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The New Jersey courts are continuing to provide comprehensive court services at all state court locations and the Administrative Office of the Courts.

As we have for the past eight months, courts at all levels are following a “remote first” approach to court proceedings and court events. Accordingly, matters that can be conducted remotely will continue to be done remotely, and certain matters that cannot be handled in a remote format will be conducted in person.

All State Courts Will Continue to Support Emergent and Critical Functions, Which May be Conducted in Person When Necessary

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The Supreme Court has immediately suspended new in-person jury trials and in-person grand jury sessions because of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court’s November 16, 2020 Order (attached) is effective immediately and until further order.

Consistent with the Court’s October 8, 2020 Ninth Omnibus Order, virtual grand juries have been established in all counties. Existing virtual panels will continue to meet in a virtual format, and in-person panels also may be converted to convene virtually subject to the Judiciary providing technology and training as necessary to support all jurors in participating in virtual sessions. The end-dates for excludable time each have been extended by 45 days beyond the dates set in the October 8, 2020 Ninth Omnibus Order.

The New Jersey Courts will continue to operate in a primarily remote format with limited numbers of judges and court employees on-site and very few court events handled in person.

Questions about this notice 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: November 16, 2020

Notice – COVID-19 – Suspension of New In-Person Jury Trials and In-Person Grand Jury Sessions; Revised End Dates for Excludable Time – 11-16-20.pdf

Order – COVID-19 – Suspension of New In-Person Jury Trials and In-Person Grand Jury Sessions; Revised End Dates for Excludable Time – 11-16-20.pdf

This Notice is to advise that as of this week, cash payments for child support can be made at local courthouses during the days and hours listed in the schedule posted on the Judiciary’s website. The option to pay cash over the counter at the Finance Division provides a no-fee option for court users with child support obligations. Additional options for paying child support are available as described on the Department of Human Services webpage. Especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, timely and consistent child support payments provide critical support for children throughout New Jersey.

More information about child support and related court matters is posted on the Judiciary’s COVID-19 resource page.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: October 15, 2020

NOTICE Cash Payments for Child Support – Limited Reopening of Vicinage Finance Windows.pdf

***A copy of the full order is attached below.***

The Supreme Court has relaxed Rule 1:40-12(a)(4) (“Special Civil Part Settlors”) so as to expand resources for settling landlord/tenant matters during COVID-19. The Court’s September 30, 2020 Order is attached.

The New Jersey courts have committed to supporting tenants and landlords seeking to resolve eviction matters without trial during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, the Court has relaxed Rule 1:40-12(a)(4) to modify training requirements for individuals willing to serve as settlors for landlord/tenant matters. The Court’s action will supplement the pool of qualified landlord/tenant settlors by engaging certain qualified groups, as follows:

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From Bergen County Assignment Judge, Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol: 

Hon. Joan Bedrin Murray:  The Chief Justice has informed me that Hon. Joan Bedrin Murray will be returning to Tax Court at year’s end.  Judge Murray has been a welcome addition to Bergen.  She has juggled a tax and foreclosure calendar with aplomb.  She will always be a part of the Bergen team; and will be sorely missed.  As Judge Murray transitions back to the Tax Court, Hon. Charles Powers, Retired on Recall, shall return to assist the Chancery Division with foreclosure stays.

 

Hon. Robert L. Polifroni, P.J.Cv.:  Despite my pleas to the contrary, Judge Polifroni has remained steadfast in his position and has tendered his retirement papers.  He will be leaving the vicinage as of February 1, 2021. He has brought to the Bergen bench expertise in all aspects of civil litigation and has been an invaluable resource to me as Assignment Judge.   Please join me in wishing him continued good health, a vibrant retirement and in celebrating his contributions to the Bergen bench for the last fourteen (14) years.

The Supreme Court has issued the attached Ninth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ***A copy of the Full Order is attached below for your convenience.***

This October 8, 2020 Ninth Omnibus Order continues certain adjustments necessitated during the COVID-19 period, including the prioritization of remote proceedings and permission for electronic signatures, remote or socially distanced depositions, and electronic service on the State of New Jersey. It also includes substantive changes designed to ensure that defendants detained without indictment promptly will have their cases presented to grand juries. To that end, the October 8, 2020 Ninth Omnibus Order includes the following new or updated provisions:

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

Below are the assigned criminal part judges to handle emergent matters for the months of October, November, and December as set forth in the schedule below. Of course, this schedule is subject to any Phase changes that may be implemented.

The schedule is as follows:

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Directive #23-06 (“Grand Jury Standards – Implementation and Questionnaire”) promulgated standard grand jury policies and procedures, including a standard charge to the grand jury (Attachment 3) and a standard oath of secrecy (Attachment 5). The grand jury standards as promulgated by directive #23-06 have been implemented statewide for over a decade.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court on May 14, 2020 authorized a pilot program for virtual (video) grand jury sessions in Mercer and Bergen counties. Consistent with the Court’s May 14, 2020 Order, the Judiciary on May 15, 2020 issued a supplement to directive #23-06, which promulgated on a temporary basis a supplement to Attachment A (grand jury charge) and a supplement to Attachment B (secrecy oath). Those approved supplements have been issued to all county and state grand jurors convening in a virtual format during COVID-19.

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