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

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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Given the suspension of most civil jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has relaxed the provisions of Rule 4:25-4 (“Designation of Trial Counsel”), including to suspend the presumptive expiration of the designation of trial counsel in Track III medical malpractice cases. The Court’s June 15, 2021 Order is attached.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s June 15, 2021 Order should be directed to the Civil Practice Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts at (609) 815-2900 x54900.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 17, 2021

Notice and Order – COVID-19 – Designation of Trial Counsel – Relaxation of Rule 4:25-4.pdf

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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The Supreme Court has authorized the establishment of a statewide Landlord Tenant Legal Specialist program, as recommended by the Judiciary Special Committee on Landlord Tenant (“Special Committee”). This new program will support the review and administrative processing of landlord tenant actions, including the more than 55,500 pending eviction cases and 194,000 cases expected to be filed after the expiration of the moratorium on residential evictions. The Court’s June 3, 2021 Order is attached.

The remainder of the recommendations of the Special Committee – and the public comments and oral testimony on those recommendations – continue to be under consideration by the Court.

Questions about landlord tenant actions should be directed to the Civil Practice Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts at (609) 815-2900 x54900. Questions about recruitment for landlord tenant legal specialist positions should be directed to the Human Resources Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts at (609) 815-2900 option 5.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 4, 2021

NOTICE: Landlord:Tenant – Establishment of Statewide Landlord:Tenant Legal Specialist Program.pdf

Pursuant to Rule 1:40-12(c), all individuals wishing to serve as arbitrators in the court-annexed civil arbitration program must complete at 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. This Notice is to advise that the initial arbitrator training course will be offered via webinar on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

This training will provide instruction on applicable statutes, court rules and administrative directives and policies; standards of conduct; and procedures for conducting arbitrations. The initial training is intended for those individuals who meet the qualifications set forth in Rule 4:21A-2(b) for admission to the roster of arbitrators.

Individuals seeking to attend the initial arbitrator training must register in advance by contacting Kelsey Austin at Kelsey.Austin@njcourts.gov.

Any questions regarding this Notice or the Civil Arbitration Program may be directed to Melissa Czartoryski, Chief, Civil Court Programs, Administrative Office of the Courts, Hughes Justice Complex, P.O. Box 981, Trenton, NJ 08625; telephone (609) 815-2900 ext. 54900; email: melissa.czartoryski@njcourts.gov.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 2, 2021

Notice Civil Arbitration Program.pdf

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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The Supreme Court has authorized the resumption of commercial landlord tenant trials effective June 2, 2021. At this time, settlement conferences and trials generally will be conducted in a virtual format, although the trial court may determine to proceed in person in a particular matter based on the individual facts of the case. The Court’s June 2, 2021 Order is attached.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s order 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: June 2, 2021

Order – Resumption of Commercial Landlord Tenant Trials – as signed – dated 06-02-21.pdf

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