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:

  1. The COVID-19-related extensions of deadlines with regard to state tax appeals are concluded as of May 1, 2022. 
  2. 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

Chief Justice 

Dated: April 14, 2022 

 

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.
Bergen County

 

APPOINTMENT OF JAMES S. MCCANN AS A SPECIAL CIVIL PART OFFICER AND NEW SPECIAL CIVIL PART OFFICER ASSIGNMENTS FOR  VICINAGE 2, BERGEN COUNTY

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, effective April 14, 2022, James S. McCann is appointed as a Special Civil Part Officer (SCPO) for Vicinage2, Bergen County. SCPO McCann will be responsible for wage and chattel executions according to the last two digits of docket numbers ending in 10-14 and 60-79 or as determined by the Civil Case Management Office.
Read More

Commencing on or about March 14, 2022, the Law Division will conduct a select number of in-person jury trials. It is anticipated there will be two in-person trials at a time. Virtual trials will also continue determined by resource and space considerations.   Jury selection of in-person jury trials will be remote.  Selected jurors will then come to the courthouse for trial. Read More

In light of updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and growing use of masks including N95s and KN95s, effective immediately all jurors who participate in in-person proceedings, including trials and grand juries, will have the option to use any appropriate mask and will not be required to use clear masks.

For jurors and other court users who lack an appropriate face mask, the Judiciary will provide a disposable mask and, optionally, an additional cloth mask to be worn on top of the disposable mask.

The Judiciary appreciates the ongoing cooperation by all court users — and especially the commitment of members of the public who continue to serve as jurors — to support health and safety in our court locations during COVID-19.

Questions on this notice should be directed to the Office of the Administrative Director of the Courts at (609) 376-3000.

/s/ Glenn A. Grant

Administrative Director of the Courts

1/28/22

This Notice is to advise that an initial arbitrator training course will be offered as a webcast on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, in conjunction with the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA).

Pursuant to Rule 1:40-12( c ), all individuals wishing to serve as arbitrators in the court-annexed civil arbitration program must complete at least three classroom hours of initial training in a course approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts. This training will provide instruction on applicable statutes, court rules and administrative directives and policies; standards of conduct; and applicable procedures for conducting arbitrations. It 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 this initial arbitrator training must register in advance. The registration link is available on the NJSBA webpage at WebcastInitial Arbitration Training Program (njsba.com).

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/ Glenn A. Grant

Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: January 21, 2022

BRUCE EVAN CHASE, ESQ.
Bergen County Bar Association
Co-Chair, Family Law Committee

On December 10, 2021, Judge Melchionne agreed to meet with me and to provide an update of certain information important to the Family Part and the practicing Bar.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MATTERS
First appearances continue to be conducted via Zoom platform. However, all other proceedings are now being conducted “live” in the courthouse. The change from “Zoom” proceedings was in part a reaction to litigants participating in online, video proceedings while in a car, in a bathroom, and in a coffee shop!

To deal with the domestic violence backlog, in addition to Judge Antoniewicz and Judge Janeczko regularly assigned to FV, Judge Francois has a domestic violence additional assignment one day per week. The FM Judges were enlisted to assist by covering FV calendars as needed and maintaining the cases they are assigned. Read More

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 surge and consistent with COVID-19 public health recommendations, the Judiciary will continue the current reduction in on-site presence of judges and staff through January 23, 2022. As of now, we plan to resume regular on-site presence on Monday, January 24, 2022, and we will continue to monitor the situation.

State court operations will continue as follows:

  • All state court locations will remain fully open to the public and all judicial operations will continue uninterrupted.
  • State court judges and court staff will support all essential functions and conduct emergent matters.
  • Virtual jury selection and virtual trials will continue. For ongoing jury matters that are not entirely virtual, judges should advise jurors that they should plan to report in person on or after Monday, January 31, 2022. For new jury selections, judges should advise jurors that they should plan to report in person as of January 31 or a later date (e.g., February 7 or February 14) as determined by the judge.
  • Certain other in-person court events will also continue to proceed as scheduled.

Managers will provide further direction regarding work requirements, including as to employee requirements to report on-site to court locations during this time.

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner

Administrative Director Glenn A. Grant

In light of the current COVID-19 surge and consistent with COVID-19 public health recommendations, the Judiciary will reduce on-site presence of judges and staff for the first two weeks of January 2022. As we monitor and assess the changing COVID-19 conditions, we currently plan to resume regular on-site presence as of Monday, January 17, 2022.

During this period, notwithstanding the reduced on-site presence, all state court locations will continue to be fully open to the public and all judicial operations will continue uninterrupted. State court judges and court staff will support all essential functions and conduct emergent matters. In-person trials already in progress may continue. Virtual jury selection and virtual trials will continue but jurors will not report in-person for new trials until after January 17. Certain in-person court events will also proceed as scheduled. The Presiding Judge for Administration of the Appellate Division, Vicinage Assignment Judges, and the Presiding Judge of the Tax Court will provide judges with more detailed guidance as to ongoing and scheduled in-person court events during this time.

Managers will provide further direction regarding work requirements, including as to employee requirements to report on-site to court locations during this time.

Everyone is reminded of the importance of following the masking and social distancing requirements when working in on-site locations. Care should also be taken when working remotely and outside of work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week issued revised isolation and quarantine recommendations. In light of those recommendations, the Judiciary is in the process of revising certain COVID-19 policies so as to reduce the time for exclusion from work of employees who have tested positive, been diagnosed, developed symptoms, or have been exposed to the virus. Further details will be provided.

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner

Administrative Director Glenn A. Grant

 

The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Working Group on Jury Selection has formally submitted its interim report to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Judicial Conference on Jury Selection that will be conducted on November 10th and November 12th.  The report reflects the collective wisdom, analysis, and extensive experience in the courtroom and in thought leadership in the New Jersey Legal Community. See below to read the report in its entirety.

The Bergen County Bar Association ( BCBA) leadership has made significant contributions to the interim report and we will continue to support the NJSBA and our allies in preserving peremptory challenges and proposing meaningful reform to the jury selection process to eliminate or substantially reduce the impact of implicit and explicit bias in selecting a fair and impartial jury from a fair cross-section of the community.  

The filing of this interim report is just the beginning of our joint efforts to reform the jury selection process and, if any member wishes to share an experience during jury selection where explicit or implicit bias affected the jury selection process, please share your experience with the BCBA and we will consider how that experience may be helpful in demonstrating the needs for historic reforms in New Jersey’s jury selection procedures.

Members of the BCBA and the public are invited to attend the virtual Judicial Conference. Information can be found by clicking here.

To pre-register (which is encouraged), please click here

Jury Selection Interim Report – Final Version