COVID-19 Update: FAQ and Other Information for Clients

Articles Posted in Miscellaneous

Standing calendar open to May 2020On April 22, 2020 the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania executed a Continuation of Judicial Emergency Order, extending the terms issued March 16, 2020 and extended April 1, 2020 by Pennsylvania Supreme Court Order. Under yesterday’s order, the Judicial Emergency in Philadelphia is extended through close of business on May 29, 2020.  A summary of the April 1st Order can be found on Kang Haggerty’s blog here.

During this time period, the courts are authorizing alternative methods for signing, delivering, and service of court orders if authorized by each individual judge. Residential writs of possession (issuance, execution, and enforcement) are stayed until June 1, 2020.  The Philadelphia County Sheriff’s Mortgage Foreclosure Sale scheduled for June, 2, 2020 will be rescheduled for Tuesday September 1, 2020. The Philadelphia County Sheriff’s Tax Sales June 2020 dates will be rescheduled for dates in September 2020.

Kang Haggerty continues to monitor the orders and other guidance by various courts, which are rapidly changing. Clients should contact their Kang Haggerty attorney for questions related to their specific matters. See our FAQ here.

Stack of moneyIt has been about a month since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act was passed, yet the allocated funds, particularly for small business forgivable loans, were quickly exhausted. To that end, Congress drafted the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement (“PPPHCE”) Act, which passed in the Senate on April 21st, and is scheduled for a House vote tomorrow, Thursday, April 23rd.

The PPPHCE Act aims to replenish the funds that were quickly claimed in the days since the CARES Act was passed. For example, if passed, the PPPHCE Act would provide an additional $310 billion in funding to the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Originally, the PPP had $349 billion available in forgivable loans for small businesses.  The program’s launch was bumpy – many could not access the portals to apply, and even those who could apply complained of an obtuse application process and a lack of updates on their status. Despite these hitches, the initial funds were all allocated within two weeks of opening the application process, leaving many applicants without confirmed loans. If passed, the PPPHCE Act replenishes funds available for PPP but again on a first-come, first-served basis.

The total amount provided by the PPPHCE hovers at about $484 billion. Although most of the money is going to the PPP, billions of other dollars are going to places such as community lenders, hospitals, funding for testing, and emergency disaster loans and grants.

Sampling of Philadelphia Skyline
Last Updated: April 16, 2020

While COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on our daily lives, the Judiciary continues to operate as an essential function. At Kang Haggerty, as business litigation attorneys, we continue to prepare for trials and arbitrations by doing what most of us are doing—working remotely–in conducting depositions, discovery, legal research and diligently protecting the interests of our clients. However, the safety and well-being of everyone necessitates delays and postponements in court activities. We are following these daily changes in the many courts where we appear.

At our “home base” here in Philadelphia, yesterday the Philadelphia Court of Common Please Trial Division announced postponements of Civil Trials, Compulsory Arbitration Hearings and other Civil Court events.

Illustration of lockAdditional Executive Orders geared towards limiting the spread of COVID-19 implemented by Governor Phil Murphy over the weekend including EO122 and 125, providing further restrictions on essential-business (retail stores and construction operations) to ensure the safety of their employees and consumers. Notably, the orders also provide for safety measures required to be taken consumers.

Among other mandates, the NJ retail businesses must now limit stated occupancy by 50% (“food businesses” are to maintain a 10% capacity, however) and provide operating hours solely for high-risk populations as defined by the CDC. Continue reading ›

Illustration of megaphoneOn Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Murphy issued the most recent in a series of orders intended to combat the COVID-19 crises, Executive Order No. 119, extending the current health emergency in the state by another 30 days. This means that, as it stands, the current public health emergency in New Jersey will last at least until May 8, 2020. Continue reading ›

Illustration of face maskAs reported in our March 25th update, New Jersey – by Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 109 – directed businesses to submit inventories on personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and similar equipment.  On April 2, 2020 in Executive Order 113, Governor Murphy has now authorized the Office of Emergency Management to repossess and reallocate such resources to meet the State’s needs. Continue reading ›

Illustration of checklist with pen - title of checklist is NJ Assembly Bill 3844 on green backgroundAmong the various challenges businesses are facing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one is particularly garnering attention – the issue of business interruption insurance policies which are not being paid out to those who have faced losses due to coronavirus-related business closures. Business interruption insurance is designed to replace business income lost due to forced closure, typically due to natural disaster-related property damage, and is intended to cover operating expenses during the closure.  Like elsewhere in the United States, governments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by, among other measures, closing non-essential businesses unless remote work is available. In light of these closures, many businesses turned to their business interruption insurance policies, only to find Continue reading ›

Illustration of courthouseLast Updated: April 3, 2020

As the COVID-19 continues to spread, each day creates a new challenge. Courts are issuing standing orders regarding delays and closures to protect the public health and ensure the courts continue to operate as effectively as possible. Below is a summary of the most recent orders issued by the Supreme Courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania regarding certain deadlines and extensions.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of New Jersey entered a standing order regarding State court operations amidst the current pandemic, such as: Continue reading ›

Outline of NJ on pink background
April 1, 2020 Update:  As anxiously anticipated, Governor Murphy joined all other States in providing New Jersey taxpayers relief by extending the income tax deadline to July 15, 2020, the same date that federal tax filings are due under the IRS extension.  In a Joint Statement released in the late morning of April 1st, the Governor, along with Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, stated they “have reached agreement that the state income tax filing deadline and the corporation business tax filing deadline will be extended from April 15th to July 15th.” They further announced that New Jersey’s fiscal year should be extended to September 30th and affirmed their commitment to “to working together to enact the necessary legislation and supplemental appropriations to accomplish these goals.” See the full text of the joint statement here.

Original Post:

Last week, we posted that, after a few false starts, the IRS announced the federal income tax filing due date was automatically extended to July 15, 2020, which meant that both tax returns and tax payments originally due to be filed April 15th with the IRS are extended three months.

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