New Jersey & New York Legal Defense
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Update, April 13: Courts and Law Enforcement Respond to Coronavirus

In light of the national emergency due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), courts and law enforcement agencies at every level of Government have taken extraordinary actions:

FEDERAL

  • The U.S. Department of Justice )DOJ) has announced several high-profile arrests related to its heightened efforts to target crimes related to COVID-19. In Georgia, a woman was arrested on federal charges of illegally importing and selling an unregistered pesticide, Toamit Virus Shut Out, through eBay, claiming that it would help protect individuals from viruses. Another Georgia resident was charged with fraud in the District of Columbia for attempting to sell millions of nonexistent respirator masks to the Department of Veterans Affairs in exchange for large upfront payments.
  • For more information, see our prior posts.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

  • The New Jersey Supreme Court clarified that its prior orders, including Orders dated March 17, 2020 and March 27, 2020 (“Omnibus Order”), that among other things extended deadlines and tolled time periods, did not apply to pretrial detention filings, including appeals filed pursuant to Rule 2:9-13 (“Appeals from Orders Granting Pretrial Detention”), responses to those appeals, and motions for leave to appeal pursuant to Rule 2:5-6 (“Appeals from Interlocutory Orders, Decisions and Actions”). To the extent that a party may have interpreted the tolling provisions of prior orders otherwise, that party may pursue an appeal and submit an accompanying motion to file as within time.
  • The Supreme Court has relaxed and supplemented Court Rule 4:4- 4(a)(7) to permit electronic service of process by email on the State of New Jersey.
  • The Judiciary has begun to immediately require all incoming mail to be held in a secure area for at least one day prior to being distributed. That waiting period applies to all mail, including FedEx and other next day business deliveries. Those “strategic delays” are affecting the filing and processing of all hard copy correspondence.
  • The Judiciary has expanded its court filing system, the Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system, to allow attorneys and self-represented litigants to submit their filings electronically in most areas of the family and special civil parts as well as general equity. The Judiciary will continue to add case types as the system is developed further. JEDS is not a replacement for eCourts. All attorneys must file in eCourts when the docket is in eCourts or in JEDS for all other matters, even for emergent applications, and must pay all appropriate fees. While the JEDS system was in development before the pandemic, it has been made available sooner in light of the courts’ suspension of most in-person proceedings and matters to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In the family part, attorneys and self-represented litigants can electronically submit documents related to divorce, post-divorce motions, child custody/parenting time, and child support applications and modifications. JEDS can also be used to submit complaints, answers, and motions for civil, special civil, the law division, general equity, and foreclosure.
  • For more information, see our prior posts.

MUNICIPAL COURTS

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