It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of retired Superior Court Judge Harvey J. Sorkow. Please see the link below for funeral arrangements and Judge Sorkow’s obituary.
District Ethics Committee members serve at the pleasure of the Supreme Court for a four-year term (and are eligible for re-appointment to one additional consecutive four-year term). Interested candidates should forward a cover letter and resume to the chambers of the Honorable Bonnie J. Mizdol, A.C.S.J.
Please click below to read a summary of duties, terms, time commitment, and appointment process.
FOUR-YEAR TERM OF SERVICE BEGINS ON SEPTEMBER 1 EACH YEAR
The Office of Attorney Ethics welcomes applicants to apply for appointment by the New Jersey Supreme Court to the District Ethics and Fee Arbitration Committees. The next term of service will begin on September 1.
Please click the link below to review the information sheet and application.
May 15, 2022 marks the one year anniversary of the amendments to R. 4:86 requiring background screening for certain proposed guardians. Since the inception of the background screening requirement, Bergen County has filed in excess of 275 adult guardianship applications, with almost 50% requiring background screening for at least one proposed guardian.
The Bergen County Superior Court and the Bergen County Surrogate’s Court are experiencing difficulty with fingerprinting various proposed guardians, wherein the proposed guardian(s) fail to contact the Sheriff’s Department to schedule fingerprinting and/or fail to appear for their fingerprinting appointment(s) which were scheduled by the proposed guardian. This results in multiple adjournments to the detriment of the alleged incapacitated individual.
Follow up telephone calls or emails from the Court to proposed guardians with regard to same are met with a plethora of reasons as to why fingerprinting has not occurred. By way of example, and by no means an exhaustive list:
- Proposed guardian was previously fingerprinted for another reason (ie. employment) and should not need to be fingerprinted
- Proposed guardian works full time and cannot appear for fingerprinting during business hours
- Proposed guardian is out of the country on business for several months
- Proposed guardian refuses to provide Social Security Number required for background screening
- Counsel failed to notify proposed guardian of requirement to be fingerprinted
At present, the Bergen Vicinage and the Bergen County Surrogate are both operating with a reduced staff and the continuous and repeated attempts to follow up with proposed guardians has been challenging, particularly when they are represented by counsel and should have been thoroughly advised as to the Court’s background screening policy.
We urge counsel to explain to proposed guardians that the requirement for background screening is mandated by the Administrative Office of the Courts, and failure to comply with the requirement in a timely manner will result in automatic disqualification of the proposed guardian.
Applications for adult guardianship that are not accompanied by Name/Address/Phone Number/Social Security Number/Date of Birth/and Email Address of proposed guardians will not be docketed until this information is provided.
Further, proposed guardians will be afforded sixty (60) days from the date of filing to complete background screening. Failure to do so will result in automatic disqualification of the proposed guardian(s) absent exigent circumstances. Notices will be sent to counsel and pro se litigants with signed Orders Fixing Hearing Date.
We ask that you recognize the seriousness of timely compliance in protecting the rights of Bergen County’s most vulnerable citizens and thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.
/s/ Bonnie J. Mizdol, A.J.S.C. and Surrogate Michael R. Dressler Bergen County
May 5, 2022
NOTICE TO THE BAR & PUBLIC
SUPREME COURT COMMITTEES – REQUEST FOR INDICATION OF INTEREST IN POSSIBLE APPOINTMENT
The Supreme Court seeks individuals with diverse areas of expertise, experiences, and perspectives interested in assisting the Judiciary through service on committees and other groups. The Court continues to prioritize inclusivity in the composition of its committees, including as to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and all primary aspects of identity, as well as areas of legal practice, geography, and community involvement, in order to support robust discussion and comprehensive consideration of issues.
Written by: Theodore M. David, Well Retired
Chair, Tax Law Committee
1) Can’t Pay Up?
2) Justice on Fire
1). So you owe back taxes. Big deal. Work out an arrangement with IRS to pay up. We have fine lawyers who can help all over the state. The amount you’ll be allowed to keep out of your income is determined by using forms on the IRS website taking into consideration some standard allowances. These Collection Financial Standards are used to help determine a taxpayer’s ability to pay a delinquent tax liability. Allowable living expenses include those expenses that meet the necessary expense test. The necessary expense test is defined as expenses that are necessary to provide for a taxpayer’s (and his or her family’s) health and welfare and/or production of income.
NOTICE TO THE BAR: COVID-19 — EXTENSION OF FILING DEADLINES FOR STATE TAX MATTERS TO CONCLUDE AS OF MAY 1, 2022
The Supreme Court earlier extended the filing deadlines for certain tax matters in light of the COVID-19 emergency. The extension of deadlines for local property appeals has already concluded. The Court in the attached April 14, 2022 Order has concluded the COVID-19-related extensions of deadlines with regard to state tax appeals as of May 1, 2022
Questions on this notice should be directed to Tax Court Clerk/Administrator Cheryl Ryan at (609) 815-2922, Option 1 or extension 54650.
/s/ Glenn A. Grant
Administrative Director of the Courts
Dated: April 14, 2022
SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY
In light of the public health emergency arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court extended certain deadlines with regard to local property tax appeals and state tax appeals. The Court in its March 19, 2020 Order and subsequent orders extended such deadlines to the later of May 1, 2020 or 30 days following the conclusion of the State of Emergency declared under Executive Order 103. The Court cited as the basis for those extensions the COVID-19-related disruptions that prevented corporate and residential taxpayers from meeting filing deadlines in property tax appeals before the County Boards of Taxation and the New Jersey Tax Court. L. 2020, c. 35 concluded the extension of deadlines for local property tax appeals but did not address state tax matters.
The circumstances that prompted the Court to extend filing deadlines have abated. Pursuant to Executive Order 244 (June 4, 2021) and Executive Order 292 (March 4, 2022), the COVID-19 public health emergency has concluded. Pandemic-related barriers no longer prevent New Jersey taxpayers from meeting filing deadlines.
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that effective immediately and until further order:
- The COVID-19-related extensions of deadlines with regard to state tax appeals are concluded as of May 1, 2022.
- This Order supersedes any inconsistent provisions of the Court’s COVID-19 Omnibus and other Orders, including its March 19, 2020, April 6, 2020, and April 21, 2020 Orders.
For the Court,
/s/ Stuart Rabner
Dated: April 14, 2022
On April 6, 2022, I was honored to be installed as the 124th President of our Bergen County Bar Association along with my fellow officers, trustees, and Young Lawyers Division officers. We made history by electing the first Black attorney and person of color as the President of the Association. To be sworn in the presence of my family, friends, and colleagues by the first Black woman to ascend to the New Jersey Supreme Court, Justice Fabiana Pierre-Louis, and to have it occur the day before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court feels like a magnificent turn of events. I am determined to ensure that this opportunity to lead our Association will be more than a surface-level diversity exercise – instead, building a model of the power that can result when inclusion is truly embraced at an institutional level.
Dear BCBA Members:
As my term as President of the BCBA comes to an end, I wanted to reach out to all of you and thank you for the honor of serving as the 123rd President. The BCBA is a great organization and that is due to the members.
This was a transition year, as we moved forward out of the Covid pandemic. We were able to have several live events including the Diversity Dinner in the Summer and the Annual Dinner in the Fall. We then moved on to the Professional Dinner where we honored our oldest members and then had a successful Holiday Dinner. It was great to be able to mingle and socialize during these events.
Law firms are flooding the Civil Division Office with telephone calls on the “day of” remote calendars asking for Zoom Links to be re-sent to addresses that have previously been verified and provided by the offending law firms in eCourts.
It appears that the reasons firms are asking for Zoom Links to be re-sent are internal to those law firms. By way of example:
- The firm is using a general law firm email box to receive links and specific attorneys cannot access the general email box;
- Information in eCourts is for a senior partner of the firm, but not the actual attorney within the firm handling the matter, and the Zoom Link has not been internally forwarded to the appearing attorney; or
- eCourts lists the incorrect attorney.
In each instance, court staff are providing Zoom Links as instructed.
At present, the Bergen Vicinage is down fifty-one (51) staff and as you can well imagine, imposing another unnecessary step or interruption is challenging.
The Bergen County Bar Association has always risen to the occasion, and I ask for your cooperation now in ensuring that information provided by your firm is correct, that it is updated appropriately, when necessary, and that internal protocols be put in place to address this issue.
I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.
/s/ Bonnie J. Mizdol, A.J.S.C.