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Are courts open? Do I have to report for jury duty? Can legal matters be dealt with remotely?
Note: All in-person judicial proceedings in civil and criminal cases have been temporarily suspended through January 31, 2022. Judicial proceedings will be conducted via video and teleconference whenever possible.
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.
Note: Due to the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, the Supreme Court has authorized all grand juries to meet virtually through January 17, 2022. Counties will exercise discretion as to the format for county grand jury panels, and the Attorney General will determine how State Grand Jury panels will convene.
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.
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