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Category Archives: Civil

On July 14, 2020, the Supreme Court issued an Order requiring certain procedures to support the resumption of landlord/tenant case processing during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The Order requires the courts to schedule conferences to obtain or confirm contact information from the parties and to conduct settlement negotiations in an effort to resolve matters while landlord/tenant trials continue to be suspended. Complaints subject to the CARES Act filed between March 27, 2020 and July 24, 2020 will be dismissed.

In order to ensure settlement conferences will address only appropriate active cases, Landlords shall do the following:

  • CARES Act Cases:  Voluntarily dismiss without prejudice any landlord/tenant case subject to the CARES Act that was filed between March 27, 2020 and July 24, 2020.
  • NON-CARES Act Cases: Advise the Clerk’s office at (201) 221-0700 ext. 25310 of all cases that have been settled or voluntarily dismissed.
  • Communications regarding dismissals shall be filed via JEDS.

Upcoming Landlord/Tenant Virtual Informational Conference

Bergen County Vicinage wishes to announce it will be conducting a Landlord Tenant Virtual Informational Conference that will be open to the public to discuss dispute resolution processes and various services available to Bergen County residents with a special focus on resources for landlords and tenants. Additional information will be forthcoming prior to the scheduling of the conference.

/s/ Hon. Joseph G. Monaghan, J.S.C.

 

The Full Notice is Available for your full review in the link below.

By Order dated July 14, 2020, the Supreme Court has authorized several steps to support the resumption of landlord/tenant case processing during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the New Jersey courts to transition from in-person to remote proceedings and to suspend landlord/tenant trial calendars as of March 16, 2020. Over the past four months, a significant number of landlord/tenant complaints have been docketed and have not yet been served on tenants. Additional cases that were pending as of March 16, 2020 have yet to be resolved. An influx of new landlord/tenant complaints also is anticipated when the relief provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act), 15 U.S.C. 9001 et seq., expires on July 25, 2020.

Current circumstances require the New Jersey courts to implement a cohesive strategy for landlord/tenant cases pending service and landlord/tenant cases pending trial. To that end, with input from tenant advocates and landlord representatives, the Court has authorized both permanent and interim measures to support the resumption of service of landlord/tenant complaints and the scheduling of settlement conferences while landlord/tenant trials remain suspended. Those measures are critical to facilitating the best possible outcomes for tens of thousands of New Jersey residents who face potential loss of housing in the coming months.

Read More

This notice provides clarification of the procedures required where certain writs have expired during the COVID-19 pandemic. This notice does not apply to goods and chattel writs of execution or wage executions issued by the Special Civil Part. This notice does apply to all other writs of execution and foreclosure writs of possession (hereafter referred to as writ(s)) and warrants of removal issued by the Superior Court and the Superior Court Clerk’s Office.

Where a writ has expired, the requesting party is required to obtain a new writ. There is no extension of time for expired writs. Attorney requests for writs must be submitted through eCourts (where applicable) or JEDS in accordance with the Supreme Court’s April 24, 2020 Order.

A landlord-tenant warrant of removal must be issued within 30 days of entry of a judgment for possession or executed within 30 days of issuance, pursuant to Rule 6:7- 1(d). Read More

The New Jersey courts are continuing to establish interim protocols for court operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including by prescribing health and safety precautions to minimize risks during necessary in-person interactions. Special Civil Part Officer responsibilities include various in-person functions, including serving summonses and complaints in landlord/tenant actions; serving and executing warrants for removal; and serving goods and chattel writ executions, wage executions, and other process. This Supplement to Directive #01-15 (“Special Civil Part Officers”) provides standards for conducting those important duties during COVID-19.

Special Civil Part Officers routinely enter Judiciary facilities, which are subject to occupancy and conduct requirements established by the Supreme Court. In performing their duties, however, Special Civil Part Officers spend most of their time in other locations, including residential and commercial locations that currently are subject to restrictions on social interactions established by various Executive Orders. Read More

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