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Category Archives: Chancery

State Court Locations Fully Open as of August 2, 2021

All state court locations will reopen to the public as of August 2, 2021, thus concluding the temporary restrictions on public access to the courthouses implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of that August 2, 2021 date, individuals may be present in court locations regardless of their involvement in a scheduled court proceeding and without the need for an appointment.

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Given the suspension of most civil jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has relaxed the provisions of Rule 4:25-4 (“Designation of Trial Counsel”), including to suspend the presumptive expiration of the designation of trial counsel in Track III medical malpractice cases. The Court’s June 15, 2021 Order is attached.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s June 15, 2021 Order should be directed to the Civil Practice Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts at (609) 815-2900 x54900.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 17, 2021

Notice and Order – COVID-19 – Designation of Trial Counsel – Relaxation of Rule 4:25-4.pdf

COVID-19 trends throughout New Jersey are improving, as reflected in the latest COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) report posted by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH). Appropriate public health precautions still remain important, however, especially in indoor locations where individuals are summoned to be present as compared to other public and private places that they choose to visit.

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COVID-19 trends throughout New Jersey are encouraging, making it possible for the Judiciary to continue to increase on-site presence of Superior and Municipal Court judges and state court employees in court locations. That larger percentage of judges and employees will support more in-person court events and expanded availability of in-person court services. At the same time, the Judiciary will continue to provide remote options, both for court services and for those court proceedings that can be effectively conducted in a remote format. As we have throughout COVID-19, the Judiciary will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all court users.

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Use the link below to access the revised Guidelines for Court-Appointed Attorneys in Guardianship Matters, and the form Report of Court-Appointed Counsel for the Alleged Incapacitated Person.

Links to the revised Guidelines and fillable Microsoft Word Document form Report are also available on the Judiciary’s Guardianship Support/Guardianship Monitoring Program web page, found at the following link: Guardianship Support / Guardianship Monitoring Program (njcourts.gov).

Guidelines for CAAs in Guardianship Matters (2021).pdf

Report of Court-Appointed Counsel for the Alleged Incapacitated Person Form.pdf

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

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