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The Supreme Court has authorized mandatory settlement conferences in residential landlord tenant matters. This interim step is effective immediately pending further Court action on the Report and Recommendations of the Judiciary Special Committee on Landlord Tenant (“Special Committee”).

All vicinages will schedule mandatory settlement conferences for pending landlord tenant cases. As set forth in the Court’s attached July 1, 2021 Order, priority will be given to the nearly 14,000 landlord tenant cases that have been pending for more than one year or in which more than 12 months of rent is claimed to be due.

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Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share in tonight’s program honoring United States Magistrate Ed Kiel and Bergen County Assistant Prosecutor, Karen Gwynn – both of whom have distinguished themselves in every walk of life. It is truly my privilege.

It is also my privilege to lead the Bergen Judiciary – a judiciary dedicated to the principles of fairness, equality, courtesy, and respect for all individuals.

It has been along time since I’ve had the opportunity to speak to you from an in-person podium and not on a Zoom Platform. It feels great.

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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  September through December,  2021 as set forth in the schedule listed below. Of course, this schedule is subject to any changes that may be implemented.

The schedule is as follows: Read More

Given the suspension of most civil jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has relaxed the provisions of Rule 4:25-4 (“Designation of Trial Counsel”), including to suspend the presumptive expiration of the designation of trial counsel in Track III medical malpractice cases. The Court’s June 15, 2021 Order is attached.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s June 15, 2021 Order should be directed to the Civil Practice Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts at (609) 815-2900 x54900.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 17, 2021

Notice and Order – COVID-19 – Designation of Trial Counsel – Relaxation of Rule 4:25-4.pdf

COVID-19 trends throughout New Jersey are improving, as reflected in the latest COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) report posted by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH). Appropriate public health precautions still remain important, however, especially in indoor locations where individuals are summoned to be present as compared to other public and private places that they choose to visit.

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The New Jersey courts are committed to continuing court operations during and after the COVID-19 public health pandemic emergency. To that end, by Orders dated March 27, 2020, April 24, 2020 and further clarified by the May 15, 2020 Order, the Supreme Court permitted electronic signatures for all documents to which the seal of the court is affixed.

The initial and subsequent orders issued by the Supreme Court specifically includes Judgements of Divorce and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders. The Bergen Family Division is guided by these Orders and is following direction by the Superior Court Clerk’s Office to utilize electronic signatures and seals for family documents.

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The Supreme Court has authorized the establishment of a statewide Landlord Tenant Legal Specialist program, as recommended by the Judiciary Special Committee on Landlord Tenant (“Special Committee”). This new program will support the review and administrative processing of landlord tenant actions, including the more than 55,500 pending eviction cases and 194,000 cases expected to be filed after the expiration of the moratorium on residential evictions. The Court’s June 3, 2021 Order is attached.

The remainder of the recommendations of the Special Committee – and the public comments and oral testimony on those recommendations – continue to be under consideration by the Court.

Questions about landlord tenant actions should be directed to the Civil Practice Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts at (609) 815-2900 x54900. Questions about recruitment for landlord tenant legal specialist positions should be directed to the Human Resources Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts at (609) 815-2900 option 5.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 4, 2021

NOTICE: Landlord:Tenant – Establishment of Statewide Landlord:Tenant Legal Specialist Program.pdf

Pursuant to Rule 1:40-12(c), all individuals wishing to serve as arbitrators in the court-annexed civil arbitration program must complete at three classroom hours of initial training in a course approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). To remain eligible for continued inclusion on the roster, arbitrators must complete two hours of training after the first two years, and two additional hours of training during each subsequent four-year period. This Notice is to advise that the initial arbitrator training course will be offered via webinar on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

This training will provide instruction on applicable statutes, court rules and administrative directives and policies; standards of conduct; and procedures for conducting arbitrations. The initial training is intended for those individuals who meet the qualifications set forth in Rule 4:21A-2(b) for admission to the roster of arbitrators.

Individuals seeking to attend the initial arbitrator training must register in advance by contacting Kelsey Austin at Kelsey.Austin@njcourts.gov.

Any questions regarding this Notice or the Civil Arbitration Program may be directed to Melissa Czartoryski, Chief, Civil Court Programs, Administrative Office of the Courts, Hughes Justice Complex, P.O. Box 981, Trenton, NJ 08625; telephone (609) 815-2900 ext. 54900; email: melissa.czartoryski@njcourts.gov.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 2, 2021

Notice Civil Arbitration Program.pdf

COVID-19 trends throughout New Jersey are encouraging, making it possible for the Judiciary to continue to increase on-site presence of Superior and Municipal Court judges and state court employees in court locations. That larger percentage of judges and employees will support more in-person court events and expanded availability of in-person court services. At the same time, the Judiciary will continue to provide remote options, both for court services and for those court proceedings that can be effectively conducted in a remote format. As we have throughout COVID-19, the Judiciary will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all court users.

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