On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court issued Administrative Order 2020-3, which extended “all deadlines pertaining to case initiation and the filing of initial responsive pleadings in civil and probate matters during the state of emergency declared by the Governor related to COVID-19.”
For all deadlines that are applicable to the commencement of a civil or probate case, “including but not limited to the deadline for the initial filing of a pleading under MCR 2.110 or a motion raising a defense or an objection to an initial pleading under MCR 2.116, and any statutory prerequisites to the filing of such a pleading or motion, any day that falls during the state of emergency declared by the Governor related to COVID-19 is not included for purposes of MCR 1.108(1).” Since this Order focuses on extending deadlines for “initial” filings, scheduling orders for the vast majority of cases will not be altered.
In sum, this Administrative Order extends all deadlines pertaining to case initiation and the filing of initial responsive pleadings in civil and probate matters during the state of emergency declared by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on March 10, 2020 related to COVID-19. Again, this Order will likely only have an impact on newer cases where initial pleadings still need to be filed. Cases with a scheduling order in place will likely proceed according to the deadlines already imposed.
This Order does not preclude a court from ordering an expedited response to a complaint or motion in order to hear and resolve an emergency matter that requires immediate attention. This Order also does not prohibit or restrict litigants from initiating a proceeding whenever the litigant so chooses.
In addition, this Order requires that courts have a system in place to allow filings without face-to-face contact to ensure that routine matters can continue via electronic or other means without any unnecessary delay.
As always, the attorneys at Fraser Trebilcock remain ready and able to serve. Please contact your legal counsel if you have questions regarding the status of your case or if you would like further information describing how deadlines may be effected by this Order.
We have created a response team to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation and the law and guidance that follows, so we will continue to post any new developments. You can view our COVID-19 Response Page and additional resources by following the link here. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.