News & Events

U.S.D.C and U.S.B.C for The District of Puerto Rico Resume Operations After Passage of Hurricane María


The Clerk of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (the “District Court”) announced that the Federico Degetau Federal Building in Hato Rey and its annex the José V. Toledo Federal Building in Old San Juan will re-open to the public on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 under a provisional schedule. The Clerk also announced that the internal operations of the Clerk’s Office have resumed from 9:00am to noon, and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The cashier window will be open during this provisional schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

The provisional schedule is effective until Friday, October 13, 2017. Regular Court operations and services to the public will resume on Monday, October 16, 2017.

In regards to the emergency conditions caused by hurricane María and their direct consequences, the Hon. Aida M. Delgado Colón, Chief Judge of the District Court, issued Omnibus Order No. 17-509 on October 4, 2017 stating in essence the following: (1) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3161 (h)(7)(A), all pending criminal cases are excluded from the requirements of the Speedy Trial Act until further order of the Court; (2) no civil or criminal jury trials are to be held prior to November 6, 2017; (3) all deadlines and delays within this Court’s authority, including prescriptive and preemptive periods in cases pending or to be filed with the District Court, except as otherwise provided in court orders in cases and proceedings filed pursuant to the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, 48 U.S.C. §§ 2101, et seq. (“PROMESA”), are suspended until November 6, 2017; (4) all pleadings and motions pending to be filed or responses thereto, except as otherwise provided in court orders in cases and proceedings filed pursuant to PROMESA, due from September 18, 2017 through October 3, 2017 (and continuing thereafter until the District Court determines and orders that the Clerk’s Offices are no longer inaccessible), will be due 14 days after the Court resumes full operations; (5) because no location within the district is reasonably available, the District Court will conduct special sessions at such places within the United States outside the district as the nature of the business requires, with certain conditions and restrictions; and (6) PACER users in Puerto Rico are entitled to a temporary exemption from payment of PACER fees. Please consult the Omnibus Order for the complete details of these provisions.

Given that the District Court is now “open to the public” since October 10, 2017, all pleadings and motions pending to be filed (or responses thereto), except as provided in court orders in cases under PROMESA, that were or became due from September 18, 2017 to October 10, 2017 are due 14 days after October 10, 2017 or on October 24, 2017.

Similarly, on September 27, 2017, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico (“Bankruptcy Court”) entered General Order 17-05 regarding the deadlines in bankruptcy cases from September 19, 2017 onwards and determined that “all periods set by statutes of limitations applicable to causes of action, cases and proceedings filed, or to be filed in this court, are hereby extended until Monday, November 6th, 2017.”

Furthermore, pursuant to General Notice 17-15 entered on October 6, 2017 by the Bankruptcy Court “as of Tuesday, October 10th, 2017, the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico, in San Juan and Ponce, will be opened to the public during the hours from 9:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.”

The Litigation and Bankruptcy Divisions at Ferraiuoli LLC are fortunate to have resumed full operations, have been assisting clients following the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María, and look forward to advising its clients and friends through these troubled times on the road to a new and better Puerto Rico.

This document has been prepared for information purposes only and is not intended as, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you have any questions or comments about the matters discussed in this notice, wish to obtain more information related thereto, or about its possible effect(s) on policy or operational matters, please contact us.