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Category Archives: Civil

MESSAGE FROM THE BCBA PRESIDENT

I am happy to report that Governor Murphy has recently signed into law A.3903 as amended, which allows notaries, attorneys, and other officials in New Jersey to perform notarial acts remotely using technology. The legislation is now in effect and will remain in effect throughout the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency.

The Association recognized the importance of this legislation many weeks ago and has been working with Bergen County’s Senate Delegation and the State’s Division of Revenue to encourage it’s adoption. Our Officers and Board of Trustees held its first video conference meeting last week to approve my letter urging our legislative representatives to approve the bill.

This law will now enable many of our members to effectively represent the vital interests of their clients in a variety of practice areas. Though we had urged a sunset period to coincide with the COVID-19 public health emergency, the revised legislation still requires recordings of notarial acts to be retained for ten years. I urge BCBA members to review the legislation and let us know if further refinement is necessary to otherwise effectuate its intent during the COVID-19 public health emergency. A copy of the approved legislation is attached for your information.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Warmest personal regards,
Joe”

Assembly, No. 3903_STATE OF NEW JERSEY 1R.pdf

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

     The New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended taking all possible steps to avoid person-to person contact during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Judiciary continues to follow the guidance of the NJ DOH and CDC by modifying and relaxing court operations to minimize the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Accordingly, it is ORDERED that effective immediately and until further order, pursuant to NJ. Const., Art. VI, sec. 2, par. 3, the provisions of Rule 4:4- 4(a)(7) of the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey are relaxed and supplemented so as to permit electronic service of process by email on the State of New Jersey.

For the Court,

/s/ Stuart Rabner

Chief Justice

Dated: April 7, 2020

Order – COVID-19 – Permitting Electronic Service by Email on the State of New Jersey – Relaxation of Rule 4_4-4(a)(7).pdf

The Civil Division continues to operate although the Courthouse is closed to the public. The Division staff has been directed to work remotely. eCourts is fully functional, and the Bar is not restricted from filing and opposing motions timely. The Bar is directed to the Supreme Court’s instructions as to the status of courtesy copies. All civil judges will be adjudicating motions on 4/9/20, and are conducting oral argument telephonically; some remotely, some from their courtrooms.

The digital drop box established by the AOC is designed for Divisions not fully integrated into eCourts, and litigants without access to eCourts. Therefore, the emergent digital dropbox is not to be used for cases in the eCourts system.

Judge Monaghan is conducting Special Civil Part matters as much as practical, and is initiating settlement conferences by affirmatively reaching out to counsel in that Division. Law Division judges are actively engaged in settlement conferences on cases expected to be listed for trial in April, as well as cases listed for pretrial settlement conferences. Counsel are encouraged to be responsive to those calls from the court. Counsel are encouraged to initiate settlement discussions among themselves, and are free to seek assistance from civil division judges.

Civil Commitments hearings are proceeding using remote technology, on 4/9/20, and beyond.

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS – SUPREME COURT’S MARCH 27, 2020 OMNIBUS ORDER CONTINUING THE SUSPENSION OF COURT PROCEEDINGS AND EXTENDING DEADLINES AND TIMEFRAMES THROUGH APRIL 26, 2020

The Supreme Court on March 27, 2020 issued an omnibus order regarding the Judiciary’s response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus public health crisis.

Over the past few weeks, the Court entered a series of orders and notices suspending certain court proceedings, extending deadlines, and tolling time periods because of the practical impossibility of continuing business as usual during this unprecedented emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The omnibus order extends numerous of those provisions – including the suspension of jury trials, Landlord/Tenant calendars, and all Municipal Court sessions – through April 26, 2020.

In addition to those continuations, the Court’s March 27 Order also takes a number of new steps. In Civil matters, the Order extends deadlines to additional areas, including for filing affidavits of merit in medical and professional malpractice cases and various types of discovery, and it tolls time periods for lack of prosecution dismissals and discovery end dates. Read More

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

In response to the growing public health crisis worldwide and in this state involving the COVID-19 coronavirus, the New Jersey Judiciary has implemented various modifications to court operations, including an ongoing transition to video and phone proceedings instead of in-person appearances and related measures intended to minimize in-person contact and adhere to crucial social distancing measures recommended by the New Jersey Department of Health (“NJ DOH”) and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”).

In conjunction with those operational changes, the Court has entered a series of orders suspending certain court proceedings, extending deadlines, and tolling time periods because of the practical impossibility of continuing business as usual during this public health crisis. Since the entry of those orders and notices, the effect of the COVID-19 corona virus has continued to increase exponentially, prompting emergency declarations at the national, -state, and county levels, and further disrupting the practice of law and the normal operations of the courts. The Court has reviewed its interim measures and determined that, in the interest of justice, the effective periods must be extended based on current restrictions on movement and activity recommended by the NJ DOH and CDC, as well as provisions of Executive Order 107 (March 21, 2020). Read More

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

In response to the growing public health crisis worldwide and in this state involving the COVID-19 coronavirus, the New Jersey Judiciary continues to implement all possible measures to apply social distancing in court operations consistent with the recommendations of the New Jersey Department of Health (“NJ DOH”) and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”).

The Judiciary accordingly has closed comi buildings to the public and adjusted the operations of court offices to reduce the risk of exposure to or transmission of the virus.

Executive Order 107 (March 21, 2020) imposed strict limitations on the operations of “brick-and-mortar” businesses and required telecommuting to the greatest extent possible, causing law firms to transition expeditiously to remote work operations with few if any attorneys or staff working from their law firm offices. Read More

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

In response to the still expanding public health crisis worldwide and in this state involving the COVID-19 coronavirus, the New Jersey Judiciary continues to modify court operations to the fullest extent possible in accordance with the recommendations of the New Jersey Department of Health (“NJ DOH”) and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”).

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a critical need for the uninterrupted services of many doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals.

Recognizing that critical need, it is ORDERED that effective immediately through Sunday, April 26, 2020, all depositions of and all required appearances for any doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals who are involved in responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency are suspended, 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.

For the Court

/s/ Stuart Rabner

Chief Justice

Dated: March 24, 2020

As you know, there are currently no in-person court proceedings, except for limited emergent matters, because of concerns related to COVID-19. In the event you have an emergent matter in the Bergen Vicinage please call our main telephone number (201) 221-0700.

For Family Division matter per docket type please use the following extension:

DV Matters – 25168

FM Matters – 25237

FJ Matters – 25205

CIC Matters – 25216

For Criminal Division Trial matters please call either extension 25007 or 25008.

For Pretrial matters call extension 25009.

For Civil Division matters please use the following extensions: 25722.

For Child Support matters, please call (877) 655-4371.

For the Fiance Division please call extension 25135 or 25136.

These extensions are being constantly monitored. In the event you leave a voice mail message, you will receive a call back from staff.

 

/s/ Laura Simoldoni,

Trial Court Administrator

Dated: March 24, 2020

As reflected in the court’s Automated Case Management System, pretrial judicial settlement conferences, scheduled to be conducted by the Hon. Lisa Perez-Friscia, J.S.C., through April 3, 2020, are CANCELLED.  Civil Judges in Bergen – including Judge Perez-Friscia – may call counsel and initiate settlement conferences telephonically.  The Bar is advised to check ACMS for scheduling updates on their cases.

 

/s/ Hon. Robert L. Polifroni, P.J.Cv.

Dated: March 24, 2020

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

WHEREAS, a national emergency has been declared and the Governor of New Jersey has declared a State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency because of the COVID-19 coronavirus public health crisis, with statewide implementation of social distancing measures to attempt to slow the spread of the virus; and

WHEREAS, those measures are resulting in unprecedented closures and cancellations throughout the state such that corporate and residential property taxpayers are severely disrupted in their ability to meet filing deadlines in property tax appeals before the County Boards of Taxation and the New Jersey Tax Court; Read More