NJ Supreme Court Directive #12-20 – Principles and Protocols for Virtual Court Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Directive #12-20 issued by the New Jersey Supreme Court establishes principles and protocols for virtual court operations, including information about ways to conduct remote court events. The full name of the directive is “Directive #12-20 – Principles and Protocols for Virtual Court Operations During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic – (1) Methods of Conducting Remote Court Events; (2) Access to the Public Record; and (3) Posting of Events Guidance.” A summary of the guidelines follow:

  1. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, remote video and phone options must be used instead of in-person appearances.
  2. Emergent and time-sensitive matters will receive priority.
  3. All matters can proceed remotely with or without consent of all parties, except consent is required in certain cases, including criminal matters, juvenile delinquency cases, municipal hearings, termination of parental rights trials and guardianship cases.
  4. Judges will continue to hold routine hearings, arguments and conferences absent a compelling reason to delay.
  5. Civil, Family, General Equity, Probate, Special Civil Part and Municipal matters will not be live-streamed.
  6. Interested persons, including members of the public and the media, will be given access to court events held remotely via video or the telephone with court permission.

New Jersey courts are using Zoom, Scopia, Microsoft Teams and the telephone to conduct court functions remotely. Zoom and Teams are supported by the Judiciary, and other technologies can be used only with the Assignment Judge’s approval.

Directive #12-20 is annexed here – [gview file=”https://vanarellilaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Directive-12-20-Principles-and-Protocols-for-Virtual-Court-Operations-During-COVID-19-04-27-20.pdf”]

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