BP may result in dismissal of the action.

Discovery & Inspection (“D & I”): Parties shall bring all D&I and responses served prior to the PC. The court may incorporate the D&I/responses into the PC, rule upon the issues, and/or give further directions to the parties. 

Any motion seeking discovery-related relief filed prior to the PC shall be scheduled concurrently with the PC in the Intake Part.

At the PC Conference, a fixed Note of Issue filing date shall be set. It shall be set to a date four (4) weeks prior to the expiration of the Pre Note S&G date.

The first Compliance Conference shall be set approximately two weeks after the plaintiff’s scheduled EBT. Plaintiff’s failure to provide the necessary authorizations shall delay their case and may invoke sanctions and/or heightened scrutiny regarding their compliance. Failure to conduct EBT may result in sanctions.

Where actions have been consolidated or joined for trial or a late third party has been included, the parties shall bring the order with proof of service and ensure to immediately notify the court and the staff in the discovery parts.

CENTRAL COMPLIANCE PART RULES
Courtroom 282
Opens at 9:30 AM
Telephone number: 347-296-1626
There is one calendar call at 11:00 AM. This is also the default call. Attorneys with appearances elsewhere in the courthouse should advise the clerk of their whereabouts to avoid a default.

PROPOSED ORDERS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND NOT FINAL UNTIL THE JUDGE SIGNS THE ORDER.  PARTIES ARE NOT TO LEAVE UNTIL ORDER IS SIGNED.

If your firm name is not on the printed calendar or is written onto the calendar, please legibly fill out a Notice of Appearance form so that the clerks can update the court’s computer. These forms are located in the front of the courtroom. You must indicate which party you represent or who you are substituting for. 

All Parties must be prepared with all their prior discovery orders and they must know their NOI date.

Forms are available in the courtroom and may be completed when all parties are present. Parties shall endeavor to resolve their own discovery issues and present the proposed orders to the court attorney/referee reviewing proposed consent orders. Parties appearing must be fully familiar with all discovery issues and all other facets of the case relevant to the issues of discovery.  Failing to be prepared when appearing before the judge shall substantially delay the resolution of your issue. The court works until 5 PM and many cases must return for resolution in the afternoon session.

Prior to oral argument and decision by the judge, the parties must conference with a court attorney/referee. 

Adjournments are only based on good cause or documentation of exigent circumstances must be presented.

ORDERS ON CONSENT OF THE PARTIES:
All orders will be reviewed by Judge and ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  Parties should not leave until Order is signed, as Judge may need to see the parties.  Orders completed “On Consent” should be placed in the appropriate basket, in the front of courtroom. For motions, a hard copy of all motion papers must be presented with the consent order. 

The Order:

  1. Orders MUST be legible.  All appearing attorneys must legibly print their names and their firm’s name.
  2. Must comply with the current NOI date which must be printed at the top of the proposed order. Any request to extend must attach a note with an explanation (new surgery on 1/1/20, recent party 1/1/20, just consolidated/joint trial with other actions on 1/1/20).
  3. Must contain the calendar number, index number, the date, and the Judge’s name and caption.
  4. Must have firm dates or “on or before” dates. (I.e. Not 30 days before/after) (i.e. IME o/o/b February 21, 2020).  
  5. Must address ALL outstanding discovery to date, (not just the subject of the motion).  If another outstanding discovery is addressed in other discovery orders, you may incorporate that order by specific reference (if dates have passed new dates shall be ordered). The court must be notified of pending Motions, OSC, CC on same case which shall be advanced/addressed.  
  6. If case has an appearance in CCP, FCP or FDP on same day as CCP motion, incorporate conference into CCP motion order and indicate “This is also deemed the ‘compliance conference order’, or ‘final conference order’ or ‘final disposition order’”, as is applicable.                             

COMPLIANCE CONFERENCES (CC): 
CCs are scheduled to track and ensure compliance with the PC order (which was triggered by the RJI) prior to the date fixed for filing of the Note of Issue (“NOI”).

The time to conclude discovery pursuant to the Chief Judge’s rules is as follows:

Expedited cases 8 months, Standard cases 12 months, Complex cases 15 months.  It is this timeline that sets the NOI.

Discovery scheduled and ordered shall be strictly adhered to, pursuant to part rules. Unjustified failure to comply with the provisions of discovery orders shall result in waiving discovery, preclusion, the striking of a pleading, or imposition of sanctions, as appropriate.

A CC shall be scheduled right after the plaintiff’s EBT. If necessary, a second CC shall be scheduled. 

At the Compliance Conference, a Final Compliance Conference shall be scheduled in a separate Part. Whether complex or standard tracked, the Final Compliance Conference will be approximately six (6) weeks prior to NOI.

STIPULATIONS:
Restore based on default only in PC or CCP

Cases dismissed for non-appearance may be restored by written stipulation signed by all parties within 30 days of default or by motion. Both the stipulation and the motion must include all outstanding discovery (appropriate forms are online or in the courtroom), as well as when and how it is to be accomplished. Defective stipulations shall be rejected. 

Stipulations to extend the note of issue date or summary judgment date WILL NOT be accepted by the court.

  1. Caption must match Court computer including third party actions.
  2. All parties must be accounted for in the stipulation, including parties in default, parties dismissed on summary judgment, parties who have not appeared or answered, discontinuances, etc.
  3. Signatures and printed names must be by an attorney; a law firm's name is insufficient.
  4. If the case was disposed for failure to appear at either a PC or CC conference, the clerk of the court will assign the new conference date to ensure compliance with all outstanding discovery listed in stipulation)

MOTIONS:
Motions that only seek discovery-related relief are scheduled in the Centralized Compliance Part by the E-file / Motion Support Office, on the date the motion is scheduled to be heard, regardless of judicial assignment. Attorneys are advised to consult, inter alia, the New York Law Journal or the Unified Court System's Future Court Appearance Website for the return dates.

Hard copies are required to be filed for any motions, answering papers, stipulations, etc. for E-filed cases returnable in this Part at least 5 days before return date for main motions, and 2 days for cross-motions.

Motions must be accompanied by an affirmation of good faith pursuant to NYCRR 202.7(a), indicating what efforts have been made to resolve the motion.

THIS COURT SUPERVISING DISCOVERY DIRECTS THAT DISCOVERY IS NOT STAYED WHEN PRE-NOTE OF ISSUE SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION IS FILED CPLR 3214(b) unless the IAS judge grants a stay in an order.

MOTIONS TO EXTEND TIME WITHIN WHICH TO MOVE FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT:
Ordinarily to be denied without prejudice to renew at time the motion for Summary Judgment is brought upon showing of Compliance with the criteria set forth by our Court of Appeals in Brill.

Adjournment of Motions is generally NOT granted.

Appearances and oral argument are required on all motions. Motions shall be heard/argued on the return date, and are only adjourned upon good cause. Parties must have filed and serve opposition in a timely manner and be prepared to have their motions advanced to an earlier conference date. If all parties are not present, a default order shall be proposed/issued. An application may be made by the party(ies) present at the default calendar call at 11:45 AM.

ORDERS:
Attorneys are required to remain in the courthouse until their proposed orders are signed by the judge. Proposed orders may be changed or rejected by the court and prior to doing so, the judge will call for oral argument or clarification.

Any order granted on default must be served on all defaulting parties within seven (7) days of the order.

If all parties served with the motion are present, they may enter into a proposed consent order. Proposed orders should include all outstanding discovery, or indicate that discovery is complete.  Rules for “consent orders” are posted in CCP AND ABOVE.

FINAL CONFERENCE PART (FCP) room 277:

Effective November 29, 2021, parties with appearances on the FCP calendar must submit an order on consent. Cases with issues that cannot be resolved may submit a virtual conference request on consent. If the defendant(s) fail(s) to appear, plaintiff may submit a default order. If plaintiff fails to appear, the case will be marked disposed.


Part opens at 9:30 AM, default calendar call at 12:15 PM.  Appearance is mandatory.

Approximately six weeks before the NOI date, the court will schedule an appearance in the Final Conference Part (FCP) to ensure discovery is on track. 

This appearance is not generated or applicable to City or TA cases.

If there remains any outstanding discovery, it shall be completed prior to the Note of Issue date. Note of Issue will not be extended in FCP. Parties must formally and timely preserve their rights (after reasonable and timely good faith efforts) to ensure compliance with all discovery orders.

When a party defaults:
*Defaulting party’s discovery shall be deemed waived. NOI remains the same.
*Appearing party/parties must complete an order:

  1. Indicate defaulting party
  2. Indicate outstanding discovery, with firm or “on or before” dates.
  3. Print name of firm/party and name of attorney/person present on the bottom of the order.
  4. Appearing party must serve a copy of the order upon defaulting party within 7 days.

*Failure of an appearing party to complete an order shall constitute a non-appearance of that party and will result in the court issuing an order on default of all parties and deeming all discovery waived.  

*Failure of all parties to appear will result in the court issuing an order on default of all parties; issuing a note of issue date, and deeming all discovery waived. 

Cases ready to file NOI: 
Appearing party/parties must complete an order (to be provided by the clerk):

  1. Indicate that discovery is complete; 
  2. Indicate date certain note of issue will be filed within a week.
  3. Parties must legibly print their appearances on the order.
  4. Indicate defaulting party, if any, and that appearing party “will serve a copy of the order on defaulting party with seven days”.

Cases with outstanding discovery:
Appearing party/parties must complete a proposed order in preparation for a mandatory appearance with the judge.

  1. Indicate and detail all outstanding discovery, just cause why not completed and date certain to be completed if not sanctioned or dismissed (CPLR 3126 or 3216) by the judge.
  2. Parties must legibly print their appearances on the order.
  3. Indicate defaulting party, if any, and that appearing party “will serve a copy of the order on defaulting party within seven days”
  4. Court will issue order.

*Failure of plaintiff or all parties to appear will result in the court issuing an order, dismissing the matter pursuant to CPLR 3126 &/or 3216.      

*Failure of an appearing party to complete an order shall constitute a non-appearance of that party and will result in the court issuing an order, on default, dismissing the action (pursuant to 3126 &/or 3216 or deeming the defaulting party’s discovery demands waived. 

FINAL CONFERENCE PART

Effective August 16, 2021, failure to submit an order memorializing an FCP conference that was held with a Referee, the case shall be dismissed if three (3) weeks have elapsed and the court is not in receipt of the requested order.  

Parties may not stipulate to vacate any FCP order issued on default.   Formal application (Motion/OSC) must be made.  

All parties must present a hard copy of all prior discovery orders (PC, CCP, FCP).

All parties must present with knowledge of all outstanding discovery due and owing. Parties must formally preserve their rights at all times (i.e., timely make a motion for outstanding paper discovery, authorizations, EBTs after reasonable and timely good faith efforts), to ensure compliance with court orders. 

Settlement: To have a case mark settled, PLAINTIFF:

  1. May appear to report settlement or
  2. Send written letter, in advance of court date,  indicating settlement as to all named parties, or
  3. File a stipulation of discontinuance with the appropriate fee, in advance of the court date. 

 

KINGS COUNTY CITY AND TA CONSOLIDATED DISCOVERY PROCEDURES*

(Effective date: January 1, 2020)

(*Does not apply to Matrimonial, Commercial, Guardianship,

Condemnation, Foreclosure, and Tax Cert. cases.)

 NOTE: PLEASE SEE PRE-NOTE DISCOVERY FLOW CHART.

 

Appearance is Mandatory in all City & TA Consolidated Discovery Parts: Intake/PC (rm 296), CCP (Central Compliance Part, rm 296), Motions (rm 296).

Compliance with discovery orders shall be required during the pendency of motions to withdraw/be relieved, or during settlement discussions/ arbitration, unless otherwise ordered by the discovery court. The discovery court ordinarily will order compliance with discovery orders during the pendency of pre-note dispositive motions (CPLR §§ 3211, 3212, etc.) unless stayed by the IAS judge.

PRE CALENDAR PROCEDURES:
Discovery in any action need not involve the court. In cases where the parties are represented by attorneys, those professionals may comply with the CPLR, Statues, and case law to accomplish discovery without input by the court. Where a party is not represented by an attorney they should consider involving the court from the very beginning.
    
The filing of the Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI) starts court intervention and commences the rigorous timeline in which to complete discovery: Pre-note Standards & Goals (S&G) on an Expedited tracked case is 8 months, a Standard tracked case is 12 months, on a Complex tracked case it is 15 months. These rules are promulgated by the Chief Judge.     
    
Copies of medical records and authorizations shall be served upon all parties at least twenty (20) days before the PC Conference (see 22 NYCRR 202.17 (b)). A Bill of Particulars must be filed before the Preliminary Conference, failure to do so shall cause the action to be dismissed at the PC conference. 

The parties shall discuss and decide how discovery shall be conducted regarding social media and other forms of electronic discovery (emails, documents, social media, etc.).

CITY & TA CENTRAL COMPLIANCE PART RULES
Courtroom 296
Opens at 9:30 AM
Telephone number: 347-401-9264

There is one calendar call at 11:30 AM. This is also the default call. Attorneys who have NOT submitted a proposed order before the calendar call must be present for the call to avoid a default.

PROPOSED ORDERS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND NOT FINAL UNTIL THE JUDGE SIGNS THE ORDER. PARTIES ARE NOT TO LEAVE UNTIL ORDER IS SIGNED.

Forms are available in the courtroom and may be completed when all parties are present. Parties shall endeavor to resolve their own discovery issues and present the proposed orders to the court attorney/referee reviewing proposed consent orders. Parties appearing must be fully familiar with all discovery issues and all other facets of the case relevant to the issues of discovery. Failing to be prepared when appearing before the judge shall substantially delay the resolution of your issue. The court works until 5 pm and many cases must return for resolution in the afternoon session.

Prior to resolution by the judge, the parties must conference with a court attorney/referee. 

Adjournments are only based on good cause or documentation of exigent circumstances must be presented.
 
INTAKE/PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE (PC)

A PC shall be scheduled within 45 days of filing the RJI. These conferences are co-located in the City and TA Central Compliance Part. It is compliant with the PC order that is monitored in the rest of the centralized discovery parts.

The filing/purchasing of an RJI will automatically prompt the scheduling of a preliminary conference. An RJI filed with a Bill of Particulars BP attached shall have priority for scheduling a PC. A BP must be filed and provided prior to the PC, if it is not, your action may be administratively dismissed at the Preliminary Conference.

Preliminary Conference is not to be adjourned, even on consent, unless good cause is shown for the adjournment. Mere failure to serve a B/P is insufficient reason to adjourn a PC, an order shall be entered on the date of the PC, failure to file/provide a BP may result in dismissal of the action. A PC Order will be entered on default of any non-appearing party. If no party appears, the case shall be dismissed. 

Parties shall bring all D&I and responses served prior to the PC. The court may incorporate the D&I/responses into the PC, rule upon the issues, and/or give further directions to the parties. This is particularly necessary for actions involving NYC and all the agencies it represents “the City” and the MTA and all entities it represents “Transit or TA”.

Any motion seeking discovery-related relief filed prior to the PC shall be scheduled concurrently and may be included with the PC, in the Intake Part.

If the City or TA has filed either a pre-answer motion or a summary judgment motion (usually not their property/vehicle) then they shall appear and sign the PC but the discovery court may stay/limit their participation in discovery if the IAS judge has not stayed the case. The City/TA shall bring a copy of their motion with exhibits to the PC/CC for the discovery judge to review. 

At the PC Conference, a fixed Note of Issue filing date shall be set. It shall be set to a date four (4) weeks prior to the expiration of the Pre-Note S&G date.

The first Compliance Conference shall be set shortly after the plaintiff’s scheduled EBT. Plaintiff’s failure to provide the necessary authorizations shall delay their case and may invoke sanctions. Failure to conduct EBT may result in sanctions. 

Where actions have been consolidated or joined for trial or a late third party has been included, the parties shall bring the order with proof of service and ensure to immediately notify the court and the staff in the discovery parts.
 
COMPLIANCE CONFERENCES (CC): 

Compliance Conferences are scheduled to track and ensure compliance with the PC order (which was triggered by the RJI) prior to the date fixed for filing of the Note of Issue (“NOI”).

The time to conclude discovery pursuant to the Chief Judge’s rules is as follows:
Expedited cases 8 months: Standard cases 12 months Complex cases 15 months.  It is this timeline that sets the NOI.  

Discovery scheduled and ordered shall be strictly adhered to and may not be extended without just cause, pursuant to part rules*. Unjustified failure to comply with the provisions of discovery orders shall result in waiving discovery, preclusion, the striking of a pleading, or imposition of sanctions, as appropriate.

A CC shall be scheduled right after the plaintiff’s EBT.  If necessary, a second CC shall be scheduled.   

At the 2nd Compliance Conference, a Final Compliance Conference shall be scheduled. Whether complex or standard tracked, the Final Compliance Conference will be approximately six (6) weeks prior to the NOI.

Where actions have been consolidated or joined for trial or a late third party has been included, the parties shall bring the order with proof of service and ensure to immediately notify the court and the staff in the discovery parts.

FINAL COMPLIANCE CONFERENCE:
This conference appearance is scheduled at the 2nd CC approximately 6 weeks from the NOI and appearance is required unless the parties have settled (filed settlement or filed discontinuance with the court) or filed the NOI. 

If there remains any outstanding discovery, it shall be completed prior to the Note of Issue date.  

When a party defaults:
*Defaulting party’s discovery shall be deemed waived.
*Appearing party/parties must complete an order:

  1. Indicate defaulting party
  2. Indicate outstanding discovery, with final dates to comply or be sanctioned.
  3. Print name of firm/party and name of attorney/person present on the bottom of the order.
  4. Appearing party must serve a copy of the order upon defaulting party within 7 days.

*Failure of an appearing party to complete an order shall constitute a non-appearance of that party and will result in the court issuing an order on default of all parties and deeming all discovery waived.  

*Failure of all parties to appear will result in the court issuing an order on default of all parties, issuing a note of issue date, and deeming all discovery waived. 

Once a Final Conference is held, the case is given a NINA-C date. This is a non-appearance control date to ensure compliance with the final conference order. File your NOI or your motion PRIOR TO THE NINA-C date. 

MOTIONS:
Motions that only seek discovery-related relief are scheduled in the City & TA Centralized Compliance Part by the E-file / Motion Support Office, on the date the motion is scheduled to be heard, regardless of judicial assignment. Attorneys are advised to consult, inter alia, the New York Law Journal or the Unified Court System's Future Court Appearance Website, ecourts, for the return dates.

THIS COURT SUPERVISING DISCOVERY DIRECTS THAT DISCOVERY IS NOT STAYED WHEN PRE-NOTE OF ISSUE SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION IS FILED CPLR 3214(b) unless the IAS judge grants a stay in an order.

Hard copies are required to be filed for any motions, answering papers, stipulations, etc. for E-filed cases returnable in this Part at least 5 days before return date for main motions, and 2 days for cross-motions.

Motions must be accompanied by an affirmation of good faith pursuant to NYCRR 202.7(a), indicating what efforts have been made to resolve the motion.

MOTIONS TO EXTEND TIME WITHIN WHICH TO MOVE FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT:
Ordinarily to be denied without prejudice to renew at time the motion for Summary Judgment is brought upon showing of Compliance with the criteria set forth by our Court of Appeals in Brill.

Adjournment of Motions is generally NOT granted.

Appearances and oral argument is required on all motions. Motions shall be heard/argued on the return date, and are only adjourned upon good cause. Parties must have opposition in a timely manner and be prepared to have their motions advanced to an earlier conference date. If all parties are not present, a default order shall be proposed/issued. An application may be made by the party(ies) present at the default calendar call at 12:00 noon.

ORDERS:
Attorneys are required to remain in the courthouse until their proposed orders are signed by the judge. Proposed orders may be changed or rejected by the court and prior to doing so, the judge will call for oral argument or clarification.

Any order granted on default must be served on all defaulting parties within seven (7) days of the order.

If all parties served with the motion are present, they may enter into a proposed consent order. Proposed orders should include all outstanding discovery, or indicate that discovery is complete. 

STIPULATIONS:
Restore based on default :

Cases dismissed for non-appearance may be restored by written stipulation signed by all parties within 30 days of default or by motion. Both the stipulation and the motion must include all outstanding discovery (appropriate forms are online or in the courtroom), as well as when and how it is to be accomplished. Defective stipulations shall be rejected.

Stipulations to extend the note of issue date or summary judgment date WILL NOT be accepted by the court.

  1. Caption must match Court computer including third party actions.
  2. All parties must be accounted for in the stipulation, including parties in default, parties dismissed on summary judgment, parties who have not appeared or answered, discontinuances, etc.
  3. Signatures and printed names must be by an attorney; a law firm's name is insufficient.
  4.  If the case was disposed for failure to appear at either a PC or CC conference, the clerk of the court will assign the new conference date. 

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PART N

Kings Neutral Evaluation Part

KINGS NEUTRAL EVALUATION PROGRAM

Civil cases pending in Kings County Supreme Court may be referred to the Kings Neutral Evaluation Program (KNEP). KNEP is a non-binding, confidential process in which a neutral evaluator hears informal presentations by attorneys and evaluates the merits of the case. The neutral evaluation process is intended to aid the parties in reaching a settlement.

Cases are assigned to KNEP post Note of Issue. Excluded from the pilot program are: matrimonial; commercial; City and Transit cases; cases on the complex discovery track, and cases in which a party is self-represented.

A. Nature of the Process

In this program, Neutral Evaluators- retired Supreme Court Justices, Judicial Hearing Officers, and specially trained court staff - evaluate cases based upon informal presentations by the attorneys for the parties. Presentations are made to the Evaluator in sessions attended by counsel for all parties. The attorneys will then meet with the Evaluator individually in order to promote more candid and expansive commentary on their respective positions. Where deemed appropriate the Evaluator may offer opinions about the parties’ chances for success on the issues presented in the case. These opinions are intended to assist parties in their own analysis of the merits of their cases and to facilitate discussion between the parties. The Evaluator will endeavor to facilitate a settlement between the parties.

B. Confidentiality

Presentations or communications made by attorneys during the evaluation about the merits of their cases are confidential. The Evaluator will not communicate any aspect of the merits of any case that goes into the program with any Justice subsequently assigned nor any Justice presiding in an upfront part, nor with any other persons not participants in the process. If a case fails to settle, the Evaluator will not disclose to any third-party or Justice which attorney refused to agree on a resolution. The Evaluator will not disclose any information that an attorney may convey in confidence without the advance permission of that attorney

Communications between the attorneys during any evaluation session or made to the Evaluator as part of the process may not be used by any party as an admission or otherwise in the case or in any other litigation.

C. Preparation by Counsel

The evaluation will address liability and damages. Attorneys appearing must be knowledgeable about the case and be fully authorized to settle it or be in ready communication with the client or client’s authorized representative Cf. Uniform Rules for the Trial Courts 202.26(e)

Attorneys shall bring pleadings, Bills of Particulars, photos, medical and expert reports, and MV 104 and police reports where applicable. Counsel are advised to communicate with each other prior to the KNEP date as counsel must be prepared to present a record demand and offer.

D. Adjournments:

Adjournments may be obtained if the scheduled date is inconvenient. A stipulation setting forth the reason for the adjournment, and setting forth a requested adjourned date must be transmitted by email no later than Noon on the Friday before the scheduled appearance. A fully executed stipulation may be emailed to ffeinber@nycourts.gov Every effort will be made to accommodate the requested adjourned date. Please note that KNEP conferences are held only on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Attorneys with cases pending in the Court should sign up for e-Track service to receive scheduling notifications by e-mail.

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Sanctions and/or costs may be imposed for failure to comply with the rules set forth herein.

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