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Are courts open? Do I have to report for jury duty? Can legal matters be dealt with remotely?

Last Updated: 09/28/2021

Federal Courts

Criminal jury selections and trials resumed on June 1, 2021 on a limited basis. Civil jury selections and trials resumed on September 1, 2021.

Judicial proceedings, in both criminal and civil matters, shall continue to be conducted by video and teleconference whenever possible with certain exceptions until further Order of the Court. Each Judge may use his/her discretion in determining if an in-person proceeding is necessary.

To enter court facilities, visitors must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present a negative result from a PCR test (not a rapid test) taken no more than 72 hours prior to entry.

Face masks are required within all public areas of court facilities regardless of vaccination status.

For the latest updates, visit: https://www.njd.uscourts.gov/

State and Local Courts

All State courthouses are open to the public. Visitors no longer need an appointment or a scheduled matter in order to enter a courthouse. Judges and court staff are working on-site each day.

More court matters are being conducted in person, including some jury trials. Judges can schedule an in-person proceeding based on the facts and circumstances in any case.

Proof of vaccination is not required for entry into a courthouse. Masks must be worn indoors.

If you need help, call the NJ Court's Help Desk line at 609-421-6100. In addition, the Court's ombudsmen can answer questions by phone and email.

Some municipal courts have begun hearing cases by video or phone. Contact the municipal court for details on how they will hold their court hearings.

Some municipal court bench trials and hearings could be handled in person if they are too complex to be handled online.

Jury Trials

Some jury proceedings are being conducted in person, as authorized by the Supreme Court.

All jurors will perform their first day of jury service online by video. Jurors will be able to raise any questions to the judge, including concerns about reporting in person.

For more information about jury service, refer to the NJ Courts' jury information page or contact your jury management office if you have additional questions about your service.

Source: https://www.njd.uscourts.gov/covid-19-orders-procedures-and-changes; https://njcourts.gov/public/covid19_one-stop.html; https://www.njd.uscourts.gov/sites/njd/files/SO21-08COVID-19VisitorFed.DetaineeVacc.andTesting.pdf