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

Last Updated: 06/16/2021

Federal Courts

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

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

State and Local Courts

On June 15, 2021, up to 50% of judges and state court employees will be present on-site in each district. It is anticipated that this number will increase substantially by no later than August 2, 2021.

State court locations are not yet open to the public without an appointment except in emergencies and other limited situations. However, increased on-site presence will support more in-person services after June 15. Over the summer, all state courts will expand existing in-person services.

NOTE: 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.

On June 15, some jury proceedings will be conducted in person, as authorized by the Supreme Court.

Even after June 15, 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.

Masks and social distancing are required in the courtrooms and jury assembly areas.

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