We recently published a detailed summary of how the New Jersey Courts have responded to the COVID-19 crisis. As of April 24, 2020, the Supreme Court has extended certain deadlines for another month while some of the extensions will lift on May 10, 2020.
The moratorium on new civil and criminal jury trial remains in effect until further notice. In cases in which discovery deadlines had not expired as of March 16, 2020, the provisions of the previous were extended and relaxed to permit the extension of discovery deadlines for the additional period from April 27 through May 10, 2020. This includes extensions of time involving discovery that includes interrogatories, requests for production, depositions and requests for admissions. However, discovery deadlines involving the physical or mental examinations of persons and the filing of affidavits of merit have been extended through May 31, 2020. The tolling of dismissals for lack of prosecution will also continue through the end of May. In the computation of time for discovery end dates, the additional period from April 27 through May I0, 2020 will be excluded due to exceptional circumstances. Further extensions of discovery end dates may be requested based on the specific circumstances of a case.
The restriction on depositions and appearances of health care professionals responding to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be suspended through May 31, 2020 except where requested by the healthcare professional or in cases involving COVID-19.
Special Civil Part and Small Claims trials continue to be suspended through May 31, 2020. Civil Arbitrations have been directed to resume as of April 27, 2020. To the extent practicable, the Court has ordered that through May 31, 2020, depositions continue to be conducted remotely using necessary and available video technology, and in those circumstances court reporters continue to be able to administer and accept oaths remotely. Court matters including hearings, conferences, and arguments, will continue to be conducted by video or phone conferencing, and in-person appearances will be permitted only in emergency situations.
Finally, In the computation of time periods under the Rules of Court and under any statute of limitations for matters in all courts, for purposes of filing deadlines, except as otherwise provided in the April 24, 2020 order, the period from March 16 through May 10, 2020 shall be deemed the same as a legal holiday. That means the time for filing is tolled during the indicated time period.
For information on all the orders and directives issued by the Court, same have been posted on the Court’s website and can be found at: https://www.njcourts.gov/public/covid19.html
If you have questions about the New Jersey Court directives, please reach out to any of the general liability attorneys in our Mt. Laurel or Woodbridge offices or contact Matthew K. Mitchell, Esq., Chair of the firm's General Liability practice in New Jersey, at firstname.lastname@example.org.