Please see the attachment below for the Criminal Part Emergent Duty Judge Calendar for the month of April.
Effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020, at 0800 hours, the Bergen County Jail, in conjunction with the Bergen County Bar Association, will begin to coordinate telephone conferences between attorneys and their incarcerated clients. Attorneys requesting a telephone conference will email the following information for Ms. Keisha McLean (email@example.com):
1) Attorney’s name
2) Client’s name
3) Requested date and time of call
4) Approximate duration of the call
While we cannot guarantee a particular time slot, we will do our best to accommodate your request, and Ms. McLean will advise of you the approximate time of your scheduled call. Telephone conferences will run from 0800 hours until 1900 hours. We are not placing any restrictions on the duration of the scheduled calls, but please be mindful of the need of your fellow attorneys’ access to their clients. Please contact Frank O’Mara with any questions who will address them with me. Thank you.
/s/ Warden Steven Ahrendt
Office of the Bergen County Sheriff
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.
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).
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
This matter having come before the Court on the request for relief by the Office of the Public Defender (see attached letter dated March 19, 2020), seeking the Court’s consideration of a proposed Order to Show Cause (see attached) designed to commute or suspend county jail sentences currently being served by county jail inmates either as a condition of probation for an indictable offense or because of a municipal court conviction; and
The Court, on its own motion, having relaxed the Rules of Court to permit the filing of this request for relief directly with the Supreme Court, based on the dangers posed by COVID-19, and the statewide impact of the nature of the request in light of the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor. See Executive Order No. 103 (2020) (Mar. 9, 2020);
And for good cause shown; it is
The Supreme Court issued an order late Sunday night that will suspend or commute county jail sentences for low-risk inmates in light of the public health emergency caused by coronavirus COVID-19.
The order commutes or suspends county jail sentences currently being served by county jail inmates either as a condition of probation for an indictable offense or because of a municipal court conviction. It directs their release no later than 6 a.m. Tuesday.
The Supreme Court on Friday relaxed the rules of the court to accept a petition from the Office of the Public Defender in response to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in county jails.
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 is implementing all possible measures to apply social distancing in current court operations consistent with the recommendations of the New Jersey Department of Health (“NJ DOH”) and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”).
Based on the large number of persons required for jury and grand jury panels, on March 12, 2020, the Judiciary suspended all reporting for jury service except for ongoing trials and directed that no new criminal jury trials would be conducted until further notice, and on March 17, 2020, the Court postponed the empanelment of all grand juries, including the State Grand Jury, and cancelled all current grand jury sessions, including the State Grand Jury, effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, through Friday, March 27, 2020
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that, effective immediately:
UPDATE ON BERGEN COUNTY JAIL & RESCINDED COUNTY EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-1B
- While one Sheriff’s Department Correctional Officer tested positive for the Coronavirus several days ago and several other officers in close-quarters with that officer are all now under a 14-day self-quarantine, the Bergen County Jail continues its regular procedure for attorney interviews with inmates. No current inmate at the Bergen County Jail has been tested positive for the coronavirus.
- Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco today rescinded his Executive Order 2020-1B at the request of the Governor. The Murphy Administration has stated that the only closures that could be enforced were those issued by the Governor. Law offices were specifically exempted from the County Executive’s order.Executive Order 2020-1B has never been enacted but was delayed to work with the Governor’s Office and to take the opportunity to revisit areas of the Executive Order that the County had received feedback on from the business community and the public.
NOTICE TO THE BERGEN COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
MARCH 18, 2020
The Bergen County Judiciary, in conjunction with the New Jersey Judiciary, is continuing to take preventive measures to reduce risks of exposure to and transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus. As of March 18, 2020, and until further notice, there shall be NO in-person Superior Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters as set forth in the March 15, 2020, Notice to the Bar attached).
The Bergen Judiciary shall attempt to handle as many matters as possible (including case management conferences, motions, and hearings) by telephone or video conference, whether from the courthouse or remotely in the days and weeks ahead. This is all part of the Judiciary’s social distancing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.
In order to conduct conferences via video we shall be using the Zoom Platform. To prepare, I urge that you download the application on your devices.
In the meantime, the situation is fluid and we continue to plan for further adjustments. At the time of this writing the Bergen Judiciary has implemented the following changes: