The Supreme Court in its Jan. 7, 2021, Order authorized a two-phase approach to virtual civil jury trials during the COVID-19 health crisis. The Court on Feb. 1, 2021, issued an Order amending two provisions of the authorizing order and notice.
All attorneys should use eCourts for all filings in case types currently available in eCourts. These include:
Attorneys should use the Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system only for the following case types:
Do not submit these documents in JEDS:
Attorneys can watch this video to learn more about JEDS
The clerk can notify attorneys of deficiencies in cases filed electronically. Attorneys will have 10 days to correct the deficiency.
All documents submitted through eCourts and JEDS are considered to be signed under Court Rule 1:5-6.
Read the May 8 Notice to the Bar
Service of Process
Court Rule 1:41-3 has been relaxed and supplemented to allow service of process by mail on the State of New Jersey. Read the Supreme Court order.
Courtesy Copies of Court Filings
The requirement that the parties must provide courtesy copies of their civil or matrimonial court filings is suspended through June 14. Courtesy copies are still required if the submission is more than 35 pages long.
The Supreme Court issued a third Omnibus Order on May 28 that extends discovery deadlines and tolling time periods for some case types. Other discovery deadlines ended on May 10 or May 31. The third Omnibus Order affects the second Omnibus Order dated April 24, so it will be helpful to read both.
Also, cases that might have been dismissed for lack of prosecution were tolled through May 31. Automatic defaults for DC matters were suspended through May 31.
Extensions for certain court notices are included in the second Omnibus Order on April 24.
With a few exceptions, the period from March 16 through May 10, 2020, is to be considered the same as a legal holiday. Read the second Omnibus Order to see whether this affects your case.
Many things can affect lawyer or litigant’s ability to proceed with each case. You can request an extension without a formal motion by submitting a letter. Read Court Rule 1:1-2(a) for information about when the court might be able to grant an extensions.
Most court proceedings are being held online. See the full list of the technologies being used for various situations. Participants will receive invitations using the email address on file with the courts. Read the instructions for joining online court events.
Beginning June 22, some Superior Court and municipal court matters could be heard in person. This would include bench trials and hearings for cases that are especially complex. Supreme Court and Appellate Court proceedings will continue online for now.
See the June 10 Notice to the Bar for more details on the Phase 2 post-pandemic plan.
The July and September New Jersey Bar Exams have been cancelled due to COVID-19. An online NJ bar exam will be administered on Oct. 5-6, 2020. Anyone who registered for the September bar exam will be registered automatically for the October online exam. Candidates who chose not to take the online exam in October are not required to do so. Read the July 15 Notice to the Bar for more information.
Law school graduates who have yet to take the bar exam are allowed to practice law with some conditions. They must be supervised by a licensed attorney. They are not required to take the online bar exam in October, but they must take the first in-person bar exam once those are offered again in NJ. Read the Supreme Court Order for a full list of conditions regarding the temporary practice of law for law school graduates who have not had the opportunity to take the NJ bar exam.
The Supreme Court has relaxed the requirement that 12 credit hours of continuing legal education be through live in-person instruction. Right now, all 24 credit hours for the compliance period can be fulfilled through approved online instruction.
The deadline for filing an application for certification for examinations given in 2020 was extended to May 29, 2020 by postmark or hand delivery. This certification exams are for civil trial certification, criminal trial certification, matrimonial law certification, workers’ compensation law certification, and municipal court law certification.
Attorney disciplinary hearings resumed by video conference on May 11. Fee cases also resumed by video conference starting May 11. Some very complex cases might be on hold for now.
Court Rule 1:21-10(b) has been relaxed to allow attorneys from other states to provide pro bono services. Out-of-state attorneys must be in good standing in their own state. Also, they must be supervised by a licensed New Jersey attorney.