Please follow the link below and the read the attached notice from Hon. Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D. of the Supreme Court of New Jersey published on April 1, 2020. This notice responds to the COVID-19 public health emergency in regards to the process for search warrants and communication data warrants.
NOTICE TO THE BAR
FAMILY DIVISION – COVID-19 – (1) CONDUCTING MATRIMONIAL EARLY SETTLEMENT PANELS (MESP) BY TELEPHONE OR VIDEO; (2) TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ECONOMIC MEDIATION (DVEM) PROGRAM
In response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, 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 and the Centers for Disease Control.
(1) Matrimonial Early Settlement Panels (MESPs)
In accordance with the March 27, 2020 Supreme Court Omnibus Order continuing the postponement of all MESP sessions scheduled through April 26, 2020, counties beginning the week of April 27, 2020 will be prepared to have MESP panels handle dissolution (FM) cases remotely. This notice provides instruction and guidance on how to conduct remote Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel (MESP) events either by video or telephonically. The following steps should be taken, to the extent possible, to ensure that the MESP sessions are scheduled and conducted remotely:
Please see the attachment below for the Criminal Part Emergent Duty Judge Calendar for the month of April.
There is a physical dropbox outside the Court Street Entrance to the Bergen County Courthouse for emergent matter filings, for fillings not covered by eCourts and filings by self-represented litigants.
Bergen County Emergent Applications Email Address: BerEmergent.Mailbox@njcourts.gov
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.
Notice to the Bar
March 30, 2020
This notice announces additional statewide steps by the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation to address the ongoing public health crisis surrounding the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey.
To slow the spread of the virus, after consulting with the Governor’s office, the N.J. Commissioner of Labor, the N.J. Department of Health, and in accordance with the recommendations of the CDC, all workers ’compensation court calendars were suspended from March 17, 2020 through April 3, 2020. Only emergent motions for Medical and Temporary Benefits filed electronically were heard by the Chief Judge, telephonically.
Litigants, attorneys, and witnesses who were scheduled to appear for a workers’ compensation matter from March 17, 2020 through April 3, 2020 should await notice of a rescheduled court date.
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).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
IN RE: CLOSINGS OF THE NEWARK VICINAGE COURTHOUSES STANDING ORDER NO. 2020-05 OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
STANDING ORDER NO. 2020-05
The Court has been informed that several federal employees who work in the Martin Luther King and Frank R. Lautenberg U.S. Courthouses (“Newark Courthouses”), located in Newark, New Jersey, have tested positive for COVID-19. To swiftly ensure the health and safety of the public, jurors, grand jurors, court and agency staff and judicial officers, from exposure to or spread of the disease;
With the concurrence of the Court Security Committee and the Executive Committee, the U.S. Marshal, and the Clerk of the Court, in consultations with GSA, it is ORDERED that both Newark Courthouses in Newark, New Jersey shall be CLOSED from Thursday, March 26, 2020, through Monday, April 6, 2020. No one will be permitted to enter the building during this closure with the exception of authorized cleaning personnel. This Standing Order does not affect the operation of the two courthouses in the Trenton and Camden Vicinages. The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey otherwise remains open for official business. The Court’s Electronic Case Filing (ECF) system is not affected by the closure, and parties may continue to file electronically.
DATED: March 26, 2020
/s/ Hon. Freda L. Wolfson
U.S. Chief District Judge
District of New Jersey
NOTICE TO THE BAR
The past two weeks have presented enormous challenges, and it has been inspiring to witness the dedication of the Bergen Judiciary, our Trial Court Administrator, Laura Simoldoni, senior administrative staff and all of our judiciary employees.
Quoting Chief Justice Rabner,
Our mission at this time of crisis is straightforward and complex all at once. In a society based upon the rule of law, it is essential that courts remain open and that the public has access to the justice system. Victims of domestic violence, defendants awaiting pretrial release, civil litigants struggling to get needed relief and countless others cannot wait for weeks or months to be heard. And the responsibility to provide them a fair forum and address their dispute – even at the most challenging of time – falls on the Judiciary.
We are striving to carry out that responsibility as safely as possible. The health of court staff, judges and members of the public is at stake and that concern has and will continue to guide all of our decisions about administering the courts at this time.
I have and continue to remain in daily communication with your Executive Director, Frank O’Marra, to provide the most up-to-date information available to the Bergen County Bar Association.