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Supreme Court of New Jersey Issues Guidance for Remote Proceedings Print PDF

04.23.2020

On April 20, 2020, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an Order providing additional guidance regarding video and telephonic proceedings in all trial courts during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In doing so, the Court noted that it anticipates remote proceedings will continue for a number of months.

Types of Remote Proceedings:  All court proceedings will be conducted remotely, except jury trials and petit and grand jury selections.  With a few exceptions, most hearings will proceed remotely even over the objection of a party.  The following matters, however, require consent of all parties:  (1) sentencing hearings in criminal, family and municipal matters; (2) juvenile delinquency adjudications; (3) evidentiary hearings and bench trials in criminal matters; (4) evidentiary hearings and trials in municipal matters that involve a reasonable likelihood of a jail sentence or loss or suspension of license; (5) termination of parental rights trials; and (6) hearings for an adjudication of incapacity and appointment of a permanent guardian.

Technology:  The Court identified Zoom, Scopia, Microsoft Teams, and teleconferencing as technology to be used for remote hearings.  Other types may be used as identified by the Administrative Director of the Courts.  Livestreaming for criminal matters has been prioritized.  Due to limited capacity, Civil, Family, General Equity, Probate, Special Civil Part and Municipal matters will not be livestreamed absent a showing of good cause, as determined by the court.  Where livestreaming is not proscribed, requests for real-time access can be made to the judge handling the hearing.  The court will make video or audio recordings of hearings available within 48 hours of the hearing, and within 24 hours to victims or persons with an individualized compelling interest.  Likewise, transcripts will be available in the normal course.

The Court’s Notice and Order can be found at: https://njcourts.gov/notices/2020/n200420a.pdf?c=LLs

Instructions for using remote technology can be found at https://njcourts.gov/attorneys/remote.html

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