The order is effective August 5, 2023.
Order – Judge Sattely – Designation as Bergen Criminal Presiding Judge – dated 04-24-23 – effective 08-05-23
Effective April 1, 2023, the Judicial assignments are as follows:
PRE-JUDGMENT- Dissolution (FM) Motions & Trials
01-100 Darren T. DiBiasi, J.S.C.
POST-JUDGMENT – Dissolution (FM) Motions & Plenary Hearings
01-05 Jane Gallina-Mecca, J.S.C.
06-10 Darren T. DiBiasi, J.S.C.
11-35 Magali M. Francois, J.S.C.
36-60 Jaclyn Medina, J.S.C.
61-80 Michael Antoniewicz, J.S.C.
81-100. Amy E. Lefkowitz, J.S.C.
Due to the high number of judicial vacancies, the Bar is encouraged to exhaust all methods of alternate dispute resolution prior to filing an application in the FM docket. The vacancies, coupled with the high volume of filings, have also necessitated the Court to run on a delayed motion schedule. Judges Melchionne and Guida will be handling ISCs and Judge Janeczko will be handling defaults and domestic violence trials until the end of May.
In addition, the following matters will be heard by:
Judge Gallina-Mecca – Non-Dissolution, Children in Court, FC Summary Hearings
Judge Francois – Juvenile, Domestic Violence, Summary Immigrant Juvenile, Children in Court
Judge Medina -Non-Dissolution, Summary Immigrant Juvenile, Child Support Enforcement
Judge Antoniewicz -Domestic Violence, Termination of Parental Rights, Weapons
Judge Lefkowitz – Domestic Violence, Contempts
/s/ Peter J. Melchionne, P.J.F.P.
With the approval of the Chief Justice, Judge Catuogno and I are delighted to announce:
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced today that Superior Court Judge Carol Novey Catuogno will lead the Bergen Vicinage, effective, May 1. Judge Novey Catuogno succeeds Assignment Judge Bonnie J. Mizdol, who is retiring after more than 17 years on the bench, nearly eight as assignment judge.
Many years ago when I decided to make public service my life’s work, I promised myself that I would base my service on several tenets that were of extreme importance to me. I promised that I would treat all my constituents with professionalism, empathy, and impartiality no matter what the situation. I also promised myself that at all times I would be transparent so that the people I serve would trust me. I recognize that the time that it takes to probate a will in Bergen County has been lengthier than usual over the past two months. The reason for the change has been a result of several instances whereby my staff has been unexpectedly reduced.
This reduction in staffing has been a result of several serious medical conditions, some of which have been life-threatening. We have also had as many as six people out at the same time due to COVID. There have been instances related to the issues outlined above that have left as few as two probate clerks working in the office on a given day. As all these employees have been on medical leave, I have been unable to replace them on a temporary basis to address the workload due to governmental budgetary constraints.
It is my belief that I have the best staff of any Surrogate’s Court in the State of New Jersey; however, when my staff is depleted as stated above we can only do so much. I have taken steps to replenish the office by hiring more staff and therefore hope to quickly shorten the wait time to probate a will. During my tenure as Surrogate, I believe I have always had a good relationship with the Bar Association in Bergen County. In the meantime, I appreciate your patience and understanding. We are getting back to normal and will continue to provide the type of great service you are used to from the Bergen County Surrogate’s Court.
/s/ Michael R. Dressler
Bergen County Surrogate
The Bergen County Jail (BCJ) has created a computer lab where inmates can view discovery weekly during scheduled blocks of time. Tablets may be available for inmates to access Lexis/Nexis for research purposes. Laptops may also be utilized as necessary and in the discretion of the BCJ. Viewing time for discovery may be expanded by court order during the inmate’s trial upon consultation with BCJ officials. Read More
The attorney online registration and payment period for 2023 begins today,
January 9, 2023 and runs through February 24, 2023. During this period, New Jersey
attorneys may complete their annual registration and payment through the Judiciary’s
web-based application at https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/attorney-registration.
My November 14, 2022 notice (1) announced those dates, (2) advised of the
new information security policy that requires attorneys to use a 14-character
password/passphrase to access the application rather than the prior 8-character
password, and (3) also announced the availability of no-cost virtual training sessions
on the updated attorney registration application, with CLE credits provided for
completing the training.
All New Jersey attorneys must complete their annual attorney registration and
pay the required annual fee electronically, except those attorneys who qualify for one
of the limited exceptions approved by the Supreme Court. The total fee for the 2023
registration and payment cycle is $239. That consists of the following components:
Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection ($46), Disciplinary Oversight Committee
($173), Lawyers’ Assistance Program ($10), Continuing Legal Education ($4), and
Board of Bar Examiners ($6).
In addition, attorneys maintaining a plenary or limited license to practice law
in New Jersey must certify to the completion of their continuing legal education
(CLE) requirements in accordance with Rule 1:42. A noncompliance fee of $50 will
be assessed against attorneys who report that they failed to complete the requisite
CLE credits by the deadline for course completion. An additional $50 (for a total of
$100) will be assessed against attorneys who fail to complete their required CLE
credits within the grace period provided by BCLE Reg. 402:1 and against attorneys
who fail to report regarding CLE compliance at all. Information on Continuing Legal
Education requirements is available at https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/cle. For
concerns related to CLE, please contact SCTCLE.Mailbox@njcourts.gov or 609-
For questions or information related to this notice, please contact Michelle M.
Smith, Clerk of the Superior Court, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-815-2900
/s/ Glenn A. Grant
Administrative Director of the Courts
Dated: January 9, 2023
Notice – 2023 Attorney Registration – Formal Opening of Registration-Payment Period – dated 01-09-23
NOTICE FROM HONORABLE JOHN D. O’DWYER, P.J.Cv.
As of March 1, 2023, all mandatory Civil Arbitrations in the Bergen County Vicinage will be conducted In-Person at the Bergen County Courthouse. The provisions of Rule 4:21A-4 as to appearance at Arbitration will be in effect.
Please alert colleagues as to this change and requirement.
Written by Theodore M. David, Chair
Tax Law Committee
1). I’m sure you remember the Donna Reed Show or Father Knows Best or, how can I leave out, Leave It to Beaver. Whenever there was an episode that opened up at breakfast, there was Dad buried in his daily newspaper, oblivious to his surroundings, while mom, in her apron, flitted around the kitchen getting a cholesterol-filled breakfast ready for the kiddies. These days of course, newspapers are only used to line birdcages. In reality, most everyone is now buried in their screens from the moment their eyes open until they close later in the evening. Most of what is being watched, in my humble estimation, doesn’t amount to much. Don’t get me wrong — I think it is important that you know exactly where your friends had dinner and what they thought of that restaurant newly opened down the block. And let’s not forget all those pictures of happy couples on vacation, making it look like they are having the time of their lives. But now there is a new game in town, and it is called Wordle. Read More
The Office of Attorney Ethics welcomes applicants to apply for appointments by the New Jersey Supreme Court to the District Ethics and Fee Arbitration Committees. Please submit application materials directly to the Office of Attorney Ethics for appointment for the four-year term to begin on September 1 of the upcoming year. Click below for more information.