The Bergen County Jail (BCJ) has created a computer lab where inmates can view discovery weekly during scheduled blocks of time. Tablets may be available for inmates to access Lexis/Nexis for research purposes. Laptops may also be utilized as necessary and in the discretion of the BCJ. Viewing time for discovery may be expanded by court order during the inmate’s trial upon consultation with BCJ officials.
Early Disposition Court (EDC) is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Bergen County. During the pandemic, we have continued to make this pre-indictment court a priority and carved out new protocols to effectuate case dispositions in a virtual manner. With the elimination of social distancing, it has been determined that a return to in-person proceedings is now warranted. Effective OCTOBER 3, 2022, all appearances from stakeholders and litigants will be required to be in person for both sessions (Tuesdays and Thursdays).
EDC Supplemental Information
This is a supplement and modification to the previously submitted announcement regarding EDC. Effective 10/3/2022, ALL defendants, including those that are detained in the Bergen County Jail, will be present for their court appearances in EDC on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.