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07/30/2020 – Firm News

Firm News 7/30/20

UPDATE: Our Manhattan Office and Peekskill Office have officially reopened on Monday, July 6, 2020, and our Brooklyn Office will follow suit in a few weeks. We are available to meet with you in-person, on the phone, or via video conference, using Zoom or Skype. All in-person meetings must be scheduled in advance and must follow our office policies and procedures in wake of COVID-19. Your safety and the safety of our staff remains our top priority. Thank you for your patience.

As we move forward amidst the difficulties created and exacerbated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can remain assured that PPID is here for you. We understand the deleterious impact that this crisis is having on families around the world and so close to home. But, be reminded that even though this is a difficult season, it is just a season – it will pass! To facilitate its passing, we implore you to continue to take the necessary precautionary measures (i.e. social distancing, not touching your face, and washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds). The purpose of this notice is to inform you about:

  1. USCIS and Immigration Matters;
  2. The Current Status of New York State Courts;
  3. The Effect on Personal Injury Cases;
  4. Real Estate & Business Issues;
  5. Criminal Law Matters; and
  6. Employment Law Matters.

 1. USCIS and Immigration Matters

Our Immigration Department understands how important it is for you to get essential information about immigration and other legal news quickly during these turbulent times. As a result, Managing Partner Conrad Pollack “The Maestro” and Partner Nelson Madrid “The Maverick” have joined forces with Partner Adam Handler “The Case Handler” on our daily morning show, Cruising with The Case Handler, with radio personality David Annakie “Squeeze” on Facebook Live and 93.5 FM. The program airs on weekday mornings at 8:30 AM, Saturdays at 7:00 PM, and Sundays at 12:00 PM.

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CLICK TO WATCH NOW! 

Agency Updates:

Visa Bulletin: August 2020
To view the August 2020 Visa Bulletin from the U.S. Department of State, please click here.

“Immigration Nation”
Upcoming Netflix documentary ‘Immigration Nation’ was reportedly almost blocked by Immigration Customs and Enforcement  (ICE). According to the filmmakers, ICE threatened legal action against them if they did not delete the footage and even delay the release of the project until after the 2020 presidential election. The documentary covers the Trump administration’s notorious “zero-tolerance” immigration policy through both the eyes of immigrants entering the system and the internal department itself. Immigration Nation premieres Monday, August 3rd, 2020 on Netflix.

DHS Will Reject Initial Requests for DACA 
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will carefully consider the future of the DACA policy, including whether to rescind the program, in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision.

In the meantime, effective immediately, DHS will:

  • Reject all initial requests for DACA and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents;
  • Reject new and pending requests for advanced parole absent exceptional circumstances; and,
  • Limit the period of renewed deferred action granted pursuant to DACA to one year.

The full memorandum can be read at https://www.dhs.gov/publication/reconsideration-june-15-2012-memo-entitled-exercising-prosecutorial-discretion-respect.

International Students and Remote Learning in Fall 2020
Following a lawsuit by Harvard and MIT, ICE agreed to rescind its July 6, 2020 directive, which would have blocked the ability for many international students to remain in or return to the United States if their academic programs were entirely online. ICE reverted to its policy that existed in March 2020 allowing students to maintain status even without in person classes. However, students seeking to enter in F-1 status for the first time to participate in an academic program offered entirely remotely will not be admitted.  For more information, see ICE’s Clarifying Questions for Fall 2020 at https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/fall2020faq.pdf.

EOIR Operational Status Update 
As previously announced, certain immigration courts have resumed non-detained hearings. Hearings in non-detained cases at courts without an announced date are postponed through August 14, 2020; this includes New York City Immigration Courts.

–    –    –    –    –    –

“Nación de Inmigración”
Según los informes, el próximo documental de Netflix “Nación de inmigración” casi fue bloqueado por Aduanas e Inmigración (ICE). Según los cineastas, ICE amenazó con emprender acciones legales contra ellos si no eliminaban algunas imágenes e incluso demoraban el lanzamiento del proyecto hasta después de las elecciones presidenciales de 2020. El documental cubre la notoria póliza de inmigración de “cero tolerancia” de la administración Trump a través de los ojos de los inmigrantes que ingresan al sistema y del departamento interno. Nación de Inmigracion (‘Immigration Nation’) se estrena el lunes 3 de agosto de 2020 en Netflix.

DHS Rechazará las Solicitudes Iniciales de DACA
El Secretario interino de Seguridad Nacional, Chad F. Wolf, anuncia que en respuesta a la decisión de la Corte Suprema sobre DACA, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) tomará medidas para considerar cuidadosamente el futuro de la política de DACA, incluyendo la rescisión del programa.

Mientras tanto, y para abordar las inquietudes con la política, el DHS realizará los siguientes cambios a DACA de inmediato:

  • Rechazar todas las solicitudes iniciales de DACA y solicitudes asociadas para documentos de autorización de empleo;
  • Rechazar solicitudes nuevas y pendientes de libertad condicional avanzada en ausencia de circunstancias excepcionales; y,
  • Limitar el período de acción diferida renovada otorgada de conformidad con la política de DACA después de la emisión de este memorando a un año.

El memorando completo se puede leer aquí: https://www.dhs.gov/publication/reconsideration-june-15-2012-memo-entitled-exercising-prosecutorial-discretion-respect.

Estudiantes Internacionales y Aprendizaje Remoto en Otoño de 2020 
En una audiencia el 14 de julio de 2020, Harvard / MIT y el gobierno de los Estados Unidos acordaron rescindir la directiva de ICE del 6 de julio de 2020, que habría bloqueado la posibilidad de que muchos estudiantes internacionales permanezcan o ingresen a los Estados Unidos. ICE acordó cancelar su directiva del 6 de julio y, por lo tanto, ha vuelto a una política que existía en marzo de 2020. Es importante destacar que, según la directiva de ICE, “los estudiantes no inmigrantes en estado Nuevo o Inicial después del 9 de marzo no podrán ingresar a los Estados Unidos para matricularse en una escuela estadounidense como estudiante no inmigrante durante el período de otoño para seguir un curso completo de estudio que es 100 por ciento en línea.” Para obtener más información, consulte las Preguntas Aclaratorias de ICE para el otoño de 2020.(https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/fall2020faq.pdf)

Actualización del Estado Operativo de EOIR
Como se anunció previamente, ciertos tribunales de inmigración han reanudado las audiencias no detenidas. Las audiencias en los casos no detenidos en los tribunales sin una fecha anunciada se posponen hasta el 14 de agosto de 2020, incluidos los tribunales de inmigración de la ciudad de Nueva York.

2. Current Status of New York State Courts

New York City remains in phase 3. Although Governor Cuomo extended the provision tolling the Statute of Limitations until August 5th, our Litigation/Appellate Department continues to write motions and appeals as if there is no “pause” and when the stay is lifted, we will be ready to “press the button” for you.

Pursuant to an announcement on July 27th by Chief Judge DiFiore, courthouses across the State are beginning to gradually transition back to in-person operations, highlighted by a bench trial in a murder case in Nassau County that started last week and several other trials, suspended in March, that are now resuming. Two previously adjourned jury trials are resuming this week in Suffolk and Bronx Counties, and the first bench trial in Kings County Housing Court is scheduled to begin this week.

All courts outside New York City have entered phase 4. In phase 4, Judges and staff are hearing an increased number of in-person matters that are being staggered in order to limit courthouse and courtroom occupancy to safe and manageable levels. On July 13th, Grand Jurors reported for service and are being empaneled in every judicial district outside the City.

In an important step to reduce the large number of people who comes to the courthouses to file papers in person, the Courts introduced the NYSCEF e-filing system to the NYC Housing Court, and by August 10th, the Court will introduce e-filing to the Kings County Housing Court.

New York City Courthouses entered phase 3 on July 8th, marking a modest increase in courthouse staffing levels and matters that may be heard in person including: limited criminal cases, essential family court proceedings, and a limited number of bench trials. Grand Jury proceedings are set to commence in New York City on August 10th. For lawyers and litigants who cannot appear in person for public health reasons, the Courts are offering and encouraging the use of virtual bench trials.

Due to the recent uptick in Covid-19 cases around the country, the Courts extended COVID screening protocols to all judges and nonjudicial personnel. The screening involves temperature screening upon arrival to the workplace and a daily COVID self-assessment.

A “Commission on the Future of New York Courts” has been formed bringing together experts in the field of law, government, business, technology, and public service to provide guidance on navigating a safe judicial system through this pandemic.

Supreme Courts
The Supreme Court, Kings County, and the Supreme Court, Bronx County, have extended Note of Issue filing deadlines. Various judges have provided the bar with template conference forms to complete to facilitate virtual discovery and conferences. Supreme Court, Nassau County, and Supreme Court, Suffolk County,  are in phase 4 with new protocols for an “In-Person Operations Plan”, which can be found on the Courts’ website.

ALL FOUR DEPARTMENTS OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION ARE ACCEPTING FILINGS:

First Department
The Court finished oral arguments on June 26th and is now on summer recess.

Second Department
The Court finished oral arguments on June 30th and is now on summer recess.

The Court issued two amended orders regarding new deadlines for the filing of appeals and regarding the digital filing of motions. Both orders can be found on the Court’s website.

Third Department
The Court finished oral arguments and is now on summer recess.
The Court released an order reinstating and reestablishing briefing deadlines for appeals now due in July, August, and beyond. The new deadlines can be found on the Court’s website.

Fourth Department
The Court finished oral arguments and is now on summer recess.
The Court extended brief deadlines which can be found on the Court’s website. Deadlines for perfecting appeals after May 22, 2020, remain in place.

3. The Effect on Personal Injury Cases

Governor Andrew Cuomo paused the state’s Statutes of Limitation by issuing an executive order. The order suspends “any specific time limit” on the start or filing of legal action notice, motion or “other process or proceeding.” This will mean that if you were in an accident exactly three years ago, you will have some time to file your case due to the pandemic. Be cautioned, the order pausing those rules continues until August 5, 2020.

The Case Handler Highlight:
Vernon fell backward off an Access-a-Ride van lift because the driver was too busy talking on his cell phone. To learn more about Vernon’s $2.5 MILLION settlement, please visit https://bit.ly/DoreenandVernon.
Access a ride accident, Doreen and Vernon

4. Real Estate & Business Issues

NYC is in Phase 4 of reopening as of July 20, 2020.

Governor Cuomo has partnered with New Jersey Governor Murphy and Connecticut Governor Lamont to create a joint travel advisory for individuals traveling from states with significant community spread of COVID-19, requiring a quarantine for 14 days when visiting their states.  

The State Police and State Liquor Authority are leading a task force to investigate and shut down establishments not complying with the safety standards of the state.

NYC has not yet allowed for indoor dining in restaurants and bars, and the re-opening of gyms, malls, movie theaters, and museums.

NYS has no planned date for the full reopening of all businesses and venues at this time.

For more information or assistance with any business or real estate matters, contact us at 212-233-8100 EXT. 306 or email at [email protected], and we will connect you to one of our attorneys and legal staff to answer your questions and other legal concerns you may have.

5. Criminal Law Matters

Options for Incarcerated Defendants
If you have a loved one who is incarcerated, it may be possible to obtain an emergency release from incarceration.  Any incarcerated person who is over 50 years old, or is otherwise vulnerable to COVID-19, may be eligible for release if their case does not involve an allegation of substantial violence and there is no history of violence in the last 10 years. In some cases, an incarcerated Defendant who is not eligible for emergency relief may still be able to be released by having their lawyer negotiate a resolution.  The district attorneys have expanded their criteria for offering non-jail plea deals and are even dismissing cases in certain circumstances.

Criminal Courts
Criminal courts have slowly started to re-open, and are scheduling future court dates for the following matters:

• Conferencing of felony cases;
• Selected plea and sentencing proceedings;
• Arraignments of defendants who have been issued desk appearance tickets; and
• Preliminary hearings in cases involving defendants being held in jail on felony complaints.

You should contact your attorney, or retain new counsel if you are able to do so, to make sure you know when your criminal matter will be heard in court.  If you fail to appear for a court date, A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST COULD BE ISSUED.

To schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney, call Gregg A. Pinto, Esq. at (646) 328-2434.

6. Employment Law Matters

Many individuals who have worked in the restaurant and other service industries have been laid off due to the virus.  Prior to the layoff, though, these individuals may have been working 40 or more hours per week but not being overtime in compliance with the law.  It is also possible that some of these individuals did receive all of their required tips under the law.  In addition, employers are required to pay a minimum wage to most service employees.  Contact our office for a free consultation to find out if you were not paid in compliance with the law by your former employer.

From all of us at PPID to you, stay safe and healthy.

Resources:

 

If you need legal guidance, PPID is here to help! Call us toll-free at (800) 223-2814.

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