In response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the New Jersey Supreme Court has authorized various adjustments to court operations as set forth in a series of nine Omnibus Orders, issued between March and October 2020. After initially authorizing a swift transition from in-person to remote court operation, the Supreme Court authorized an incremental resumption of in-person matters as the public health emergency appeared to subside.

The COVID-19 pandemic has recently become much more severe, with infections increasing exponentially. As a result, the  Supreme Court has decided to re-impose some restrictions. Today, the Supreme Court issued an order suspending new in-person jury trials and grand juries. Existing virtual grand jury panels will continue; the Courts will be primarily working with a remote format; and plans are underway to explore virtual civil trials.

The reasons for the Supreme Court’s recent action suspending in-person jury trials and re-imposing other restrictions are set forth in the preamble of the order, as follows:

A second wave of COVID-19 has struck New Jersey and the rest of the nation. The increasing rates of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths make it impracticable and unsafe for certain in-person court events to continue at the level reached during the past few months. Although it is not necessary at this time to prohibit all on-site presence and in-person events at court locations, in-person jury trials and in-person grand jury sessions will now be suspended based on current COVID-19 trends and health and safety concerns.

Read the full order:

Download (PDF, 585KB)

The New Jersey judiciary issued and continues to issue orders, Notices to the Bar, and other directives setting out measures to address the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Readers may view all COVID-19 press releases, orders, and Notices to the Bar on the New Jersey Courts COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates page. For example, the New Jersey Supreme Court (Supreme Court) has generally issued a series of omnibus orders relaxing or suspending rules, tolling or extending deadlines, or allowing other accommodations in response to COVID-19. In that regard, the NJ Supreme Court has issued nine Omnibus Orders to date. (see, e.g., Supreme Court’s ninth omnibus order dated October 8, 2020 (Ninth Omnibus Order)).

Here are a few other key court and government developments:

  • There’s an update from the Courts adopting new Court Rule 3:4-7 concerning pre-indictment hearings.
  • And there is a new directive about field supervision and safety standards for probation issues.

• Through the New Jersey Personal Protective Equipment Access Program, New Jersey businesses and non-profits are eligible for discounted PPE purchases made through an approved online retailer.

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