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Category Archives: Covid-19 Notices

Opening Remarks Present BCBA Joseph A. Maurice on June 18, 2020 at the Bergen County Bar Association Virtual Town Hall Meeting

“Hello and good evening.  Welcome everyone to the Bergen County Bar Association’s Town Hall.  Your Association is happy to present this event to our members free of charge.  I do encourage each of you to donate to the Bergen Benefactors at Bergenbar.org.  Your donation will help maintain Association activities during this COVID crisis despite the lack of fundraising events that you have supported over the years.  For those that have donated, thank you very much for your generosity and continued support.

Let us now observe a moment for silent prayer or reflection to be mindful of the events that have given rise to an outcry for social justice across our great nation. Our black community is hurting, we are hurting, our country is hurting.  We must be one voice in declaring that black lives do matter.  Anything less is not justice for all.   I am confident, that as a profession that has sworn an oath to uphold our constitution and the rule of law, that we share a unified resolve to be better, do better and expect better from those around us.  It is our issue and this Association will continue to address it.

We have many esteemed panelists this evening and we appreciate their attendance so I’d like to get started but first I want to share with you a few words on the state of your bar association. Read More

The Supreme Court by Orders dated May 14, 2020 and June 4, 2020 authorized a pilot program for virtual grand jury sessions, starting in Bergen and Mercer Counties. By Order dated June 9, 2020, the Court expanded that pilot program to also permit selection (empanelment) of grand juries in a virtual format.

In both pilot counties, matters have been presented and indictments returned. Based on the results in the two pilot counties, the Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Law and Public Safety expressed interest in conducting State Grand Jury proceedings in a virtual format. Accordingly, the Court has authorized the expansion of the virtual grand jury pilot program to enable existing State Grand Jury panels to reconvene in a virtual format.

Technology funded by the Attorney General and configured and administered by the Judiciary will be supplied to State grand jurors where necessary to enable participation in the virtual grand jury proceeding.

The Court’s June 25, 2020 Order is attached.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 25, 2020

NOTICE Virtual Grand Jury Pilot Program – Expansion to State Grand Jury.pdf

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

This June 25, 2020 Fifth Omnibus Order follows the format of the earlier Omnibus Orders. It continues certain suspensions and extensions through July 12, 2020 and affirms that other provisions remain in full force and effect.

The Fifth Omnibus Order concludes the restrictions on the Office of Foreclosure as established in earlier Omnibus Orders, meaning that in addition to non-dispositive motions (e.g., motions to substitute plaintiff, motions to enter default, motions for surplus funds and motions to correct defendant), the Office of Foreclosure now may recommend judgments or dispositive motions received on or after March 1, 2020.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and based on developments in the coming weeks, the Court will revisit the provisions of the Fifth Omnibus Order and make adjustments as appropriate.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s Fifth Omnibus Order may 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 25, 2020

NOTICE Fifth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice.pdf

In accordance with Governor Murphy’s previous Executive Orders, all N.J. Workers’ Compensation Courts shall continue to be closed to the public until Monday, July 13, 2020.

 

All forty-three (43) full-time Judges of Compensation previously assigned by the Director and Chief Judge shall continue to hear as many workers’ compensation matters as possible in their assigned vicinage by telephonic and video conferencing, including emergent and non-emergent matters, such as, trials, pre-trial conferences, motions for medical and temporary benefits, general motions, and settlements.

 

There will be no in-person Workers’ Compensation Court proceedings except limited ongoing trials and motions for medical and temporary benefits, in which case masks shall be worn by all parties and social distancing shall be enforced.

 

Court offices will remain closed for in-person submissions. Filings will continue to be accepted electronically through COURTS On-line.

 

Please contact each individual workers’ compensation court if you have questions about a scheduled hearing, motion, conference, or other matter by email, fax, or telephone.

 

Hon. Russell Wojtenko, Jr.

Director and Chief Judge of Compensation

N.J. Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Division of Workers’ Compensation

NOTICE TO THE BAR

The Supreme Court by Orders dated May 14, 2020 and June 4, 2020 authorized a pilot program for virtual grand jury sessions, starting in Bergen and Mercer Counties.

By Order dated dated June 9, 2020, the Court expanded that pilot program to also permit selection (empanelment) of grand juries in a virtual format, either in the initial pilot counties or in other counties. To bridge the digital divide, technology configured and administered by the Judiciary will be supplied to grand jurors where necessary to enable participation in the virtual selection using a smartphone or other technology with camera functionality, although a larger-screen device must be used for grand jury sessions.

The Court’s June 9, 2020 Order is attached.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 12, 2020

Virtual Grand Jury Pilot Program – Expansion to Grand Jury Selection (In Addition to Sessions).pdf

NOTICE TO THE BAR

The Supreme Court today issued its Fourth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A copy of the Order is attached.

This June 11, 2020 Fourth Omnibus Order follows the format of the May 28, 2020 Third Omnibus Order. It continues certain suspensions and extensions through June 28, 2020 and affirms that other provisions remain in full force and effect. It also provides updated direction in the following areas:

  • Jury Trials. Continuing the suspension of new jury trials and providing that ongoing jury trials suspended during COVID-19 may resume consistent with public health precautions with the consent of all parties;
  • Grand Jury. Extending the suspension of in-person grand jury selection and sessions and affirming that grand juries may convene remotely consistent with the Pilot Program for Virtual Grand Juries, which currently is operating in Bergen and Mercer Counties;
  • Landlord/Tenant. Providing as to landlord/tenant proceedings that (i) lockouts of residential tenants (evictions) continue to be suspended in accordance with Executive Order 106 (March 19, 2020); (ii) landlord/tenant complaints may continue to be filed with the courts, and new complaints will include an email address for the landlord and to the extent available an email address for the tenant; (iii) the court will schedule conferences, including to obtain or confirm contact information from the parties and conduct settlement negotiations in an effort to resolve matters; and (iv) trials continue to be suspended until further notice;
  • Tax Court. Affirming provisions of prior orders as to the extension of all filing deadlines for state tax controversies while vacating provisions as to local property tax appeals; and
  • Trial Court Filing Deadlines. Restating that in the computation of time periods under the Rules of Court and under any statute of limitations for matters in all trial divisions of the Superior Court, the period from March 16, 2020 through May 10, 2020 will not be included in calculating those trial court filing deadlines.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and based on developments in the coming weeks, the Court will revisit the provisions of the Fourth Omnibus Order and make adjustments as appropriate.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s Fourth Omnibus Order may 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 11, 2020

Fourth Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice.pdf

 

NOTICE TO THE BAR

The Supreme Court has approved the first part of the New Jersey Courts Post-Pandemic Plan (Plan) for transitioning from fully remote court operations (Phase 1) to the gradual return to courthouse and court facilities (Phase 2). The New Jersey courts will begin the incremental implementation of Phase 2 starting on Monday, June 22, 2020.

The Judiciary developed the comprehensive plan for safely resuming in-person court services in collaboration with Judiciary stakeholders, including representatives and Families, as well as the Attorney General, Public Defender, Sheriff Association, Warden Association, State Bar Association, and Legal Services, as well as judges and court staff.

The Plan memorializes our current Phase 1 status and the factors considered in determining to proceed to Phase 2. Iy outlines the precautions that have been and will be implemented before our buildings are opened for any in-person proceedings, including requirements to wear masks in non-private areas and to maintain social distancing as set forth in the Court’s June 9, 2020 Order. As noted, the Plan also lists those events that in Phase 2 will continue to be conducted remotely and those events that may, consistent with Supreme Court guidance, be conducted onsite.

The Plan for moving forward to Phase 2 is posted on the New Jersey courts public website (njcourts. gov).

As we have throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Judiciary will continue to provide information and guidance to attorneys, litigants, and members of the Public regarding the status of court facilities and operations. We will issue additional information, including on the subsequent transitions to Phase 3 and 4, as soon as available.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 10, 2020

Notice – NJ Courts Post-Pandemic Plan – Transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 – Notice Dated 06-10-20.pdf

NJ Courts Post Pandemic Plan Powerpoint Slides – Transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2 – As Issued 06-10-20.pdf

NOTICE OF THE BAR

The Supreme Court by Order dated June 9, 2020 is requiring that all persons who enter or occupy courthouses or court facilities for Judiciary business, including Judiciary areas of mixed-use facilities, must wear masks or other face coverings in community settings (e.g., entranceways, indoor parking garages) and common areas (e.g., courtrooms, elevators). The Court’s June 9, 2020 is attached.

The Court’s Order applies statewide, including in courtrooms in the Municipal Courts. Its provides for exceptions for persons who require accommodations. The Order permits removal of face masks by judges and court staff in private areas so long as social distancing guidelines are maintained. The Order also provides that judges have discretion to remove their face coverings or masks when on the bench, and to direct others to do so, so long as social distancing are maintained.

The June 9, 2020 Order is effective immediately.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 10, 2020

Notice and Order – Requirement That All Persons in Judiciary Facilities for Judiciary Business Wear Masks or Face Coverings and Maintain Social Distancing – 6-10-20 notice and 06-09-20 order – corrected.pdf

The Supreme Court by Notice and Order dated May, 14, 2020 authorized a pilot program for virtual (video) grand jury sessions, starting in Bergen and Mercer counties. Grand jurors in the pilot program are administered a supplement to the standard grand jury charge and required to swear or affirm a supplement to the secrecy oath regarding participation in virtual (video) grand jury proceedings. In furtherance of exploring this virtual option for grand juries to convene during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Supreme Court has modified the parameters of the pilot program so as to eliminate the requirement that cases can only be presented to a grand jury convening remotely if the defendant has consented to proceeding remotely.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: June 8, 2020

Notice – Virtual Grand Jury Pilot Program – Elimination of Consent Requirement – As Signed – 06-08-20.pdf

Order – Virtual Grand Jury Pilot Program – Elimination of Consent Requirement – Order Dated 06-04-20.pdf