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Category Archives: Chancery

The Supreme Court has issued its Fifth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A copy of the Order is attached.

This June 25, 2020 Fifth Omnibus Order follows the format of the earlier Omnibus Orders. It continues certain suspensions and extensions through July 12, 2020 and affirms that other provisions remain in full force and effect.

The Fifth Omnibus Order concludes the restrictions on the Office of Foreclosure as established in earlier Omnibus Orders, meaning that in addition to non-dispositive motions (e.g., motions to substitute plaintiff, motions to enter default, motions for surplus funds and motions to correct defendant), the Office of Foreclosure now may recommend judgments or dispositive motions received on or after March 1, 2020.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and based on developments in the coming weeks, the Court will revisit the provisions of the Fifth Omnibus Order and make adjustments as appropriate.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s Fifth Omnibus Order 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: June 25, 2020

NOTICE Fifth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice.pdf

NOTICE TO THE BAR

The Supreme Court today issued its Fourth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A copy of the Order is attached.

This June 11, 2020 Fourth Omnibus Order follows the format of the May 28, 2020 Third Omnibus Order. It continues certain suspensions and extensions through June 28, 2020 and affirms that other provisions remain in full force and effect. It also provides updated direction in the following areas:

  • Jury Trials. Continuing the suspension of new jury trials and providing that ongoing jury trials suspended during COVID-19 may resume consistent with public health precautions with the consent of all parties;
  • Grand Jury. Extending the suspension of in-person grand jury selection and sessions and affirming that grand juries may convene remotely consistent with the Pilot Program for Virtual Grand Juries, which currently is operating in Bergen and Mercer Counties;
  • Landlord/Tenant. Providing as to landlord/tenant proceedings that (i) lockouts of residential tenants (evictions) continue to be suspended in accordance with Executive Order 106 (March 19, 2020); (ii) landlord/tenant complaints may continue to be filed with the courts, and new complaints will include an email address for the landlord and to the extent available an email address for the tenant; (iii) the court will schedule conferences, including to obtain or confirm contact information from the parties and conduct settlement negotiations in an effort to resolve matters; and (iv) trials continue to be suspended until further notice;
  • Tax Court. Affirming provisions of prior orders as to the extension of all filing deadlines for state tax controversies while vacating provisions as to local property tax appeals; and
  • Trial Court Filing Deadlines. Restating that in the computation of time periods under the Rules of Court and under any statute of limitations for matters in all trial divisions of the Superior Court, the period from March 16, 2020 through May 10, 2020 will not be included in calculating those trial court filing deadlines.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and based on developments in the coming weeks, the Court will revisit the provisions of the Fourth Omnibus Order and make adjustments as appropriate.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s Fourth Omnibus Order 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: June 11, 2020

Fourth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice.pdf

 

NOTICE TO THE BAR

The Supreme Court has approved the first part of the New Jersey Courts Post-Pandemic Plan (Plan) for transitioning from fully remote court operations (Phase 1) to the gradual return to courthouse and court facilities (Phase 2). The New Jersey courts will begin the incremental implementation of Phase 2 starting on Monday, June 22, 2020.

The Judiciary developed the comprehensive plan for safely resuming in-person court services in collaboration with Judiciary stakeholders, including representatives and Families, as well as the Attorney General, Public Defender, Sheriff Association, Warden Association, State Bar Association, and Legal Services, as well as judges and court staff.

The Plan memorializes our current Phase 1 status and the factors considered in determining to proceed to Phase 2. Iy outlines the precautions that have been and will be implemented before our buildings are opened for any in-person proceedings, including requirements to wear masks in non-private areas and to maintain social distancing as set forth in the Court’s June 9, 2020 Order. As noted, the Plan also lists those events that in Phase 2 will continue to be conducted remotely and those events that may, consistent with Supreme Court guidance, be conducted onsite.

The Plan for moving forward to Phase 2 is posted on the New Jersey courts public website (njcourts. gov).

As we have throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Judiciary will continue to provide information and guidance to attorneys, litigants, and members of the Public regarding the status of court facilities and operations. We will issue additional information, including on the subsequent transitions to Phase 3 and 4, as soon as available.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 10, 2020

Notice – NJ Courts Post-Pandemic Plan – Transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 – Notice Dated 06-10-20.pdf

NJ Courts Post Pandemic Plan Powerpoint Slides – Transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 – As Issued 06-10-20.pdf

NOTICE OF THE BAR

The Supreme Court by Order dated June 9, 2020 is requiring that all persons who enter or occupy courthouses or court facilities for Judiciary business, including Judiciary areas of mixed-use facilities, must wear masks or other face coverings in community settings (e.g., entranceways, indoor parking garages) and common areas (e.g., courtrooms, elevators). The Court’s June 9, 2020 is attached.

The Court’s Order applies statewide, including in courtrooms in the Municipal Courts. Its provides for exceptions for persons who require accommodations. The Order permits removal of face masks by judges and court staff in private areas so long as social distancing guidelines are maintained. The Order also provides that judges have discretion to remove their face coverings or masks when on the bench, and to direct others to do so, so long as social distancing are maintained.

The June 9, 2020 Order is effective immediately.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 10, 2020

Notice and Order – Requirement That All Persons in Judiciary Facilities for Judiciary Business Wear Masks or Face Coverings and Maintain Social Distancing – 6-10-20 notice and 06-09-20 order – corrected.pdf

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

     The Supreme Court by Order dated May 14, 2020 authorized a pilot program for virtual (video) grand jury proceedings, as recommended by the Supreme Court Working Group on Remote Grand Jury Operations (Working Group). The pilot program incorporates safeguards to ensure the secrecy and solemnity of grand jury proceedings, including supplements to the grand jury charge and oath of secrecy, as codified in a May 15, 2020 supplement #23-06.

The identified pilot counties (Bergen and Mercer) have taken all necessary steps to prepare for implementation of virtual grand jury proceedings. Working with the County Prosecutors, the grand juries have received additional orientation on the virtual (video) process. The supplemental charge to the grand jury has been administered, and all grand jurors have sworn or affirmed the supplement to the oath of secrecy. Read More

NOTICE TO THE BAR

The Supreme Court today issued its Third Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice in response to the ongoing COVI D-19 pandemic. A copy of the Order is attached.

This May 28, 2020 Third Omnibus Order addresses all provisions of the April 24, 2020 Second Omnibus Order (and the May 15, 2020 clarification order). It continues some of those provisions through June 14, 2020, affirms that other provisions remain in full force and effect, and lists those provisions that have concluded. Read More

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY

STANDING ORDER 2020-12

IN RE: COURT OPERATIONS UNDER THE EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES CREATED BY COVID-19, SUPERSESSION OF STANDING ORDERS 2020-02, 2020-03, 2020-04 AND 2020-09

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a National Emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic;

WHEREAS, in response to the spread of COVID-19, on March 9, 2020, the Governor of the State of New Jersey declared a State of Emergency of indefinite duration and a Public Health Emergency, which the Governor has extended through at least June 5, 2020; Read More

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY

STANDING ORDER 2020-13

IN RE: USE OF FACE COVERINGS/MASKS: DUE TO COVID-19

WHEREAS, the President of the United States has declared a National Emergency, and the Governor of the State of New Jersey has declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency throughout the State, in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic;

WHEREAS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities have advised taking precautions to reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and to slow the spread of the disease; Read More

NOTICE TO THE BAR

The Supreme Court has entered an order clarifying four provisions of the Court’s April 24, 2020 Second Omnibus Order regarding court operations during the COVID-19 crisis.

The May 15, 2020 Order, a copy of which is attached, clarifies the following aspects of remote court operations:

  1. The Office of Foreclosure will continue to review and recommend non-dispositive motions (e.g. , motions to substitute plaintiff, motion to enter default, motion for surplus funds and motions to correct defendant), but will not recommend judgments or dispositive motions received on or after March 1, 2020 pending further court order;
  2. The suspension of the requirement of courtesy copies as already applied to Civil matters also extends to Family matrimonial (FM) matters, meaning that courtesy copies are not required so long as the total submission (including appendices and attachments) does not exceed 35 pages;
  3. The ongoing suspension of trial calendars in Special Civil (DC) and Small Claims (SC) does not prevent attempts to settle those matters or requests in an individual case to proceed to trial. Judges may conduct DC and SC trials remotely with the consent of all parties; and
  4. In addition to certified copies and exemplified copies, and other categories covered by the March 27, 2020 First Omnibus Order, electronic signatures are permitted for documents to which the seal of the court is affixed by the Superior Court Clerk (including but not limited to orders, Judgments of Conviction, Judgments of Divorce, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, and writs of execution).

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

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

Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: May 15, 2020

Notice and Order – Clarification of Four Provisions of the Court’s Second Omnibus Order Regarding Court Operations During the COVID-19 Crisis.pdf

NOTICE TO THE BAR

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 COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the New Jersey courts have transitioned from in-person to virtual court proceedings in nearly all areas. However, grand jury sessions have been suspended for two months and remain unable to resume in an in-person format based on public health risks.

The Supreme Court on May 14, 2020 authorized a pilot program for virtual (video) grand jury proceedings in Mercer and Bergen counties, as one method of enabling criminal matters to move forward during this unprecedented crisis. As outlined in the Court’s May 14, 2020 Order, a number of additional safeguards are required before those virtual (video) grand jury sessions can begin. Those precautionary measures include reissuance of the standard charge to the grand jury, plus an additional supplement to that charge, and the requirement that all grand jurors reaffirm their oath of secrecy and swear or affirm a supplement to that oath. Consistent with the Court’s May 14, 2020 Order, this Supplement to Directive #23-06 promulgates on a temporary basis a supplement to Attachment A (grand jury charge) and a supplement to Attachment B (secrecy oath). Those approved supplements will be issued to all grand jurors convening in a virtual (video) format in the pilot counties.

Questions or comments regarding this Directive Supplement should be directed to the Office of the Administrative Director at (609) 376-3000.

Attachments: (1) COVID-19 Supplement to the Charge for Grand Juries

Convening in a Virtual Format (2) COVID-19 Supplement to the Oath of Secrecy for Grand Juries Convening in a Virtual Format

***Please follow the link below to view these additional attachments.***

Supplement to Grand Jury Charge and Oath of Secrecy for the Virtual Grand Jury Pilot Project (Supplement to Directive #23-06).pdf