The courts list matters considered “essential proceedings.” The list includes criminal matters, certain family court matters, Mental Hygiene Law applications, temporary and extreme risk orders of protection, emergency applications related to coronavirus, emergency Election Law applications, specific civil/housing matters, and “any other matter that the court deems essential.” The administrative order states that the list is subject to ongoing review and amended if necessary.
Persons who believe that a specific pending or new matter should be included under the last category of other matters (identified in list as section “E”), must apply to the court for the designation by an emergency application by Order to Show Cause, detailedly explaining the applicant’s rationale.
All court filings must now include a new cover page form, titled “Notice of Essential Filing Pursuant to AO-78-20(E),” specifically created to help identify those matters that are essential and being filed under AO/78/20 Exhibit A section E. The form requires the filer to state either: (1) that a court has found the matter essential, in which case the filer must specify the method of prior approval, or (2) that the papers being filed seek such a designation.
 See https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/HomePage.
 See AO/78/20, Mar. 22, 2020, Exhibit A, at http://nycourts.gov/whatsnew/pdf/AO-78-2020.pdf.