The leadership of the Bergen County Bar Association meets with the Bergen County Assignment Judge on a bimonthly basis to discuss issues of mutual interest to the judiciary and our membership. If there are issues of general importance that should be raised at our next meeting, please email the BCBA.

This is a summary of the most recent meeting with the Honorable Carol Novey Catuogno, A.J.S.C.:

1. Judicial Vacancies- There are currently 13 judicial vacancies in Bergen County, and that number will increase to 14 effective August 1st following the scheduled retirement of the Honorable Margaret M. Foti, P.J.Cr.

2. Courthouse Renovations- As you know, there were significant courthouse renovations over the past several years, which included adding new courtrooms, office space, a new jury assembly area, and attorney conference rooms. Approximately two months ago, the air conditioning unit that serviced a portion of this new space leaked and damaged a significant portion of the construction. Those areas will be repaired, however at this time, many remain closed.

3. Courtrooms and Sheriffs Officer shortage- The Bergen County Sheriff’s Department is managing a shortage of staff in the courthouse, and many courtrooms may not be open for public access promptly at 9:00 am due to this issue. Please be patient with our Sheriff’s Department and know that the courtrooms will be opened as soon as there are a sufficient number of officers to do so safely.

4. Guardianships- Judge Catuogno will retain the portion of the Guardianship calendar previously handled by Judge Mizdol.

5. Civil and Criminal Trials- Despite the judicial vacancies in Bergen County, the Criminal Division is conducting criminal trials regularly, with a focus on incarcerated defendants. Civil trials are proceeding as well at this time, however, some trials (especially those that require multiple trial days) may not proceed as scheduled.