By way of a directive issued earlier today (a copy of which can be viewed here), the NJ Supreme Court has updated the guidelines relative to in-person and virtual court proceedings.
In particular, Special Civil Part trials and most Family Court proceedings will now be in-person. Effective March 1, 2023, involuntary civil commitments will be in-person. Routine conferences will continue to proceed virtually.
For criminal matters, the following proceedings will be in-person: jury and bench trials, evidentiary hearings, sentencing hearings, Final Extreme Risk Protective Order (FERPO) hearings, and Megan’s Law hearings. The following proceedings should be in-person, but can proceed virtually at the discretion of the Court: post-indictment arraignments, pretrial and other conferences, plea hearings, non-routine motions, and some proceedings involving Recovery Court (f/k/a Drug Court).
For municipal matters, the following proceedings will be in-person: trials, DWI/DUI matters, refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, disorderly person and domestic violence matters, any matters that involve a reasonable likelihood of a jail sentence or license suspension, and any other matters that affect health and safety.
Many of these proceedings (with the exception of trials) can be conducted virtually with the consent of all parties.
Courts have been instructed to maintain reasonably sized calendars so litigants are not made to wait unreasonably long times before their matters are addressed.
No matter how you are scheduled to appear in Court, having an attorney who is familiar with the procedures and can guide you through the process is invaluable. Contact Alissa Hascup, Esq. 24/7 for a free consultation to discuss your criminal or municipal matter.