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

Last Updated: 04/30/2021

Federal Courts

All civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials have been postponed until June 1, 2021.

Beginning April 5, 2021, in-person grand jury proceedings and in-person criminal proceedings will resume.

All criminal proceedings, including initial appearances, arraignments, pleas, and sentencings, shall continue to proceed via Zoom, when possible, however when the defendant has not consented to proceed by way of videoconference for an initial appearance, arraignment, plea, or sentencing, the proceeding shall be held in-person.

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

State and Local Courts

New Jersey Superior and Municipal Courts have resumed some in-person court services.

A small number of judges and court staff are working on-site each day. The rest continue to work remotely to ensure safe distancing can be maintained. Courthouses and court facilities are only open to attorneys, litigants, and members of the public with scheduled proceedings or appointments.

You do not need an appointment to seek a domestic violence restraining order at a county courthouse. See the video for more information.

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.

The Self-help Center has forms and instructions to help you file your case. Watch this video to learn about electronic filing for litigants.

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

Until June 15, 2021, all jurors will serve online by video instead of coming to a courthouse. The NJ Supreme Court has not set a date when juries can resume in person.

Some jurors summoned to report on June 15 or after might be asked to serve in person. Those jurors will perform their first day of jury service online by video.

All jurors summoned to report on June 15 or after will be told by the judge if the rest of their jury service will be by video or in person. Jurors will be able to raise any concerns about continuing their service at that time.

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