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Category Archives: Chancery

The New Jersey courts are continuing to support public health and safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The attached overview summarizes current health precautions in state court facilities, including the requirements that court users wear face masks and maintain social distancing (subject to narrow exceptions).

The attached summary reminds attorneys and others that the majority of court events still are being conducted remotely. For state court matters, all court users can request use of courthouse technology rooms, which are spaces in state court facilities with technology that can be used to participate in virtual court sessions.

Questions about this notice 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: February 23, 2021

NOTICE Health and Safety Precautions in State Courts Facilities and Availability of Courthouse Technology Rooms to Facilitate Remote Participation in Court Events.pdf

This directive provides a protocol to support consistent management of cases that require the consent or lack of objection of all parties to proceed in a remote format during the temporary modifications necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and for so long as court operations are not conducted primarily in person. It sets forth a series of steps (1) to memorialize on the record a party’s objection to proceeding remotely, or the inability of counsel to ascertain a party’s position; (2) to provide notice to the parties, attorneys, and other participants when a matter is scheduled for an in-person court event based on an objection to proceeding remotely; and (3) to provide an opportunity for participants to request individual adjustments and accommodations that will enable the scheduled court event to proceed. This protocol is applicable to the trial divisions of the Superior Court and to the Municipal Courts, subject to limited exceptions as noted.

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The Supreme Court in its April 20, 2020 Order reaffirmed that court operations would continue in a remote format to the greatest extent practicable, subject to narrow exceptions. That continues to be the case.

The Court in the attached February 22, 2021 Order has refined one provision of that April 20, 2020 Order. As provided in that order, certain matters with especially serious or permanent consequences or penalties still can be conducted remotely only with the consent of all parties. However, the consent of a party will not be required if the party is absent and unreachable.

Directive #06-21 (“COVID-19 – Protocol for Matters that Cannot Proceed in a Remote Format Without Consent – In Furtherance of the Supreme Court’s Orders Dated April 20, 2020 and February 22, 2021”), dated February 23, 2021 and published separately, provides guidance as to matters that can proceed remotely only with the consent of the parties. The directive provides a step-by-step protocol (1) to memorialize on the record a party’s objection to proceeding remotely, or the inability of counsel to ascertain a party’s position; (2) to provide notice to the parties, attorneys, and other participants when a matter is scheduled for an in-person court event based on an objection to proceeding remotely; and (3) to provide an opportunity for participants to request individual adjustments and accommodations that will enable the scheduled court event to proceed. Directive #06-21 also promulgates model certifications and an exemplar Order Scheduling In-Person Hearing, for use in accordance with the Court’s February 22, 2021 Order.

Questions about this notice, the Court’s February 22, 2021 Order, or Directive #06-21 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: February 23, 2021

NOTICE Refinement of Court Matters That Can Proceed Remotely.pdf

The Supreme Court has issued the attached Tenth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This February 17, 2021 Tenth Omnibus Order extends pre-indictment excludable time for defendants committed to county jail before March 16, 2020 through March 31, 2021. It also extends post-indictment excludable time for the additional period from March 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021. The February 17, 2021 Tenth Omnibus Order continues other provisions of earlier Orders.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s Tenth 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: February 17, 2021

NOTICE COVID-19 Tenth Omnibus Order on Courthouse Operations and Legal Practice.pdf

NOTICE TO THE BAR

January 29, 2021

Unscheduled Closings and Delayed Openings for the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Tax Court, County Courthouses, and the Administrative Office of the Courts

Decisions to close or delay openings are made separately for each courthouse and are based on local weather conditions. Delayed openings sometimes become closings, and sometimes courthouses close early if the weather warrants. For these updates, follow the courts on Twitter, sign up for text messages, or go to The New Jersey Judiciary website at NJCOURTS.GOV  https://www.njcourts.gov/courts/closings.html

On the bottom of the NJCOURTS.GOV webpage are a number of icons that you may select to obtain court information from a variety of social media sources such as Twitter and Rave alerts.  The best method to receive immediate unscheduled closing information is to sign up for Rave text messages at https://www.getrave.com/login/judiciary-state-nj-us

For Municipal Courts, please check with your local municipal court for closing information. Below are two the links to use for the municipal courts https://njcourts.gov/courts/closings.html  or https://njcourts.gov/courts/closingsmuni.html

Closure of the courthouse was left in the discretion of Assignment Judge.  Judge Mizdol has determined that the Bergen Courthouse will NOT have a delayed opening today, December 17th, but will be closed.  There will be no Zoom proceedings today.

Staff will work on non court events remotely.

This notice is sent to clarify any differing posting on NJ Courts website.

Nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers are providing critical frontline care as New Jersey battles a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the Supreme Court has reinstated the suspension of requirements for healthcare professionals involved in responding to COVID-19 to appear for depositions or court proceedings, except for appearances and depositions (i) that are requested by the doctor, nurse, or healthcare professional; or (ii) that are for matters related to COVID-19. The Court’s December 8, 2020 Order is attached.

Questions 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: December 8, 2020

Notice and Order – COVID-19 – Healthcare Professionals Involved in Pandemic Response Not Required to Submit to Depositions or Appear for Other Court Events.pdf

 

The New Jersey courts are continuing to provide comprehensive court services at all state court locations and the Administrative Office of the Courts.

As we have for the past eight months, courts at all levels are following a “remote first” approach to court proceedings and court events. Accordingly, matters that can be conducted remotely will continue to be done remotely, and certain matters that cannot be handled in a remote format will be conducted in person.

All State Courts Will Continue to Support Emergent and Critical Functions, Which May be Conducted in Person When Necessary

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The Supreme Court has immediately suspended new in-person jury trials and in-person grand jury sessions because of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court’s November 16, 2020 Order (attached) is effective immediately and until further order.

Consistent with the Court’s October 8, 2020 Ninth Omnibus Order, virtual grand juries have been established in all counties. Existing virtual panels will continue to meet in a virtual format, and in-person panels also may be converted to convene virtually subject to the Judiciary providing technology and training as necessary to support all jurors in participating in virtual sessions. The end-dates for excludable time each have been extended by 45 days beyond the dates set in the October 8, 2020 Ninth Omnibus Order.

The New Jersey Courts will continue to operate in a primarily remote format with limited numbers of judges and court employees on-site and very few court events handled in person.

Questions about this notice 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: November 16, 2020

Notice – COVID-19 – Suspension of New In-Person Jury Trials and In-Person Grand Jury Sessions; Revised End Dates for Excludable Time – 11-16-20.pdf

Order – COVID-19 – Suspension of New In-Person Jury Trials and In-Person Grand Jury Sessions; Revised End Dates for Excludable Time – 11-16-20.pdf

From Bergen County Assignment Judge, Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol: 

Hon. Joan Bedrin Murray:  The Chief Justice has informed me that Hon. Joan Bedrin Murray will be returning to Tax Court at year’s end.  Judge Murray has been a welcome addition to Bergen.  She has juggled a tax and foreclosure calendar with aplomb.  She will always be a part of the Bergen team; and will be sorely missed.  As Judge Murray transitions back to the Tax Court, Hon. Charles Powers, Retired on Recall, shall return to assist the Chancery Division with foreclosure stays.

 

Hon. Robert L. Polifroni, P.J.Cv.:  Despite my pleas to the contrary, Judge Polifroni has remained steadfast in his position and has tendered his retirement papers.  He will be leaving the vicinage as of February 1, 2021. He has brought to the Bergen bench expertise in all aspects of civil litigation and has been an invaluable resource to me as Assignment Judge.   Please join me in wishing him continued good health, a vibrant retirement and in celebrating his contributions to the Bergen bench for the last fourteen (14) years.

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