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Category Archives: Criminal

In light of the current COVID-19 surge and consistent with COVID-19 public health recommendations, the Judiciary will reduce on-site presence of judges and staff for the first two weeks of January 2022. As we monitor and assess the changing COVID-19 conditions, we currently plan to resume regular on-site presence as of Monday, January 17, 2022.

During this period, notwithstanding the reduced on-site presence, all state court locations will continue to be fully open to the public and all judicial operations will continue uninterrupted. State court judges and court staff will support all essential functions and conduct emergent matters. In-person trials already in progress may continue. Virtual jury selection and virtual trials will continue but jurors will not report in-person for new trials until after January 17. Certain in-person court events will also proceed as scheduled. The Presiding Judge for Administration of the Appellate Division, Vicinage Assignment Judges, and the Presiding Judge of the Tax Court will provide judges with more detailed guidance as to ongoing and scheduled in-person court events during this time.

Managers will provide further direction regarding work requirements, including as to employee requirements to report on-site to court locations during this time.

Everyone is reminded of the importance of following the masking and social distancing requirements when working in on-site locations. Care should also be taken when working remotely and outside of work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week issued revised isolation and quarantine recommendations. In light of those recommendations, the Judiciary is in the process of revising certain COVID-19 policies so as to reduce the time for exclusion from work of employees who have tested positive, been diagnosed, developed symptoms, or have been exposed to the virus. Further details will be provided.

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner

Administrative Director Glenn A. Grant

 

The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Working Group on Jury Selection has formally submitted its interim report to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Judicial Conference on Jury Selection that will be conducted on November 10th and November 12th.  The report reflects the collective wisdom, analysis, and extensive experience in the courtroom and in thought leadership in the New Jersey Legal Community. See below to read the report in its entirety.

The Bergen County Bar Association ( BCBA) leadership has made significant contributions to the interim report and we will continue to support the NJSBA and our allies in preserving peremptory challenges and proposing meaningful reform to the jury selection process to eliminate or substantially reduce the impact of implicit and explicit bias in selecting a fair and impartial jury from a fair cross-section of the community.  

The filing of this interim report is just the beginning of our joint efforts to reform the jury selection process and, if any member wishes to share an experience during jury selection where explicit or implicit bias affected the jury selection process, please share your experience with the BCBA and we will consider how that experience may be helpful in demonstrating the needs for historic reforms in New Jersey’s jury selection procedures.

Members of the BCBA and the public are invited to attend the virtual Judicial Conference. Information can be found by clicking here.

To pre-register (which is encouraged), please click here

Jury Selection Interim Report – Final Version

 

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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Our criminal part judges continue to handle criminal matters by utilizing technology to enable the parties to appear remotely.

I have assigned our criminal part judges to handle emergent matters for the months of  September through December,  2021 as set forth in the schedule listed below. Of course, this schedule is subject to any changes that may be implemented.

The schedule is as follows: Read More

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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Our criminal part judges continue to handle criminal matters by utilizing technology to enable parties to appear remotely.

I have assigned our criminal part judges to handle emergent matters for the months of July & August, 2021 as set forth in the schedule listed below. Of course, this schedule is subject to any Phase changes that may be implemented.

The schedule is as follows:

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This notice referenced in the following link below, provides a comprehensive update on the resumption of in-person jury trials and the continuation of virtual civil jury trials pursuant to the Supreme Court’s May 11, 2021 Order. It supersedes the September 11, 2020 notice.

NOTICE Criminal and Civil Jury Trials – Public Information and Guidance Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s May 11, 2021 Order.pdf

The Supreme Court has authorized the resumption of in-person grand jury sessions effective June 15, 2021. The Court’s May 11, 2021 Order is attached.

Grand juries may resume in person as of that date with appropriate health protocols, including face masks and social distancing. As of August 1, 2021, all counties are to have at least one in-person grand jury panel in place. As set forth in the Court’s Order, “based on current limits to on-site presence and in-person court events in court and other locations – specifically the need to maintain social distancing and to preserve court space for in-person criminal jury trials – grand juries also may continue to convene temporarily in a virtual format.”

The Court in a separate May 11, 2021 Order also has authorized the resumption of in-person petit jury proceedings.

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: May 11, 2021

Notice and Order – Resumption of Socially Distanced In-Person Grand Jury Sessions – 05-11-21.pdf

The Supreme Court has authorized the resumption of in-person criminal jury trials, and some in-person civil jury trials, effective on or after June 15, 2021. Criminal jury trials will be conducted in person and will be the priority, with cases that involve detained defendants continuing to receive the highest priority. Most civil jury trials at present will continue to be conducted in a virtual format. The Court’s May 11, 2021 Order is attached.

The Court’s authorization to resume in-person jury trials is based on improved COVID-19 trends throughout New Jersey. In-person jury trials will be conducted with necessary health precautions, including social distancing and the requirement that participants wear face masks except in limited circumstances when other health protections are in place. As announced in this May 6, 2021 notice, up to 50% of judges and state court employees will be present in state court locations as of June 15, 2021. Those on-site judges and state court employees will support upcoming in-person jury trials and other court events.

The Court in a separate May 11, 2021 Order also has authorized the resumption of in-person grand jury sessions, which must be conducted with necessary health precautions.

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: May 11, 2021

Notice and Order – Resumption of Certain In-Person Jury Trials Effective June 15, 2021; Prioritization of Criminal Jury Trials – 05-11-21 – corrected.pdf