To Our Clients

Good health is our most cherished possession. Everything else is of secondary importance. To maintain good health, particularly in this most difficult time, we must work together to first lessen the spread and then eliminate this terrible virus.

In the interim, we want to assure you that we will continue to represent each and every client with the vigor and thoughtful approach that you have come to expect of us. As always, our staff of accomplished professionals will continue its commitment to fully protect your interests and achieve the best results possible for you. We are working remotely, but each member of our team has access to your case files. You can reach us at our usual office telephone numbers and email addresses, and we can videoconference with you via Zoom or other platforms.

COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges. Work and commerce in New York State are limited to “essential businesses or entities,” or to “vendors that provide essential services or products.” Construction in New York City continues as “essential” – for the time being. The courts are almost completely shut down, but may be open for “emergency” applications. Persons with business with government agencies are, for example, urged to “limit” in-person appearances (DOB guidance 3/24/20) or to participate in hearings via Zoom teleconference only (BSA guidance 3/24/20). Orders by the Governor or other officials may affect the operation of leases, mortgages and contracts. Force-majeure clauses may (or may not) be used to avoid liability for COVID-19-related shutdowns. Government programs may (or may not) be available to help business and individuals cope with the loss of income. The landscape shifts daily, even hourly. We may be able to help. Please contact us.

Above all, please stay safe.


Stuart A. Klein and Christopher M. Slowik

The information below is presented as a helpful resource. Links to government resources and the summaries provided with them are not legal advice. Guidance is changing by the hour. Please consult with the authority in question or with an attorney before making any decision that may affect your rights.

UPDATED 5/15/20 1:30PM

Service Notice (3/30)

*UPDATE* — Phase 1 Reopening: NYC Construction Activity Restarts Monday, June 8th Must Comply with DOB’s Guidance on Safe Reopening:

Suspension of all “non-essential” construction and demolition. DOB inspectors will be out in the field. $10,000 fine for violations. Requests for permission to perform “essential” work must be submitted via DOB NOW. See notice for details.

Buildings Bulletin 2020-004 (3/30)

Direction re: securing construction sites and demolition sites where operations are suspended due to COVID-19 emergency.

Guidance re: “essential” vs. “non-essential” construction (3/30)

Guidance from DOB to further interpret what work is considered “essential”


DOB has issued updated guidance to owners and contractors on enforcement of Essential vs. Nonessential construction in accordance with updated guidance from the Empire State Development Corporation issued on April 9, 2020 pursuant to NYS Governor’s Executive Order 202.6 and subsequent orders:

April 15, 2020 Updated Guidance:

April 9, 2020 Guidance:

DOB has also published a map of Essential Active Construction Sites (updated daily):

The map features color-coded dots corresponding to various categories of construction under which each project was deemed essential.

Essential Construction Request and Certificate of Authorization Update
Projects and sites not listed on the Essential Active Construction Sites map are required to submit an Essential Construction Request at Please check the map before continuing work to ensure your project is listed. If your project is not listed, submit an Essential Construction Request for approval before continuing work. The map has been updated today and will be updated daily as new requests are approved.

If an address is categorized as Approved Work, then work is only approved for that specific approved job number. Any other job number at that BIN requires submission by the applicant of a new Essential Construction request. For all other categories (Affordable Housing, Homeless Shelter, Hospital/Health Care, Public Housing, Utility and Schools) an Essential Construction request does not need to be submitted because the BIN has already been approved as essential and a Certificate of Authorization is not required.

Once a request is approved in the Essential Construction portal, a Certificate of Authorization must be printed for each approved job and posted at the work site. The certificate has been updated with an expiration date of May 15, 2020 in accordance with the New York State Executive Order. If the state of emergency is extended, the certificate date will be automatically updated.

Any certificates printed prior to April 17, 2020 need to be reprinted with the May 15, 2020 expiration date. To print the certificate, go to and from the Essential Construction tab (without logging in), enter the job number and select Print Certificate. The certificate can also be printed when logging in from the Essential Construction dashboard by opening the request and selecting the printer icon on the Actions column for each Job Filing No.

DOB Service Notice 4/17 (See Below)

FAQ’s re: “Essential” vs “Non-Essential” Construction (4/2)

Answers to questions re: specific work types including local law compliance tests, elevators, facades, plumbing, electric, mechanical, fire suppression, boilers; protocol for obtaining “essential” designation; violations for non-compliance; etc.

UPDATE 3/27/20

All non-essential construction must shut down except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).

Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters. At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit. Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments. This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.

For purposes of this section construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.

Governor Cuomo’s PAUSE Order

100% of non-essential employees must stay home; non-essential gatherings of any size banned; 6-foot distance mandated; etc. (Gov. Cuomo 3/20).

See the list of what constitutes an “essential” business or service.

Of interest to our clients: “essential businesses” include:

“Construction, including skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers” and “other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes.”

“hardware and building material stores”

“building code enforcement”

Governor’s Order re: Acceptability of Remote Notarization

Relaxes the requirement that the notary public be physically present when the document to be notarized is signed. Gives guidance for notarization by videoconference. (Gov. CuOmo 3/17). NOTE: Other guidance in this order re: restrictions on commerce, etc. have since been superseded by other orders). Follow this link to New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers’ instructions for e-notarization.


Pending Legislation to Authorize Remote Notarizations:

All Executive Orders

Link to repository of Governor Cuomo’s executive orders, including but not limited to all of his recent orders concerning COVID-19 response.



Service Notice 5/10

All licenses/registrations and permits issued by the Department of Buildings and expiring from the beginning of the declaration of the state of emergency through the period of the emergency declaration are extended to June 7, 2020. Approved sites need to post a new Certificate of Authorization with the expiration date of June 7, 2020.

Requisite Insurance Certificates Effective Terms must be extended separately and are not automatically extended by reason of the extension of the declaration of emergency.

Service Notice 5/5

As of Wednesday, May 6, 2020, applications for Place of Assembly and Place of Assembly Certificates of Operation can be submitted and will be reviewed in DOB NOW: Build. Temporary Place of Assembly applications remain suspended for the duration of the state of emergency.

Service Notice 5/1

Online License Renewal Applications
Beginning Monday, May 4, 2020, applications to renew a license/registration issued by the Department of Buildings can be submitted online at Renewal applications will not be accepted in-person or by mail as of Friday, May 8, 2020.

Service Notice 4/22-27

Certificate of Occupancy, Letter of Completion, and Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Folder Review Requests (PW7) Required to be Submitted in eFiling; Hub Self-Service Reopened for Submission of PW1 Plan/Work Applications

Beginning Monday, April 27, 2020, Certificate of Occupancy, Letter of Completion and Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Folder Review Requests (PW7) cannot be submitted in-person to a borough office and are required to be submitted in eFiling. Hub Self-Service will now accept submissions of PW1 Plan/Work Applications. In addition, eFiling has been updated for Development Hub Jobs to categorize PW1 Plan/Work Application submissions as initial or subsequent filings.

Service Notice 4/22-27

Crane Filings Launch in DOB NOW: Build

Crane filings (phase one) will launch in DOB NOW: Build on Monday, April 27, 2020. The Essential Construction Questionnaire in the permit application for Electrical and Limited Alteration Applications has been updated to include the revised guidelines in the DOB Guidance Document. The deadline to submit Certificate of Correction requests by mail is May 1, 2020.

Service Notice 4/22-27

Permit Renewal Extension

All permits issued by the Department of Buildings and expiring from the beginning of the declaration of the state of emergency through the period of the emergency declaration are extended in accordance with Mayoral Emergency Executive Order No. 107.Currently, this period runs March 12, 2020 through at least May 9, 2020.

Service Notice 4/21

Procedure for Submitting Post Approval Amendment (PAA) Applications and Submission of Essential Construction Requests:

The process for submitting Post Approval Amendment applications and correction requests in eFiling has been enhanced. In addition, the Essential Construction requests portal at has been updated to allow for submission of Electrical and Limited Alteration Application (LAA) permits that were submitted prior to April 3, 2020 and Demolition filings. Certificates of Authorization have been extended for the duration of the state of emergency.

Post Approval Amendment (PAA) Applications and Correction Requests in eFiling
New PAA applications, data correction requests to an existing Doc or PAA and requests for approval of an already existing PAA for BIS jobs can no longer be dropped off or sent to a DOB borough office. To submit a borough or Hub PAA application or correction, log into eFiling at, select the appropriate module and Electronically Submit Documents (eSubmit). From the Filing Documents section, select Form Name PW1 and indicate the Filing Type. Select the doc number that is being amended and then upload and submit the file. The changes being made must be circled on the PW1 form or upload a color scanned copy with the changes highlighted.

For Development Hub applications only, send an email to after a submission is made in eSubmit for the processing, approval or retrieval of the documents. Do not send an email for submissions that are processed by a borough office. Plans for professional certified applications can be retrieved in the eSubmit portal and can no longer be picked up in person at a borough office.

After a PAA has been processed by the Hub or borough office and the status in BIS is PAA Fee Due, submit payment in eFiling at Log into eFiling and select Express Cashier Payments and PAA fees. Payment can be made by eCheck or credit card, which includes a 2% service charge. In-person payments will no longer be accepted.

Essential Construction Requests for Electrical and LAA Permits

Electrical and LAA permits are now required to be entered in the Essential Construction request portal at if the permit was submitted prior to April 3, 2020 and work needs to continue. If the Essential Construction request is approved, the job will be listed on the Essential Active Construction Sites map and a Certificate of Authorization must be printed for each permit and posted at the work site. See the Certificate of Authorization section below for more information.

For permits issued on or after April 3, 2020, an Essential Construction questionnaire is included in the permit application in DOB NOW: Build and a request does not need to be submitted in the Essential Construction request portal. The questionnaire must be completed in order for the application to be submitted. The job will then appear on the Essential Active Construction Sites map. The system will be updated this week so that a Certificate of Authorization can be printed for these permits.

Essential Construction Requests for Demolition Filings

Demolition filings in Application Processed (E) status in the Buildings Information System (BIS) can now be submitted in the Essential Construction portal at by the applicant of record on the PW1: Plan/Work Application. See the Essential vs. Non-Essential Construction Guidance Service Notice for more information.

Certificate of Authorization and Essential Active Construction Sites Map

The Certificate of Authorization has been updated with an expiration date of May 15, 2020 in accordance with the New York State Executive Order. All certificates issued with a prior date must be reprinted and posted at the work site. If the state of emergency is extended, the certificate date will be automatically updated and a new certificate will need to be printed and posted at the site.

To print the Certificate of Authorization, go to and from the Essential Construction tab (without logging in), enter the job number and select Print Certificate. The certificate can also be printed when logging in from the Essential Construction dashboard by opening the request and selecting the printer icon on the Actions column for each Job Filing No.

Sites not listed on the Essential Active Construction Sites map are required to submit an Essential Construction Request Check the map before continuing work to ensure your project is listed. If your project is not listed, submit an Essential Construction Request for approval before continuing work. The map is updated daily as new requests are approved.

For additional service updates see the DOB COVID-19 Response page.

Service Notice 4/17

License Renewal Extension and Essential Construction Requests Updates

Service Notice 4/15

Post Approval Amendments and Immediately Hazardous Violation Civil Penalty Payments

Service Notice 4/6

Certificates of correction and TCO payments must be submitted online. See link for details.

Service Notice 4/3

Weekly Safety Inspection Reports and New Customer Service Office Hours in Response to Covid-19 Emergency

Service Notice 4/2

Guidance provided for electronic submission of “essential construction” requests for Electrical and LAA permits; for PAA payments; and for reinstatement requests.

Service Notice 4/1

Civil penalty review requests (Form L2) and PAA payments must be submitted electronically.

Service Notice 3/31

Litigation papers, subpoenas, and FOIL requests to DOB must be submitted via email, not in person; see details.

Service Notice 3/31

Public hearings postponed on proposed DOB rules for amendment of fees for façade filings and for crane peer review.

Service Notice 3/31

Launch of crane filings in DOB NOW: Build postponed.

COVID-19 Service Change Summary 3/25

Summarizes and updates all current DOB guidance: Fee Estimation, Licensing (new license/plate/seal pickup only) Payments (Express Cashier in the borough offices and Central Cashier at 280 Broadway), Plan Pick Up, and Records are the only in-person services currently being offered. Other types of documents can either be filed electronically or at drop-off boxes at each DOB office; check notice for details.

Buildings News 3/24

Cranes and Derricks, eFiling Authentication, Limited Alteration Applications, Local Law Enforcement and Permit Renewals

Service Notice 3/24

Appointments for Standard Plan Review BIS Job Filings

Service Notice 3/20


Service Notice 3/20

Full Demolition; Site Safety Plans

Service Notice 3/18

Administrative Enforcement (AEU) and Licensing Units Updates

Service Notice 3/18

Application Processing Updates



OATH Hearings Division (formerly known as Environmental Control Board)

Hearing centers in the five boroughs physically closed through 3/30; hearings can be held via One-Click function on OATH’s website or via phone; all in-person hearings can be rescheduled.

OATH Trials Division

100 Church Street office closed until 4/20 but hearings and conferences can be conducted via videoconference; but see other guidance on OATH’s Website that Krimstock vehicle forfeiture hearings, TLC Summary Suspensions, and TLC Drugs cases are still being heard

Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA)

BSA offices closed; 3/24 and 3/25 hearings being held by videoconference, with limitations. (3/24)

Department of City Planning (DCP)

Staffers working remotely; central office and borough offices closed; applications accepted by overnight delivery with notice by email; in-person filing by appointment only (see website for details); ULURP supended. (3/24)

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Regularly updated list of DEP directives, including extension of asbestos certificate hard card expiry dates until June 1, and special instructions for issuance of water and sewer permits (no non-emergency paper permits or walk-ins; applications by mail or email as noted).

Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

Offices physically closed; only emergency inspections conducted; appointments related to evictions not being held until courts reopen; etc.

Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC)

1 Centre St. offices closed; staff working remotely; hearings cancelled through end of March; materials being accepted by email. (3/19)

All NYC Agencies

Summaries of all NYC agency COVID-19 policies


New York State Courts: All Deadlines Tolled

*UPDATE*: SUSPENSION of Statutes of Limitations and all other court and administrative deadlines CURRENTLY EXTENDED TO JULY 6, 2020 AS PER EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 202.38 (extension from June 7 to July6), following up on prior Executive Order No. 202.29 (extension from May 8 to June 7) and 202.14 (extension from April 19 to May 7)

New York State Courts: “Essential Business” Only

Open for “essential business” only, including such matters as mental hygiene orders, emergency protection orders, and similar. (3/19; check for updates re: individual courts and situations)

*UPDATE*: Virtual Courts Expanded Beyond the Limited Category of Essential and Emergency Matters (April 13, 2020)

Over the past two weeks, the New York State Courts’ trial court efforts have centered on arraignments, bail applications, orders of protection and other essential and emergency criminal, family and civil matters. Following a successful transition to a virtual court system for the handling of essential and emergency matters statewide, the court system is extending its focus to include pending tort, asbestos, commercial, matrimonial, trusts and estates, felony, family and other cases, which make up the vast bulk of trial court caseloads. The existing ban on the filing of new “non-essential” matters will remain in effect. Judges will begin remotely scheduling and conducting conferences and hearings to address discovery disputes and other outstanding issues, advancing progress and facilitating resolution in pending civil and criminal cases that fall outside the limited scope of essential and emergency matters.

*UPDATE*: MAY 14, 2010

The Five County Clerks of the City of New York will commence the orderly transition to a resumption of limited processing only services in preparation for a still to be determined resumption of partial or full Clerk of the County operations.

The initial phase will entail the logging, prepping and sequential queuing of all documents received since the March 20th cessation of normal operations relating only to Clerk of the County duties and functions. Upon completion of these efforts, which will vary in scope and time from County to County, the process of sequential docketing and filing will recommence at a pace dictated by limited staffing levels and mandates consistent with Executive and Administrative Orders.

New York State Courts: No “Non-Essential” Filings

For all courts: No filings to be accepted, paper or electronic, except in “essential” cases (see above). (3/22).

*UPDATE*: Courts Begin Slow Return to Normalcy: New Filings Are Permitted in Pending Non-Essential Matters as of May 4, 2020. No New Non-Essential Matters May be Commenced Yet.

Supreme Court, Bronx County

Foreclosure Part 24 adjourned. (3/18)

Supreme Court, Kings County

County Clerk still open, but operating at reduced staffing; call before coming in.

Supreme Court, New York County

71 Thomas and 80 Centre courthouses closed; essential functions and emergency applications all at 60 Centre; motions already argued are fully submitted; etc. (3/19)

*UPDATE*: Remote Conference Protocol for Conferences in Aid of Expediting Case Settlement

Supreme Court, Queens County

Long Island City courthouse closed; all Supreme Court functions transferred to Queens Civil Court building next door at 89-17 Sutphin Boulevard; emergency applications only (3/23)

*UPDATE*: Court Policy Statement Announcing Upcoming Video Conference in Select Cases

Individual email addresses have been set up for communications with the Queens Supreme Court – Civil Term. The following special email addresses have been established: (Trial Scheduling Part) (Matrimonial Judge – Orlow) (Matrimonial Judge – McGowan) (Matrimonial Judge – Culley) (Matrimonial Judge – Viscovich) (Skype Scheduling Form) (Justice Livote) (Justice Grays) (Justice Risi)                    

Virtual Conference Scheduling

Skype Scheduling Form:

Civil Court (NYC)

Courts are closed except for essential or emergency applications, Evictions (new filings and pending proceedings) Are Suspended

Criminal Court (NYC)

All Criminal DOB/FDNY Summonses are Adjourned until further notice
All Desk Appearance Tickets are Adjourned until further notice
Only Arraignments and Emergency Applications are Deemed Essential and shall continue

Appellate Division, 1st Dept.

Oral arguments 3/24 – 3/27 canceled, but may be done via videoconference if requested, otherwise appeals will be decided on papers; hard copy requirements waived; “emergency” motions only, etc. (3/17)

*UPDATE*: Appellate Division, 1st Department (AD1) has just issued an order on the new MAY SPECIAL TERM and JUNE SPECIAL TERM.

Filing Deadlines for May and June Terms have been extended as follows: May 8 for Responding Briefs; May 18 for Reply Briefs. Oral arguments will be held via video conference. All other filings remain suspended except on consent. NYSCEF system remains operational for AD1 filings. For matters not subject to mandatory efiling, AD1 has set up electronic submission via following email address:

Interim Application:


CPL 254.70 Applications:

CIVIL: email to and AD-1-clerks-;
CRIMINAL: email to and AD-1-clerks-;
FAMILY: email to and AD-1-clerks-

*UPDATE*: MAY 8, 2020

Appellate Division, First Department RESCINDS March 17, 2020 Order, which temporarily suspended perfection, filing and other deadlines. ALL deadlines for remaining 2020 terms of Court are reinstated. The deadline for the filing of responding and reply papers on motions returnable between March 16, 2020 and May 4, 2020, is now May 22, 2020.

Appellate Division, 2nd Dept

Appeals calendared up to 4/2 will be taken on submission unless videoconference argument is requested; no hard copies; all deadlines for perfection and briefing suspended until further notice, etc. (3/17)

*UPDATE*: The Emergency Extension Order of March 17, 2020 remains in effect. But the daily operations of the court have significantly increased. They are accepting briefs and records on NYSCEF and through their portal. Appellate Division, 2nd Department has begun to publish calendars for April 27 through May 8. Those calendars, as they are completed, may be found on our website at All matters on those calendars shall either be marked submitted or orally argued via Skype. Requests for Skype arguments on matters that have already been calendared must be made in advance of the argument date by e-mailing the Court at (

*UPDATE*: MAY 6, 2020

The Emergency Extension Order is Rescinded. New Deadlines are Set.

United States District Court: Southern District of New York

“Essential functions” still being conducted but routine operations curtailed; temperature taken before entry allowed. See link for details. (3/24)

*UPDATE*: April 13, 2020 Update on Restriction of Court Operations

United States District Court: Eastern District of New York

Access limited to certain times of day and only for “essential functions.” See link for details. (3/18)

*UPDATE*: April 21, 2020 Administrative Order of Chief Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf on Policies Affecting Continued Court Operations

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

No access to the court unless for business before the court; oral arguments proceeding as scheduled via videoconference unless the parties wish to submit. (3/19)



Advisory opinions re: Office of Rent Administration and Tenant Protection operating procedures, administration of Section 8 vouchers, etc. posted on rolling basis.

Secretary of State

Several functions closed, including acceptance of service of process and licensing applications

*UPDATE*: In response to the COVID-19 virus public emergency, the Office of Administrative Hearings is closed. All hearings scheduled through April 29th are postponed in New York City, Albany and Buffalo. If you have a hearing during this time period, you will receive a notice with further instructions and a new hearing date. Please email the Office of Administrative Hearings at or call 518-486-6423 with any questions related to your hearing.

Practical and Written Examinations for licenses issued by Secretary of State have been suspended until further notice.

New York State Education Department Office of Professional Discipline (OPD)

Some tests for professional licenses postponed; license application procedures changed