Effective March 16, 2020, Judge Gregg has implemented the following temporary procedures, which shall remain in effect until further notice sent via CM/ECF:
1. Telephonic Hearings. Due to ongoing health concerns, the court shall hold all non-evidentiary hearings, status conferences, and pretrial conferences telephonically. Unless otherwise stated on the docket in a particular case, parties should arrange to appear telephonically by contacting CourtSolutions at (917) 746-7476 or visiting its website at https://www.court-solutions.com at least two (2) days prior to the date of the hearing. CourtSolutions has agreed to waive all charges for pro se parties. Any party who is unable to coordinate with CourtSolutions should contact Ms. Valerie Wyn, the Courtroom Deputy, at (616) 456-2906.
2. Adjournments. The court’s informal adjournment procedures for non-evidentiary matters remain in effect. The court strongly encourages parties to consider adjourning all evidentiary hearings and trials by filing a stipulation and uploading a proposed order. In the event that all parties do not agree to adjourn an evidentiary hearing or trial, any party may file a motion for the same, along with a proposed order. The motion should propose an alternative date for the evidentiary hearing or trial, or a control date for a telephonic status conference. Any motion to adjourn an evidentiary hearing or trial should state that the movant has met and conferred with the opposing party regarding the request, and that the opposing party did not concur.
3. Notice and Opportunity. Notwithstanding LBR 9013(c)(4) – (5), other than plan confirmation hearings, parties are required to use the notice and opportunity procedures set forth in LBR 9013(c); provided, however, that the court will schedule a telephonic hearing upon the filing of a separate docket entry entitled “Request for Hearing.”
4. Motion Day Calendar. One business day prior to any chapter 13 motion day, the court shall post an updated calendar on its website stating which matters are being adjourned and whether the trustee is recommending confirmation. In lieu of calling all chapter 13 matters on the court’s calendar at 9:00 a.m., the court shall call only those matters that have not been designated in advance as adjourned. In the event that the chapter 13 trustee is recommending confirmation of a plan and no objections have been timely filed, the court will either confirm the plan or notify the parties of a separate date and time to address any concerns that the court may have.
5. Chapter 13 Plan Modification. A chapter 13 debtor who is experiencing an interruption in income due to COVID-19 may seek to amend the plan to impose a moratorium on plan payments and suspend any payroll order. Generally, a debtor should request such relief by filing a stipulation with the chapter 13 trustee. A form proposed order approving a stipulation is available here. In the event that it is impracticable to seek the consent of the trustee or the trustee does not consent to the relief requested, the debtor may file an ex parte motion setting forth the reasons why it was impractical to seek the consent of the trustee prior to filing the motion or that consent of the trustee was sought but not obtained. A form proposed order approving a motion is available here. Any stipulation or motion must expressly represent that the relief is needed because of a material financial hardship caused by COVID-19. The court will either enter an interim order providing parties in interest with an opportunity to object to the relief or schedule the request for an expedited, if not emergency, hearing.
6. Comments. Judge Gregg welcomes suggestions or comments with respect to these procedures in order to ensure that they meet the ongoing needs of the public and the bar in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Parties should contact Ms. Valerie Wyn, the Courtroom Deputy, at (616) 456-2906 with any suggestions or comments.