As of this date we would like to update you on COVID-19 procedures and information regarding the partial reopening of the courthouse. Please note the following:
- We are currently in Phase 2 of statewide reopening and, in accordance with the guidelines, 15% of the courthouse staff are in the courthouse buildings.
- The courthouse is not currently open to the public for all proceedings. We will keep you informed of a projected opening date as we receive information.
- Probation and drug court litigants are being seen and drug testing is being done by appointment.
- Virtual Grand Jury continues.
- Numerous virtual proceedings in Family, Civil, Chancery, and Criminal take place on a daily basis. We have received very favorable responses from attorneys who have commented on the efficiency of these proceedings.
- Criminal trials and Civil trials will start on a very limited basis at the end of September.
- Municipal court is working well and efficiently using virtual platforms.
- There is no start date for Phase 3 at this time, wherein up to 50% of staff will be allowed in the courthouse building.
There have been major safety and health measures taken with respect to the reopening:
- When entering the courthouse building there are thermal scanners in place. If you have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, you will NOT be permitted to enter the building.
- Signage is placed throughout the courthouse with instructions on social distancing and wearing a mask in all public areas. Please bring your mask if you plan on coming to the courts.
- Touchless hand sanitizer units have been placed in all hallways for public use.
- Public intake areas are having plexiglass barriers installed.
- Efforts are underway by the county to change all the bathroom faucets and toilets “no touch” systems.
- Disinfectant wipe downs of all touch areas i.e. doorknobs, elevator buttons etc. are being done nightly by the county.
- Social distancing floor stickers are being placed on the floor at all entrances and customer service areas to facilitate social distancing.
We will continue to provide you with updates in the future. I wish to thank your President, Joseph Maurice and your Executive Executive Director, Frank O’Marra, for their efforts to bring updated information to the Bergen Bar members.