Update, March 20: Courts Respond to Coronavirus


In light of the national emergency due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), courts at every level of Government have restricted operations and public appearances.


  • Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals is open for business. Oral arguments will go forward as scheduled. Parties may request to appear by audio-conference by filing a motion. If a panel determines that argument should be presented telephonically, the Clerk’s Office will provide counsel with audio-conference instructions. Recordings of oral arguments will be made available on the Court’s website within 24 hours after the argument concludes. The Clerk’s Office will be open but minimally staffed. The majority of staff are working remotely and will return phone calls. During this time, the requirement to file hard copies of filings is deferred. Parties may request extensions of time either by motion or by calling the Clerk’s office at 215-597-2995 and selecting the case management team. The Court is prepared to handle emergencies. If a party has an emergent matter, you are requested to call the Clerk’s Office at 267-299-4904.
  • District of New Jersey. The District of New Jersey has four courthouses located in Newark (2), Trenton and Camden. The District has implemented the following procedures in response to COVID-19: District Court: 90% of Court staff is teleworking. All civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials scheduled to begin before April 30, 2020, are continued, pending further Order of the Court. Each Clerk’s Office is minimally staffed with supervision. In-person filings are limited to the dropbox in each courthouse with exceptions for emergent matters. Judges are conducting pretrial/settlement conferences via video and teleconferencing. Detainees in new arrests are appearing in person or via video, subject to place of confinement. The Court website is constantly updated. IT staff is working in-person at each courthouse. Daily telephonic debriefings are being held among all court units/departments. Bankruptcy Court: A General Order has been posted addressing hearings, appearances, etc. Most staff is teleworking with minimum staff on site. Probation/Pretrial: Minimum staffing for each courthouse/office with others teleworking.
  • Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The regular argued appeals and motions calendars continue to be heard as scheduled. Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, and until the COVID-19 crisis passes, the Court will hear all oral arguments using a teleconference platform. All lawyers and pro se litigants who are scheduled to argue must do so by teleconference. The Clerk’s Office will forward teleconference instructions to the lawyers and pro se litigants appearing each argument day. In the alternative, parties may request to submit the appeal for determination.


  • Civil Arbitration and Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel sessions scheduled between Monday, March 16 and Friday, April 10, 2020, are postponed and will be rescheduled. Effective Monday, April 13, 2020, Civil Arbitration and Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel (ESP) sessions will resume, with participation in any session to be via video and/or telephone conference. Applicable Court Rules are relaxed to allow for these changes.


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