During the pendency of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Jersey Judiciary has ordered various changes to the Court Rules and Procedures to allow Court operations to continue in a safe and practical manner. On March 27, 2020, New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner issued an Omnibus Order suspending certain procedures, extending discovery deadlines, and tolling various time frames. Since that time, New Jersey Courts have become more proficient at handling various matters using telephonic and video technologies to conduct proceedings. The Courts are not only committed to protecting public health, but also promoting virtual operations to the greatest extent possible. To that end, Chief Justice Rabner issued an updated Order on April 24, 2020 implementing additional changes and supplements to the Court Rules and Procedures.
Pursuant to the updated Order:
- There will continue to be no new jury trials until further notice.
- Civil Arbitration sessions may resume on April 27, 2020 by video and/or telephone. Depositions should continue to be conducted remotely using video technology through May 31, 2020.
- All Court matters including hearings, conferences, and arguments will be conducted by video or phone conferencing.
- All discovery deadlines and end dates, which had not expired as of March 16, 2020, are tolled through May 10, 2020.
- All deadlines for physical or medical examinations; filing of Affidavits of Merit, and time periods for dismissal for lack of prosecution will be tolled through May 31, 2020.
- For the purposes of filing deadlines for any statute of limitations, unless otherwise provided, March 16 through May 10, 2020 shall be deemed the same as a legal holiday.
- Electronic signatures are permitted on all filing processes temporarily authorized to be used during the COVID-19 crisis.
A complete copy of the Chief Justice Rabners’ Order can be viewed here.
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