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.
Continued Increase in Staff On-Site Presence; Gradual Expansion of Scheduled In- Person Events
Based on continued improvements in COVID-19 trends throughout New Jersey, on-site presence of judges and state court employees is continuing to increase. As of that same August 2, 2021 date, the Judiciary will resume 75% on site court presence in all state court locations. As of September 7, 2021, the Judiciary will increase to 100% on-site staff presence in all state court locations.
Additionally, scheduled in-person court events will continue to expand gradually, with the support of those additional on-site court personnel and consistent with any necessary social distancing considerations.
Public Access to Court Events
Consistent with pre-pandemic practices, individuals who seek to observe court events- including fully in-person, hybrid, and virtual proceedings – in general should be physically present in the court location. Judges will continue to exercise discretion to permit remote viewing options in limited situations, including for interested parties and others who require an accommodation based on individual health needs.
COVID-19 Precautionary and Responsive Measures
Point-of-entry protocols at state court locations instituted during the COVID-19 public health emergency will conclude statewide as of August 2, 2021.
Individual court locations may continue to require enhanced health and safety measures as applicable, including if required by the building owner.
To the extent practicable, the Judiciary will continue to provide precautionary notifications to individuals who are identified as having had close contact with a person in a court location who has tested positive for COVID-19 or without other explanation developed symptoms of the virus.
Judges will continue to address issues related to COVID-19 based on the circumstances of an individual case. For example,if a participant who is scheduled to appear for an in-person court event advises the court that they have tested positive for the virus, the judge may convert that particular event from an in- person format to a virtual format, or may reschedule the event, as appropriate.
In-Person Jury Proceedings
The Judiciary at present will continue to require face masks (subject to existing exceptions) and social distancing of six feet for in-person jury proceedings. These requirements extend to the in-person phase of criminal jury selections, all in-person jury trials, and in-person grand jury sessions. Health and safety protocols for jury proceedings remain under review and may be adjusted.
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: July 16, 2021