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Category Archives: Bergen County Superior Court

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 and October 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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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.  We continue to handle as many matters as possible by telephone, Zoom or Teams platforms.  However, during Phase II of operations certain in-person proceedings are being scheduled.

This is a reminder, especially during the peak of the vacation season, that should you have an in-person proceeding scheduled and have travelled to a quarantine impacted state as contained on New Jersey’s updated Quarantine Advisory, it is incumbent upon you to inform the court as soon as possible to allow for an appropriate quarantine time period.

Please know that you will not be permitted entry into the courthouse facilities until the required 14 day quarantine period has expired from the time of your last contact within the identified state.

We are being vigilant in our efforts to ensure the safety of all in the courthouse.  Therefore, in addition to the disclosure of travel to an impacted state, you have an obligation to disclose whether you have experienced:

  1. Fever (A Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater);
  2. Symptoms (Cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, muscle aches and pains, loss of taste or smell, any other unexplained illness);
  3. Close contact with anyone who has exhibited any of these symptoms; or
  4. Whether someone in your household or someone you have been in close contact that has tested positive for COVID-19 (Close contact with an infected person means within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more).

Your cooperation in keeping our courthouse safe for all who enter is much appreciated.

/s/ Bonnie J. Mizdol, A.J.S.C.

Dated: August 26, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to apply social distancing and other protective measures, the Judiciary by April 2, 2020 notice temporarily modified the procedures for applying for a protective order under SASPA, the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015. That temporary modification instructed litigants applying for a SASPA protective order to submit the completed application packet via email to the emergent mailbox either in the county in which the victim resides, the county in which the defendant resides, or the county where the act occurred.

This notice is to advise that where to submit the completed application for a SASPA protective order has changed. Those applications no longer should be submitted to the emergent mailbox, but rather should be sent through the Judiciary Electronic Document System (JEDS) at https://www.njcourts.gov/selfhelp/jeds.html. The SASPA application packet (CN 12590) has been updated on page 4 to reflect these new instructions.

Questions about this notice may be directed to the AOC’s Family Practice Division at 609-815-2900 ext. 55350.

/s/ Hon. Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.

Acting Administrator Director

Dated: August 13, 2020

NOTICE Revised Instructions for Submitting SASPA Protective Orders.pdf

The new clerks will begin their 53 weeks of service on August 25th.  There will be overlap of law clerks from August 25th to August 31st.

Due to the change in the date for the Bar Examination, now October 5th and 6th, the new clerks will be off from September 28th through October 2nd  to study and the additional two days for the exam on October  5th and 6th.

Because the rescheduling of the Bar impacts motion calendars, the motion calendars will be adjusted as follows:

Original Dates         New Dates

August 7th                     August 7th to remain the same

August 21st                   August 28th to allow for a motion day overlap

September 4th             September 11th to allow new clerks to prepare 1st motion calendar

September 18th           September 25th

October 2nd                 October 16th to allow law clerks to study and take the exam

October 30th               October 30th to remain the same

The New Jersey courts are committed to following public health guidance and supporting the health and safety of attorneys, litigants, members of the public, judges, court staff, and all persons in Judiciary facilities. To that end, the Judiciary has established a statewide policy for handling COVID-19 exposure risks in courthouses and court facilities. This notice is being issued on behalf of the Chief Justice and the Administrative Director. The policy set forth herein applies to the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Tax Court, and trial divisions of the Superior Court. For Municipal Courts, the municipality has responsibility for enforcing public health protocols regarding COVID-19 cases.

A. The Judiciary has implemented and will continue to enforce policies that minimize risks of potential exposure to COVID-19 in court facilities.

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The New Jersey courts are continuing to support comprehensive court services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including for individuals seeking protection from domestic violence. Consistent with the Supreme Court’s July 24, 2020 Seventh Omnibus Order, domestic violence temporary restraining order (TRO) applications will be accepted in person with or without a prior appointment. Effective August 3, 2020, plaintiffs also can contact the Family Division by telephone during normal court hours to apply for the entry of a TRO.

Plaintiffs who contact their local police department after Superior Court hours will continue to be assisted by law enforcement with the filing of their TRO application and be heard by a Municipal Court judge. Additionally, if law enforcement issues a complaint-summons to a domestic violence defendant, or contacts the Municipal Court to request a complaint-warrant, plaintiffs should be afforded the opportunity to apply for a TRO at the same time, with the assistance of law enforcement, even if this occurred when the Superior Court is open. These TRO applications that are submitted with a complaint-warrant or a complaint-summons should be heard by a Municipal Court judge, even during Superior Court hours.

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***Disclaimer – The Full Order and All Attachments are attached in the link below for your review.***

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many efforts have been and continue to be made to assist landlords and tenants affected by the public health crisis and remove barriers to justice. The Judiciary is implementing a multifaceted plan for improving the handling of Landlord/Tenant (LT) cases from the outset, including by providing litigants with information and resources. Our primary goal is to assist litigants in resolving their matters, not dispose of cases through trial or default. No party will be pressured into settling their case.

The Judiciary has engaged with tenant advocates as well as landlord representatives to create the attached informational materials that will be distributed to all parties in LT cases. In addition, every vicinage, in coordination with their Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement Committees and Ombudsmen, is organizing virtual LT outreach events to provide litigants and others with up to date information on current court operations. Those outreach events, conducted in partnership with key stakeholders, will highlight local community resources that provide legal, financial, and other forms of assistance relating to rental housing and mortgage payments.

This Directive sets forth the requirements of newly implemented LT case management steps, procedures, and forms for (1) service of complaints and conferences; (2) CARES Act certification of compliance; and (3) Order to Show Cause process for LT trials in limited circumstances.

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The Supreme Court has issued its Seventh Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A copy of the Order is attached.

This July 24, 2020 Seventh Omnibus Order continues certain adjustments necessitated during the COVID-19 period, including the prioritization of remote proceedings and permission for electronic signatures, remote depositions, and electronic service on the State of New Jersey. It also concludes certain blanket suspensions and extensions (including as to discovery involving experts, affidavits of merit, relaxation of Rule 4:86 regarding guardianships of incapacitated persons, and depositions and appearances by medical professionals) while permitting extensions based on the facts and circumstances of an individual case.

The July 24, 2020 Seventh Omnibus Order includes the following key provisions:

  • Jury Trials. Authorizing new jury selections and new jury trials starting on or after September 21, 2020, with selections to be conducted in a primarily virtual format and trials to be conducted in person with social distancing, consistent with the Court’s July 22, 2020 Order;
  • Grand Jury. Providing for the virtual selection of new grand jury panels on or after September 21, 2020;
  • Criminal. Continuing excludable time provisions through September 20, 2020;
  • Special Civil Part. Clarifying that Special Civil Part (DC) and Small Claims (SC) proceedings including trials can be conducted remotely with or without consent;
  • Family – Quasi-Criminal. Providing that Family quasi-criminal (FO) trials shall proceed remotely only with the consent of the parties, and in the absence of consent such matters will proceed in person;
  • Family – Domestic Violence. Amending Phase 2 of the Judiciary’s Post Pandemic Plan to allow applicants seeking a domestic violence restraining order to appear at court without an appointment; and
  • Municipal Courts. Confirming that Municipal Court sessions will be conducted primarily using remote technologies, although in limited circumstances in-person sessions may be conducted, including for complex matters such as DWI trials and certain cases involving a consequence of magnitude.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s Seventh Omnibus Order may be directed to the Office of the Administrative at the Courts at (609) 376-3000.

/s/ Hon. Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: July 24, 2020

NOTICE Seventh Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice – Concluding Certain General Extensions; Continuing Individualized Adjustments.pdf

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 month of August as set forth in the schedule listed below.  Of course, this schedule is subject to any Phase 3 changes that may be implemented.

The schedule is as follows:

August

3,4 – Judge Kazlau/Judge Wilcox/ Judge Steele

5,6 – Judge Foti/Judge Bachmann/Judge Steele

7 – Judge Vinci/Judge Steele

10 – Judge Catuogno/Judge Wilcox/Judge Sattely

11,12 – Judge Catuogno/Judge McGrogan/Judge Sattely

13,14 – Judge Kazlau/Judge Wilcox/Judge Sattely

17,18 – Judge Foti / Judge Bachmann / Judge Sattely

19,20 – Judge Vinci / Judge Sattely

21,24 – Judge Catuogno / Judge McGrogan / Judge Sattely

25,26 – Judge Kazlau / Judge Wilcox / Judge Sattely

27,28 – Judge Foti / Judge Bachmann

The Full Order and Notice is attached below for your convenience.

The Supreme Court has authorized the incremental resumption of new Civil and Criminal jury trials, which have been suspended for more than four months because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Attached to this notice are the Court’s July 22, 2020 Order and the Report on Resuming Jury Trials.

Atlantic/Cape May, Bergen, and Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem will be the first Vicinages to resume certain jury trials, beginning with Criminal trials involving a single detained defendant. Over the coming months, trials will gradually resume in all counties and will expand to include Civil as well as Criminal cases.

Overview

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