I am writing to urge that our state close all Courts for non-essential matters to encourage “social distancing.”
A member of our legal profession from New Rochelle has been in critical care with this illness for ten days now. He infected all of the members of his family and others in his community. It is a serious illness.
The coronavirus crisis is just starting in the United States, and I believe that we all need to do our part to pitch in and slow down the spread of this pandemic. Defendants who have routine criminal cases pending are required by law to attend court dates. Criminal courts are filled with up to 120 defendants and their family members, all of whom must interact with the court marshalls at security checkpoints. All of these areas are potential points of infection. People who are mildly sick may feel compelled to attend the court, or they may face a re-arrest order and thus expose others to the risk of infection. These individuals may not realize that they can contact the Clerk and request a continuance or even realize that they should self-quarantine when they are ill.