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Courts and Law Enforcement Respond to Coronavirus

In light of the national emergency due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), courts and law enforcement agencies at every level of Government have taken extraordinary actions:

FEDERAL
● For more information, see our prior posts.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

● The Supreme Court of New Jersey has authorized courts to stay the commencement of custodial sentences in criminal, family/juvenile, and municipal matters. Courts have been directed to provide victims with notice and the opportunity to object to such stays.

● The Supreme Court has issued comprehensive updated guidance regarding remote proceedings in the trial courts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

○ Most court proceedings will continue via remote options, including video and telephone. The consent of all parties and attorneys will not be required except for: sentencing hearings in criminal;, family, and municipal matters; juvenile delinquency adjudications; evidentiary hearings and bench trials in all criminal matters and those municipal matters that involve a reasonable likelihood of a jail sentence or loss of driving privileges; termination of parental rights trials; and hearings for adjudication of incapacity or appointment of a permanent guardian.

○ The State’s limited resources for livestreaming will be prioritized for use in criminal matters.

○ Third-party observer access to livestreamed proceedings must be requested prior to the event by email sent to the judge.

○ In addition to longstanding procedures for obtaining a copy of recordings via CD, the Court will implement procedures to transmit recordings electronically.

○ The courts will post information for attorneys as to which technologies and software various divisions will use to conduct proceedings remotely.

● For more information, see our prior posts.

MUNICIPAL COURTS

● See our prior posts.

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