In Phil Murphy’s New Jersey, you can’t go to work, but you can go to court

Court is back in session in New Jersey.  A letter sent out a notice today declaring municipal courts to begin hearing trials again, starting this week.   While most New Jersey residents can’t go to work, have no job, can’t get unemployment benefits and many still waiting for federal stimulus checks, the New Jersey court system is returning to business as usual.

“The New Jersey courts are committed to continuing court operations during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency,” a notice sent out by the New Jersey Judiciary.

Under the new regulations, municipal court cases will be held via remote operations and residents can pay their court fees and fines online or through the mail.

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Most court operations are continuing remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and most court operations have continued remotely in all levels of the court system.

Since transitioning to virtual operations, the courts have conducted more than 12,000 remote court events involving more than 80,000 participants. Since the Court’s March 27, 2020 Omnibus Order, involuntary civil commitment hearings have resumed using video conferencing.

Divorce Court is back in session

As of April 27, 2020, civil arbitration sessions and matrimonial early settlement panels also will resume using phone and video options.

Landlord and tenant disputes being heard.

Efforts to resolve matters in Landlord/Tenant (LT), Special Civil (DC), and Small Claims (SC) cases will continue even while trials in those matters are suspended. More Court Matters Will Resume in the Coming Weeks The Court’s Order lifts the suspension of Municipal Court sessions.

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Get ready to start paying your tickets, Municipal Courts are open!

As of April 27, 2020, remote proceedings in the Municipal Courts may be conducted with the consent of all parties.

Effective May 11, 2020, with appropriate notice to the parties.  Municipal Court sessions can resume in individual Municipal Courts. Sessions may only proceed by video or phone. Municipal Court sessions will resume to the extent possible based on facilities, technology, and other resources.

No more extensions or delays.

Most extensions of discovery deadlines and tolling of time periods will end as of May 10,2020 Based on the demonstrated increased ability of the courts to handle matters remotely, combined with the new electronic filing options available to attorneys and self-represented litigants, legal practice generally can continue consistent with regular timeframes.

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To that end, most discovery deadlines in civil and family matters generally are extended through May 10, 2020, with lengthier extensions only in specific areas. Discovery involving medical professionals is extended through May 31 , 2020, based on the ongoing unavailability of those experts. Jury trials and grand jury proceedings are still suspended.   It remains impracticable to plan for in-person jury trials or grand jury proceedings.