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N.J. Supreme Court Order Institutes Reforms to Help Resolve Landlord Tenant Cases

Press Release

News Release

This is an archived document. It might contain outdated information. RELEASE DATE: July 15, 2021

N.J. Supreme Court Order Institutes Reforms to Help Resolve Landlord Tenant Cases

The Judiciary will institute a series of steps to reform the residential landlord tenant process in New Jersey and allow for greater opportunities for the parties to work with trained staff to resolve disputes without a trial, under a Supreme Court order issued today.

Taking effect Sept. 1, the order enumerates new procedures that support efforts to resolve residential landlord tenant matters expeditiously while upholding and balancing the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. The procedures will enable early identification of issues and provide opportunities for parties to connect with rental assistance and legal assistance resources.

The order and related administrative determinations act on the April report of the Judiciary Special Committee on Landlord Tenant, chaired by acting Administrative Director of the Courts Judge Glenn A. Grant, to address longstanding issues as well as the pending and anticipated filings in landlord tenant matters which increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In matters involving public housing or other subsidized housing, judiciary staff will review the cases to identify deficiencies that landlords would be required to rectify.

Proceedings will be held primarily in a remote fashion but can be in-person on a limited basis, when appropriate. The Judiciary will provide on-site technology to enable participation for those who need such assistance.

The order signed today by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner states, “In rented premises, as in owned homes, housing security is critically important to the resident and the surrounding community. At the same time, rental property owners must be able to meet their obligations, both to retain the property and to keep it as available housing for renters. In light of these significant needs, a court system in the pursuit of equitable justice must support processes that uphold and balance the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.”

On July 1, the Supreme Court authorized mandatory settlement conferences to help resolve more than 56,500 pending landlord tenant cases without proceeding to trial.

The Judiciary will continue to work closely with the state Department of Community Affairs to make any necessary adjustments to its procedures.

Information about rental assistance and legal assistance for tenants and landlords affected by the pandemic is available at