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Category Archives: All Notices

The Supreme Court has issued the attached Eleventh Omnibus Order on Court Operations and Legal Practice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This March 23, 2021 Eleventh Omnibus Order extends pre-indictment excludable time for certain detained defendants and notes that further extensions are not anticipated. It also extends post-indictment excludable time through May 17, 2021. The Court’s March 23, 2021 Eleventh Omnibus Order authorizes Assignment Judges and County Prosecutors to explore and plan for in-person grand jury sessions at a future date, either in court locations or non-court spaces, consistent with the provisions of the Court’s October 8, 2020 Ninth Omnibus Order.

The March 23, 2021 Eleventh Omnibus Order continues other provisions of earlier Orders.

Questions about this notice or the Court’s Eleventh 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: March 23, 2021

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

Bergen County Criminal Part Judges continue to handle criminal matters by utilizing technology to enable the parties to appear remotely.

The judges have been assigned to handle emergent matters for the months of May and June, 2021 as set forth in the schedule listed below. Of course, this schedule is subject to any Phase changes that may be implemented.

The schedule is as follows:

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The Supreme Court will allow New Jersey attorneys who provide at least 25 hours of services in adult guardianship matters to claim an exemption from the Madden v. Delran, 126 N.J. 591 (1992) pro bono requirement for the subsequent year. The Madden exemption is available to attorneys who are appointed by the court to serve as (i) attorney for an alleged incapacitated person; (ii) Guardian Ad Litem in a guardianship matter; (iii) temporary pendente lite guardian; (iv) permanent guardian of an adjudicated incapacitated person; or (v) special medical guardian. The Court’s March 1, 2021 Order is attached.

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The Supreme Court has authorized the summoning of new jury pools for possible in-person reporting for socially distanced jury trials. The modified summons documents will inform prospective jurors (1) that the jury selection process will begin in a virtual format; and (2) that their service may continue virtually or may involve reporting in person to a courthouse with safety precautions. The new “virtual or in-person” summons option will apply to jury pools scheduled to report on or after May 17, 2021.

The Judiciary is continuing to closely monitor relevant COVID-19 trends, including those in the COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) weekly reports posted by the New Jersey Department of Health. The New York Times reports that as of March 1, 2021, the statewide 14-day average showed a 12% decrease in deaths and a 24% decrease in hospitalizations. Over that same period, new daily cases ticked up by 3%. NJ DOH is continuing to report more than 2500 new COVID-19 cases per day. Even that significant figure, however, is less than one-half of the number of new cases reported at the start of 2021.

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On Friday, February 19th, Judge Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D., Administrative Director of the Courts, held a “Listening Session on Court Operations” with more than 120 participants, including the assignment judges, trial court administrators, and county bar association leaders from Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Union Counties.

The virtual roundtable focused on five main areas: (1) virtual civil jury trials; (2) landlord-tenant operations and options for attorneys to support settlement efforts and provide representation; (3) technology resources, including courthouse technology rooms; (4) municipal court practice and the future of municipal courts; and (5) health and safety protocols in state court facilities. A summary of the overarching themes of the conversation with pertinent links relating to the topics of discussion can be found below. Read More

The New Jersey courts are continuing to support public health and safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The attached overview summarizes current health precautions in state court facilities, including the requirements that court users wear face masks and maintain social distancing (subject to narrow exceptions).

The attached summary reminds attorneys and others that the majority of court events still are being conducted remotely. For state court matters, all court users can request use of courthouse technology rooms, which are spaces in state court facilities with technology that can be used to participate in virtual court sessions.

Questions about this notice 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: February 23, 2021

NOTICE Health and Safety Precautions in State Courts Facilities and Availability of Courthouse Technology Rooms to Facilitate Remote Participation in Court Events.pdf

In collaboration with local municipalities, the New Jersey courts are continuing to support public health and safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The attached overview summarizes current health precautions in Municipal Court facilities. Consistent with the Supreme Court’s June 9, 2020 Order, those measures include the requirements that individuals in courtrooms wear face masks and maintain social distancing (subject to narrow exceptions).

The attached summary reminds attorneys and others that the majority of Municipal Court events still are being conducted remotely.

Questions about this notice may be directed to Assistant Director for Municipal Court Services Steven Somogyi at (609) 815-2900, extension 54850.

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

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts

Dated: February 23, 2021

NOTICE Health and Safety Precautions in Municipal Courts.pdf

This directive provides a protocol to support consistent management of cases that require the consent or lack of objection of all parties to proceed in a remote format during the temporary modifications necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and for so long as court operations are not conducted primarily in person. It sets forth a series of steps (1) to memorialize on the record a party’s objection to proceeding remotely, or the inability of counsel to ascertain a party’s position; (2) to provide notice to the parties, attorneys, and other participants when a matter is scheduled for an in-person court event based on an objection to proceeding remotely; and (3) to provide an opportunity for participants to request individual adjustments and accommodations that will enable the scheduled court event to proceed. This protocol is applicable to the trial divisions of the Superior Court and to the Municipal Courts, subject to limited exceptions as noted.

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The Supreme Court in its April 20, 2020 Order reaffirmed that court operations would continue in a remote format to the greatest extent practicable, subject to narrow exceptions. That continues to be the case.

The Court in the attached February 22, 2021 Order has refined one provision of that April 20, 2020 Order. As provided in that order, certain matters with especially serious or permanent consequences or penalties still can be conducted remotely only with the consent of all parties. However, the consent of a party will not be required if the party is absent and unreachable.

Directive #06-21 (“COVID-19 – Protocol for Matters that Cannot Proceed in a Remote Format Without Consent – In Furtherance of the Supreme Court’s Orders Dated April 20, 2020 and February 22, 2021”), dated February 23, 2021 and published separately, provides guidance as to matters that can proceed remotely only with the consent of the parties. The directive provides a step-by-step protocol (1) to memorialize on the record a party’s objection to proceeding remotely, or the inability of counsel to ascertain a party’s position; (2) to provide notice to the parties, attorneys, and other participants when a matter is scheduled for an in-person court event based on an objection to proceeding remotely; and (3) to provide an opportunity for participants to request individual adjustments and accommodations that will enable the scheduled court event to proceed. Directive #06-21 also promulgates model certifications and an exemplar Order Scheduling In-Person Hearing, for use in accordance with the Court’s February 22, 2021 Order.

Questions about this notice, the Court’s February 22, 2021 Order, or Directive #06-21 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: February 23, 2021

NOTICE Refinement of Court Matters That Can Proceed Remotely.pdf