As you know COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has affected almost every facet of our lives at this point. The Court System in New Jersey is no different. We will keep all of our clients up to date on court closings and other scheduling issues or concerns.
Currently Municipal Court in New Jersey, barring emergent applications, are closed for business. That means if you have a Court date between March 16 and March 27, 2020, do not appear unless you are instructed to. However, as long as the municipal offices remain open, the Court offices will as well. A majority of municipalities have closed the offices to the public though. On motor vehicle tickets you can still make payments online at www.njmcdirect.org. If you owe a fine on a criminal matter please reach out to the Court or your attorney to help assist with making payments on a time payment plan.
Superior Courts in the Civil and Family division appear to be switching to video and/or telephone conferences for all motions and other proceedings. Any jury trials, that have not already begun, are postponed indefinitely. Further, Landlord-Tenant proceedings are delayed until March 27, 2020, and all evictions are stayed during that time period.
In the Criminal Division certain necessary events, like First Appearances, are scheduled to continue along with emergent hearings such as bail hearings and temporary restraining order applications. However, they are trying to do all hearings by telephone so please keep in touch regarding any events. Further, the Grand Jury proceedings have been cancelled until at least March 27, 2020, therefore if your matter is waiting to be presented to a Grand Jury, that process will be delayed. In addition, the Court has ordered excludable time for incarcerated Defendants from March 12, 2020 to March 29, 2020.
All in person non-emergent, in person hearings in Superior Court are postponed or will be done via video or telephone conference until further notice.
If you have an oral argument before the Appellate Division or New Jersey Supreme Court those are going forward as scheduled.However, some Appellate Division panels are going to be hearing oral arguments telephonically.
Please keep in touch regarding your upcoming Court dates as the situation is fluid and additional closings are likely forthcoming.