Supreme Court to Lift Social Distancing and Mask Requirements for Jury Proceedings

In response to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social distancing and masks will no longer be required for jury proceedings in New Jersey courtrooms.

The changes, announced in an order signed today by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, go into effect Sept. 1. The order makes clear that face masks are still permitted in jury proceedings but not required. It also continues the process for all jurors to report virtually at first while providing trial judges the discretion to continue juror voir dire virtually or in person.

The adjustments “should enable the Judiciary to support more jury trials, especially trials involving detained criminal defendants, and continue to protect the health of prospective jurors,” Chief Justice Rabner wrote.

The Judiciary also concluded its policy requiring all employees to either provide proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit results of a weekly COVID-19 test. That change also becomes effective Sept. 1.

The Judiciary continues to be guided in COVID-19-related matters such as these by advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health.