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The Supreme Court has issued the attached Tenth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This February 17, 2021 Tenth Omnibus Order extends pre-indictment excludable time for defendants committed to county jail before March 16, 2020 through March 31, 2021. It also extends post-indictment excludable time for the additional period from March 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021. The February 17, 2021 Tenth Omnibus Order continues other provisions of earlier Orders.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s Tenth Omnibus Order may be directed to the Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts at (609) 376-3000.

/s/ Hon. Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: February 17, 2021

NOTICE COVID-19 Tenth Omnibus Order on Courthouse Operations and Legal Practice.pdf

The Supreme Court has amended two provisions of its January 7, 2021 Order authorizing virtual civil jury trials. The Court’s attached February 1, 2021 Order clarifies that the Judiciary will provide a Samsung Galaxy tablet or similar device to jurors who require technology to participate in virtual selection or virtual trials. It also provides that the first virtual civil jury trials will be broadcast publicly subject to a brief delay to provide for review in order to prevent any inadvertent disclosure of juror identity or broadcast of juror images. A video recording will be posted on the Judiciary’s public website on the next business day following the virtual civil jury trial proceedings. Requests for real-time public access should be directed to the Vicinage Assignment Judge.

Questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts.

/s/ Hon. Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: February 1, 2021

Notice and Order – Virtual Civil Jury Trials – Amending Two Provisions of the Supreme Court’s January 7 Authorizing Order.pdf

The Supreme Court has clarified and expanded the circumstances in which a landlord may apply by Order to Show Cause for a trial in a commercial landlord/tenant (LT) matter. The Court’s February 5, 2021 Order is attached.

The Court’s February 5, 2021 Order establishes a multistep process, consistent with the existing process for residential tenancies. The Order provides that (1) a commercial landlord can file an Order to Show Cause alleging emergent circumstances, either (a) involving something other than nonpayment of rent or (b) based on nonpayment of rent that threatens the landlord’s capacity to continue their business (in the case of a pending foreclosure or tax lien); (2) the court will evaluate the application and determine whether emergent circumstances exist and a hearing should be held; and (3) if the court finds that emergent circumstances exist, the commercial tenant will be notified and a trial will be scheduled. After that trial, if the commercial landlord prevails, judgment will be entered, and a warrant of removal can be issued.

Questions on this notice may be directed to the Civil Practice Division at (609) 815-2900 x54900.

/s/ Hon. Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: February 5, 2021

Notice and Order – COVID-19 – Landlord_Tenant – Application for a Commercial Landlord_Tenant Trial in Certain Circumstances.pdf

NOTICE TO THE BAR

January 29, 2021

Unscheduled Closings and Delayed Openings for the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Tax Court, County Courthouses, and the Administrative Office of the Courts

Decisions to close or delay openings are made separately for each courthouse and are based on local weather conditions. Delayed openings sometimes become closings, and sometimes courthouses close early if the weather warrants. For these updates, follow the courts on Twitter, sign up for text messages, or go to The New Jersey Judiciary website at NJCOURTS.GOV  https://www.njcourts.gov/courts/closings.html

On the bottom of the NJCOURTS.GOV webpage are a number of icons that you may select to obtain court information from a variety of social media sources such as Twitter and Rave alerts.  The best method to receive immediate unscheduled closing information is to sign up for Rave text messages at https://www.getrave.com/login/judiciary-state-nj-us

For Municipal Courts, please check with your local municipal court for closing information. Below are two the links to use for the municipal courts https://njcourts.gov/courts/closings.html  or https://njcourts.gov/courts/closingsmuni.html

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the Supreme Court suspended landlord/tenant (LT) trials and authorized pretrial/settlement conferences with specially trained, neutral parties to assist litigants in resolving eviction complaints. In its September 30, 2020 Order, the Court authorized three additional categories of individuals (in addition to trained Judiciary staff and others) to assist as settlors in LT matters. This memo sets forth the training requirements for these settlors.

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As announced in the October 20, 2020 notice to the bar, the Judiciary through its Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Program will offer a series of real-time virtual courses on implicit bias and elimination of bias throughout calendar year 2021. These courses provide one option for attorneys to fulfill the requirement established by the Supreme Court’s amendment to Rule 1:42-1 (“Continuing Legal Education Required”) and CLE regulations 103:1 and 201:1 to require diversity, inclusion, and elimination of bias training for attorneys licensed in New Jersey. They will be offered at no cost to the attendees.

The Judiciary will present the initial such course – “Tools for Advancing Equity: Engaging in the Elimination of Bias” (2.0 CLE credits) – at least once each month during 2021, as follows:

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By Charles J.X. Kahwaty

Different tradesmen use different tools in their work. A baseball catcher relies on his glove and a quick arm. A mechanic on his wrench and plyers. A writer on the power of his pen. But if you know Frank O’Marrra, his tool has always been the telephone. And after January 22, 2021, that phone will be a little quieter.

For on that date Francis R. O’Marra, Jr., the longest serving Executive Director of the Bergen County Bar Association, will retire. The words retirement, and Frank O’Marra, are two expressions few ever thought they would see in the same sentence. For Frank has been both glue and lubricant for one of the largest county bar associations in the state, one which grew during his tutelage to approximately 2000 members. His counsel has been sought, not just within the county, but from both county and state bar associations throughout New Jersey.
Undoubtedly, that will not stop with his retirement. Read More

Our criminal part judges continue to handle criminal matters by utilizing technology to enable the parties to appear remotely.

I have assigned our criminal part judges to handle emergent matters for the months of March and April, 2021 as set forth in the schedule listed below. Of course, this schedule is subject to any Phase changes that may be implemented.

The schedule is as follows: Read More