Please be advised the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a notice on November 18, 2021 that permits virtual court proceedings in New Jersey after the pandemic ends. The Court noted “attorneys, parties, and judges have praised the reduced time and cost associated with virtual proceedings for brief and straightforward matters.” The Court invited comments from the bar on how to conduct court proceedings based upon their experiences during the pandemic. It was noted there were fewer scheduling conflicts and requests for continuances. Others highlighted the value of bringing parties together in person at certain critical junctures, including settlement conferences and proceedings that involve especially serious penalties or consequences. Chief Justice Rabner stated “it is important to balance consistency and predictability in court operations with the need to exercise discretion based on the facts and circumstances of individual cases.”
Some of the highlights of the November 18, 2021 Order include:
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court and the Appellate Division will proceed in person.
Settlement conferences in the trial divisions of the Superior Court shall proceed in person.
Bench trials will be held in person unless all parties consent to conducting them virtually.
Routine motion arguments and case management conferences in all trial divisions of the Superior Court will proceed in a virtual format, subject to judicial discretion to schedule matters in person including to effectively manage proceedings that involve numerous attorneys and parties.
In matters that may be conducted virtually, judges may determine to proceed in person when the participants have demonstrated an inability to proceed in a virtual format or based on other persuasive reasons in an individual case.
In matters that are conducted in person, judges may permit one or more participants to participate virtually based on the individual facts and circumstances of the case.
In matters that are conducted in a virtual format, judges may accommodate a participant who appears and requests to participate in person.
The New Jersey Supreme Court will provide guidance later for civil arbitrations, jury selections and some civil jury trials. These matters will continue to be conducted virtually.
We will continue to keep you apprised of each and every significant development that arises in the New Jersey Courts.