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

RE: Principles and Protocols for Virtual Court Operations During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic – (1) Methods of Conducting Remote Court Events; (2) Access to the Public Record; and (3) Posting of Events Guidance 

By Order dated April 20, 2020, the Supreme Court reinforced our commitment to continuing the operations of the courts during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. This directive implements the Court’s Order and establishes guiding principles for when and how remote court events will be conducted, including which events will by default be livestreamed and which will require individualized permission for real-time participation or viewing. Consistent with our policy of transparency and public access, we will continue to provide access to video recordings, audio recordings, and written transcripts upon request.

Guiding Principles for Sustaining Court Functions During the COVID-19 Crisis

The protocols outlined in this directive, including the recommendations for each division of the Superior Court (Civil, Criminal, Family, General Equity, Probate, Special Civil, Municipal) reflect our ongoing efforts to balance the rights and responsibilities involved in continuing court operations in a virtual rather than in-person format. These principles are as follows: Read More

This directive promulgates the attached Supreme Court Guidelines on Media Access and Electronic Devices in the Courts (“Guidelines”), as approved by the Supreme Court to be effective immediately. The Guidelines supersede the Supreme Court Guidelines on Electronic Devices in the Courtroom promulgated by Directive #08-14 ( effective February 2, 2015, as supplemented on January 28, 2015).

The updated Guidelines are founded on the premise that any attempt to define media access in and around courthouses – and to regulate access to and use of electronic devices by court users – must bridge the gap between media access concerns and court security considerations.

Please follow the link below and read the one of the recent directive from the Supreme Court of New Jersey in regards to the recent guidelines on media access and electronic devices in the courts.

Directive #11-20 – Supreme Court Guidelines on Media Access and Electronic Devices in the Courts.pdf

 

NOTICE TO THE BAR

COVID-19 – SECOND OMNIBUS ORDER ON COURT OPERATIONS AND LEGAL PRACTICE – MORE OPERATIONS TO BE CONDUCTED REMOTELY; LIMITED DISCOVERY EXTENSIONS AND TOLLING PERIODS

The New Jersey Courts are committed to continuing court operations during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency. To that end, the Supreme Court announced the next phase of remote court operations and legal practice.

Please follow the link below and read the Second Omnibus Order from the Supreme Court of New Jersey relating to the status of continuing court operations and legal practice during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Notice and Order – COVID-19 – Second Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice – As Signed – 04-24-20.pdf

The March 31, 2020 Notice to the Bar advised that Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel (MESP) events would resume using video or telephone technology, rather than in-person sessions, beginning the week of April 27, 2020. That notice included a number of steps to be taken to ensure the scheduling and conducting of these remote MESP sessions. Those steps have since been revised. Accordingly, the following steps replace the steps set forth in the March 31 notice: Read More

Please follow the link below and read the attached notice below from the Supreme Court of New Jersey in regards to guidelines on remote proceedings in the Trial Courts, obtaining audio and video records, and the extent of the court’s authority to suspend the commencement of certain custodial terms.

4-20-2020 New Jersey Supreme Court Notice.pdf

NOTICE TO THE BAR

     In its March 27, 2020 Omnibus Order, the Supreme Court continued the postponement of all Civil Arbitration sessions through April 26, 2020. Beginning April 27, 2020, all counties will begin scheduling arbitrations, which will be conducted remotely. This notices provides guidance on how to conduct remote arbitration events either by video or by telephone.

The following steps should be taken to ensure that arbitration sessions are scheduled and conducted remotely, using technology as agreed upon by the participants and the arbitrator(s). Vicinages are encouraged to follow these procedures, but may deviate with the approval of the Assignment Judge or designee. Read More

NOTICE TO THE BAR

The Supreme Court Omnibus Order on COVID-19 issues, entered March 27, 2020, in response to the growing health crisis worldwide involving the COVID-19 coronavirus, affirmed, continued, or supplemented provisions established in a series of prior orders, including the Court’s prior March 17, 2020 Order, which were necessitated as part of the Judiciary’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Omnibus Order extended a number of deadlines and tolled time periods. This notice provides guidance as to the effect of the Omnibus Order on specific Appellate Division practices and procedures. Read More

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

     In response to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the need to adhere to crucial social distancing measures recommended by the New Jersey Department of Health (“NJ DOH”) and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), the Court has entered orders, including Orders dated March 17, 2020 and March 27, 2020 (“Omnibus Order”), that inter alia extended deadlines and tolled time periods.

This Order is to clarify that the Court’s extension of deadlines and tolling of time periods as set forth in those earlier orders did not apply to pretrial detention filings, including appeals filed pursuant to Rule 2:9-13 (“Appeals from Orders Granting Pretrial Detention”), responses to those appeals, and motions for leave to appeal pursuant to Rule 2:5-6 (“Appeals from Interlocutory Orders, Decisions and Actions”).

To the extent that a party may have interpreted the tolling provisions of prior orders otherwise, that party may pursue an appeal and submit an accompanying motion to file as within time.

For the Court,

/s/ Stuart Rabner

Chief Justice

Dated: April 9, 2020

Order – COVID-19 – Clarifying That Prior Orders Extending Deadlines and Tolling Time Periods Did Not Apply to Pretrial Detention Appeals.pdf

JUDICIARY ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT SUBMISSION (JEDS) SYSTEM-

ATTORNEYS REQUIRED TO FILE IN JEDS FOR DOCKETS NOT IN ECOURTS

     The Judiciary has launched a document submission system for court filings that are not currently being managed through our existing eCourts system. The Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system will enable attorneys (and self-represented litigants) to upload documents for filing and pay the appropriate filing fees by credit card. The system will be enhanced in the coming weeks to also accept payment by ACH transaction.

The JEDS system is the latest technology enhancement implemented as part of the Judiciary’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. It is intended to support continuity of our operations while our courthouses are closed to the public. Based on the need to provide this functionality as quickly as possible, the JEDS system will not be integrated with Judiciary case management systems. Rather, documents uploaded to JEDS will be placed in an electronic work basket, and the contents of the work basket will be reviewed and processed by court staff.

As noted, we have launched the first iteration of JEDS. In this first phase, JEDS will allow attorneys and self-represented litigants to submit their filings electronically in most areas of Family and Special Civil, as well as General Equity. We will add more case types to JEDS as we further develop the system.

     Attorneys: JEDS is not a replacement for eCourts. All attorneys must file in eCourts when the docket is in eCourts or in JEDS for all other matters, even for emergent applications, and must pay all appropriate fees.

     Self-Represented Litigants: Self-represented litigants can submit court forms and documents, for both non-emergent and emergent matters, and pay all appropriate fees, via JEDS. Self-represented litigants also can continue to submit emergent matters by email to the emergent matters email box that has been set up in each county.

Further information on JEDS will be posted and updated on the Judiciary’s public
webpage. Questions regarding the new JEDS system may be directed to
“JEDSSupport.mailbox@njcourts.gov”.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: April 9, 2020

Notice – Judiciary Electronic Document Submission System (JEDS) – As Signed – dated 04-09-20.pdf

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

     The New Jersey Department of Health (NJ DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended taking all possible steps to avoid person-to person contact during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Judiciary continues to follow the guidance of the NJ DOH and CDC by modifying and relaxing court operations to minimize the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Accordingly, it is ORDERED that effective immediately and until further order, pursuant to NJ. Const., Art. VI, sec. 2, par. 3, the provisions of Rule 4:4- 4(a)(7) of the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey are relaxed and supplemented so as to permit electronic service of process by email on the State of New Jersey.

For the Court,

/s/ Stuart Rabner

Chief Justice

Dated: April 7, 2020

Order – COVID-19 – Permitting Electronic Service by Email on the State of New Jersey – Relaxation of Rule 4_4-4(a)(7).pdf