Public Law

The Courts’ Reopening Continues: “Priority” as Well as “Urgent” Matters Are Now Being Heard

June 12, 2020 – Jean-Pierre Sheppard and Lauren Flam, of our Commercial Litigation Department, obtained an interim injunction yesterday to force a defendant who was defaming a company to cease and desist. The Court held that the unfounded accusations of financial impropriety and alleged product quality problems were being circulated in bad faith with the purpose of causing harm to the company.

Defendant was ordered to immediately cease initiating any contact with the company’s customers, suppliers and its other business partners.

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Emergency situation in Latvia due to Covid-19 revoked

On 10 June 2020, the state of emergency was abolished in Latvia, but at the same time the state aid measures and restrictions imposed (with certain exceptions) remain in force.

On Friday, 5 June 2020, the Saeima adopted the Law on Overcoming the Consequences of the Spread of Covid-19 Infectionwhich entered into force on June 10 and will regulate the state aid measures and determine the measures to prevent the consequences of Covid-19 after the end of the emergency situation on 9 June 2020.

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New Jersey Governor Sets Dates and Guidelines for Re-Opening of Child Care Centers, Day Camps, Some Organized Sports, Outdoor Dining and Indoor Non-Essential Retail

Child care centers, day camps, some organized sports, outdoor dining and indoor non-essential retail are the latest business and activities that soon can start reopening (with limitations) pursuant to two Executive Orders signed last week by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

Executive Order 149 – Child Care Centers, Day Camps, Organized Sports

On May 29, 2020, Gov. Murphy signed Executive Order 149 (“EO 149”) , to allow the re-opening (with restrictions and guidelines) of all child care centers and other child care facilities, day camps and the operation of non-contact organized sports.  EO 149 rescinds Executive Order 110 (“EO 110”) (which closed most childcare centers) and supersedes all prior executive and administrative orders to the extent they conflict with EO 149.

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New Jersey Governor Extends Public Health Emergency Until July 4, 2020

Citing the continuing need to protect the New Jersey residents from COVID-19 (even as the state ramps up its reopening), on June 4, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 151 (“EO 151”) , extending the state’s Public Health Emergency by thirty days, i.e., until July 4, 2020. Pursuant to EO 151, all Executive Orders and actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies (including Administrative Orders) that were adopted in whole or in part based on the current Public Health Emergency will remain in full force and effect. A declared public health emergency gives Gov. Murphy and state department leaders expanded authority to respond to a crisis such as COVID-19.

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Connecticut’s Plan to Reopen Businesses

Introduction

On April 30, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont released a four-stage plan to reopen business in Connecticut when the following conditions were met: (1) sustained 14-day decline in hospitalizations; (2) adequate testing capacity; (3) contact tracing system in place; and (4) sufficient personal protection equipment (“PPE”).  Governor Lamont identified May 20 as the tentative reopening date.

Meanwhile, on May 9, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) issued detailed rules for the business sectors that are permitted to reopen as part of Phase 1 reopening plans.  The rules stated that the safeguards will “gradually loosen” as a defined set of public health metrics are met, which is expected to occur “over the coming months through September 2020.”

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Reopening Nonessential Businesses Begins in the DMV: District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia Start to Lift COVID-19 Restrictions

On May 27, 2020, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Order 0202-067, which details the Phase One limited reopening of non-essential businesses in Washington, D.C., to begin on Friday, May 29, 2020.  The Mayor’s decision to begin to reopen D.C. follows on the heels of prior orders of Governors Larry Hogan and Ralph Northam to reopen neighboring Maryland and Virginia, respectively.  Governor Hogan allowed certain nonessential businesses in Maryland to reopen on May 15, 2020, and on May 27, 2020, he issued Order 20-05-27-01, expanding its phase one reopening.  Governor Northam’s Executive Order 61 eased certain temporary restrictions throughout most of the Commonwealth of Virginia beginning on May 15, 2020, and Executive Order 62 permits the Northern Virginia Region, Richmond, and Accomack County to begin reopening on May 29, 2020.

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WHAT DOES THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S FOUR PHASE ROUTE MAP MEAN FOR YOU?

The Scottish Government has now published a route map, which details a four phase approach to the removal of lockdown restrictions.

As to timings, there’s speculation the implementation of the changes will coincide with the three-weekly lockdown review cycle. Therefore, we might expect licensed outdoor areas to reopen in the second half of June. It’s anticipated that the re-opening of court and tribunal buildings (with limited business and public access) will happen before this in Phase 1, which begins today.

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New Jersey Allows Re-Opening of Outdoor Tennis and Other Recreational Businesses, with Restrictions, and Loosens Some Prior Restrictions on Golf

On May 18, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued  Executive Order 147, which allows for the resumption of certain outdoor recreational businesses (subject to conditions and restrictions), and loosens some of the restrictions that had been placed on golf courses.   Some of the provisions of Executive Order 147 took effect on May 19, 2020, and others will take effect at 6:00 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020.

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ECONOMIC RELIEF PACKAGE UPDATE

To uplift the economic gloom, the Government has laid out a detailed road map towards building a self-reliant India (Aatma Nirbhar Baharat Abhiyan), with five key pillars identified as Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography and Demand (refer our newsletter of May 14, 2020 at https://lexcounsel.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Newsletter-May-14-2020.pdf). As part of the package, the Finance Minister of India unveiled the first tranche of the economic relief package on May 13, 2020. Under the first tranche of the economic relief package, the Ministry of Finance has focused on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (“MSME”), Non-Banking Financial Companies (“NBFC”), Housing Finance Companies (“HFC”) and Micro Finance Institutions (“MFI’), DISCOM’s and Real Estate.

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MHA withdraws Order Requiring Compulsory Payment of Wages

The National Disaster Management Authority vide its order dated May 17, 2020 has extended the lockdown till May 31, 2020 but with limited restrictions. Concurrently, the National Executive Committee, Ministry of Home Affairs (“MHA”) vide its order dated May 17, 2020 (“MHA Order”), in exercise of its powers under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, also issued directions and guidelines for implementation of the lockdown measures.

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