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

Last Updated: 02/24/2021

Federal Courts

All civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials have been postponed until March 12, 2021.

All in-person judicial proceedings for both civil and criminal cases have been suspended through March 12, 2021.

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.

However, courts at all levels are following a "remote first" approach to court proceedings and court events. Accordingly, matters that can be conducted remotely will continue to be done remotely, and certain matters that cannot be handled in a remote format will be conducted in person.

Emergent matters that will be supported in person include but are not limited to the following:

  • Applications for a domestic violence temporary restraining order;
  • Applications to prevent an illegal lockout;
  • Orders to Show Cause seeking to prevent immediate and irreparable harm, when initiated by court users without the ability to participate remotely; and
  • Statewide critical functions to the extent that they cannot be conducted remotely.

Contact the court if you have questions about filing emergent applications or about a scheduled hearing, motion, conference, or other matter.

For additional help, contact your local ombudsman by phone or email. The Court has also created a Self-help Center with forms and instructions to help you file your case.

Municipal Courts will continue to handle almost all cases remotely, with only a select few being scheduled as in-person events. For information on hours of operation, remote proceedings, and other matters in the Municipal Courts, please contact the individual Municipal Court.

Jury Trials

The NJ Supreme Court has suspended new in-person jury trials and in-person grand jury sessions until further notice due to the increasing spread of COVID-19.

All jury selections and jury trials are now fully virtual until further notice. All jurors summoned for February, March, and April will serve completely virtually.

Existing virtual grand jury panels will continue to convene in a virtual format only. Grand jury panels that previously met in person may be converted to meet virtually, and selections of new grand jury panels will continue in a virtual format only.

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