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SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has created a public health emergency that requires an adjournment of scheduled involuntary civil commitment hearings to implement measures to support the safety of individuals subject to involuntary civil commitment as well as others involved in the proceedings.

The Judiciary is working with the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Office of the Public Defender, and County Adjusters to make such operational adjustments, which may include social distancing as well as conducting proceedings using video or phone conferencing when appropriate.

Accordingly, it is ORDERED that all initial hearings for the involuntary civil commitment of an adult scheduled from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27, 2020, will be adjourned for a period of not more than 14 days, pursuant to Rule 4:74-7( c )(1); and

It is FURTHER ORDERED that all initial hearings for the involuntary civil commitment of a minor scheduled from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 27, 2020, will be adjourned for a period of not more than 7 days, pursuant to Rule 4:74-7A(b)(2).

For the Court,

/s/ Stuart Rabner

Chief Justice

Dated: March 17, 2020

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

WHEREAS, a national emergency has been declared and the Governor of New Jersey has declared a State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency and has recommended the cancellation of mass gatherings throughout the State in response to the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Department of Health (“NJ DOH”), Centers for Disease Prevention (“CDC”), and other public health authorities have advised public and private agencies to promptly take necessary precautions to reduce exposure to and transmission of COVID-19 and slow the spread the disease; and

WHEREAS, in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Health, the Judiciary postponed non-emergent court proceedings effective March 16, 2020, as the court system prepares to provide services through video and phone conferencing rather than in-person;

IT IS ORDERED that, effective immediately and until further order, pursuant to N.J. Const., Art VI, sec. 2, par. 3:

  1. In Civil matters, the provisions of Rules 4:24-1(a), 4:24-1(c), 4:46-1, and 4:36-3 are relaxed and supplemented to permit the extension of discovery deadlines; and
  2. In Family matters, the provisions of Rule 5:5-1(e) are relaxed and supplemented to permit the extension of discovery deadlines; and
  3. In the computation of time periods under the Rules of Court and under any statute of limitations for matters in all courts, for purposes of filing deadlines, March 16 through March 27, 2020 shall be deemed the same as a legal holiday,

 

For the Court,

/s/ Stuart Rabner

Chief Justice

Dated: March 17, 2020

WHEREAS, through Executive Order No. 102, which I signed on February 3, 2020, I created the State’s Coronavirus Task Force, chaired by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health (“DOH”), in order to coordinate the State’s efforts to appropriately prepare for and respond to the public health hazard posed by Coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”); and

WHEREAS, in light of the dangers posed by COVID-19, I issued Executive Order No. 103 (2020) on March 9, 2020, the facts and circumstances of which are adopted by reference herein, which declared both a Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency; and WHEREAS, in accordance with N.J.S.A. App. A:9-34 and -51, I reserved the right to utilize and employ all available resources of State government to protect against the emergency created by COVID19; and

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Consistent with the March 9, 2020 notice, the Judiciary is continuing take preventive measures to reduce risks of exposure to and transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. In conjunction with those precautionary efforts, we are implementing the following immediate changes to our business operations and planning for potential further adjustments in the coming days and weeks.

1. We are making changes to jury management and operations. Read More

Pursuant to Regulation 201:8 (“Alternative Verifiable Learning Formats”), the Board on Continuing Legal Education requires that attorneys complete twelve credit hours in the form of live classroom instruction for each two-year compliance period for continuing legal education. In response to the growing public health crisis worldwide and in New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended social distancing to try to minimize exposure to and transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

It is therefore, for good cause shown, ORDERED that effective immediately and until further order of the Court, the live classroom instruction requirement is relaxed. Until further notice, all twenty-four credit hours for the compliance period may be fulfilled through approved courses offered in alternative verifiable learning formats.

For the Court,

/s/ Stuart Rabner

Chief justice

Dated: March 10, 2020

Please be advised that on May 4, 2020, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office eDiscovery portal will go live. You can locate the eDiscovery portal by entering the web address into the browser of your computer. The Internet address is https://ediscovery.bcpo.net.

Once you have located the portal on the Internet, you will be asked to register in order to receive a login ID and password. Your Login ID and password will allow you to access the portal and download the discovery in your case. If any additional discovery is produced in the case and posted to the portal, you will receive an email or text indicating that additional documents have been added to the case and are available for you to download. Please note that any discovery involving video and/or audio files will be provided separately and can be picked up from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

Should you be involved in additional cases in the future, your eDiscovery portal account can be used to make a request for discovery. Your registration account information will be used by the Prosecutor’s Office to match you to any case in which you have entered your appearance and have made a discovery request. The discovery will then be made available to you through the portal. Please make sure you have entered your appearance with the Court in order to be able to download your discovery through the portal.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Should you have any difficulty with the registration process, please contact the Prosecutor’s Office at (201) 646-2300.

By Tamra Katcher and Joseph P. Rem, Jr.
Rem Katcher Law Group

First, apologies for the void over the past several months without the Criminal Law Update. We know there are many who have asked for it and wondered when we would be back – so here we are….

New Laws You Need to Know

As most of you know, on August 23, 2019, Governor Murphy signed into law a new and revised DWI law which became effective December 1, 2019. The law reduced or eliminated driver’s license suspensions in favor of requiring installation of an ignition interlock device, or IID, as part of the sentence for most DWI convictions. Those most impacted by the new law are first offenders with BAC readings below 0.15%. For those in this category, there is no DL suspension as long as the individual has the IID installed on his/her vehicle at the time of conviction. If the device is not installed at that time, then DL suspension is only until the client installs the device and presents a receipt to MVC to get his/her license restored. Thus, the period of license suspension is reduced to a few days as opposed to several months under the old statute. Other major changes to the statute include a new provision for those who do not own or have a car available to them; the removal of the IID requirement for first offense drug-DWI convictions; and the rescission of the school zone DWI offenses. Read More

The New Jersey courts are following the guidance of the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to navigate the evolving situation relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Based on that guidance, we are currently maintaining normal business operations. All courthouses and court facilities at present remain open according to their regular schedules.

At the same time, we are taking preventive measures to reduce risk and allay concerns. It is imperative that attorneys, litigants, court users, and court employees not come to court if they are or may be at risk of exposure to or transmission of COVID-19. Instead, as stressed in the message posted on our public website (njcourts.gov), anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or a risk of exposure (including a risk based on recent travel) should contact the court by phone and request to reschedule the proceeding or seek some other accommodation. Requests should be documented in writing as well. Judges and staff will handle requests on a case-by-case basis consistent with the most up-to-date guidance from the NJ DOH and CDC.
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