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Category Archives: New Jersey Supreme Court and Administrative Office of the Courts

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

 

Pursuant to Rule 1:40-12(c), all individuals wishing to serve as arbitrators in the court-annexed civil arbitration program must complete at least three classroom hours of initial training in a course approved by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). To remain eligible for continued inclusion on the roster, arbitrators must complete two hours of training after the first two years, and two additional hours of training during each subsequent four-year period. Read More

As earlier advised by Notice dated May 13, 2021, two-factor authentication is now in place as an information security requirement for attorneys accessing any Judiciary application. Two-factor authentication requires attorneys to authenticate their account after receiving a security code at the cell phone number or email address provided by the attorney during annual attorney registration.

This is notice o advise that effective immediately, attorneys will be permitted to provide two additional email addresses and two additional cell phone numbers to receive the two-factor verification code.

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Click below to see the attached notice and Supreme Court order, both dated August 9, in furtherance of implementation L. 2021, c. 188.   The order relaxes a number of court rules  As stated in the Court’s order, that legislation provides a number of remedies for residential landlords and tenants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including requiring that for certain cases, courts “must (1) dismiss a complaint upon receipt of a certification of a tenant; and (2) permit a landlord to pursue collection of unpaid rent beyond standard Special Civil Part (DC) jurisdictional limits.”  The rule relaxations are effective immediately.

 

Notice – Landlord Tenant – Implementation of L. 2021 c. 188 – Rule Relaxations and Temporary Measures – 08-09-21 – as signed – w links

Order – Landlord Tenant and COVID-19 – Rule Relaxations – Implementation of L 2021, c 188 – as signed – 08-09-21

The Supreme Court in its July 14, 2021 Orders and Administrative
Determinations established a new process for residential landlord tenant cases, to
be effective September 1, 2021. In its action on the Report and Recommendations
of the Judiciary Special Committee on Landlord Tenant, the Court set forth a series
of interrelated reforms, including new pleadings, revised processes, and a
conference before the trial date.

This notice invites attorneys and others to attend a training session on the
reforms to the residential landlord tenant court process. Read More

The Supreme Court in its June 9, 2020 Order required that all persons who enter or occupy Judiciary areas of court locations must wear masks and maintain social distancing. The requirement to (1) wear a mask and (2) maintain social distancing is subject to narrow exceptions, including for persons who require accommodations. The Judiciary in a June 17, 2021 notice confirmed the continuation of the policy and provided further direction as to the circumstances in which a judge may permit individuals in a courtroom to remove or lower their mask. This notice is to advise as to the consequences for willful violation of the Court’s policy, which is intended to mitigate against the risks to public health and safety posed by the COVID-19 virus.

A person who enters or occupies a Judiciary location and refuses to wear a mask or maintain social distancing in willful violation of the Supreme Court’s policy as set forth in the above-referenced order and notice may be excluded from the court location. Such individual also may be held in contempt of court (Rule 1: 10-1 ). Those provisions do not apply to individuals who are exempted from the policy, including persons who require medical accommodations and children under the age of two years. Nor do they apply if an individual has been permitted by a judge to remove their mask in a courtroom.

County Sheriffs may be called to assist in any situation in which an individual is in willful violation of those health and safety requirements.

Questions should 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: July 30, 2021

NOTICE COVID-19 Requirement to Wear Masks and Social Distancing in Judiciary Areas of Court Locations.pdf

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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State Court Employees and Judges:

This broadcast message announces four important steps in the Judiciary’s transition to post-pandemic operations:

(1)  As of August 2, 2021, all state court locations will fully reopen to the public.

(2)  Also as of August 2, 2021, on-site presence of state court employees will increase from 50% to 75%.

(3)  As of September 7, 2021, on-site presence of state court employees will increase from 75% to 100%.

(4)  The Supreme Court has authorized in concept a plan for remote work for eligible state court employees in good standing, currently under development and expected to be available starting September 7, 2021.

State Court Locations Fully Open as of August 2, 2021 Read More

The Supreme Court has authorized mandatory settlement conferences in residential landlord tenant matters. This interim step is effective immediately pending further Court action on the Report and Recommendations of the Judiciary Special Committee on Landlord Tenant (“Special Committee”).

All vicinages will schedule mandatory settlement conferences for pending landlord tenant cases. As set forth in the Court’s attached July 1, 2021 Order, priority will be given to the nearly 14,000 landlord tenant cases that have been pending for more than one year or in which more than 12 months of rent is claimed to be due.

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