A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Masking and Social Distancing Requirements to be Concluded in New Jersey Civil Courts

By on August 26, 2022 in Other with 0 Comments

The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued a new order, concluding its order that required all participants in jury proceedings to maintain three feet of social distancing, as well as wear a mask. This order will be effective on September 1, 2022.

Jurors will continue to begin their jury service virtually and, at that time, may raise any concerns about reporting in person based on COVID-19. After the mandatory virtual orientation phase, judges will continue to have the discretion to continue with jury selection either virtually or in person.

This court order is based upon the new CDC guidelines that, due to the changed circumstances, “including high levels of COVID-19 immunity, widespread availability of vaccines and boosters, and approved treatment options,” that the CDC was no longer recommending social distancing or masking as “general mitigation strategies.”

Accordingly, the judiciary concluded that it could end the three feet social distancing requirement for trials and permit, as opposed to requiring, masking.

With this new order in place, the Court anticipates that it will support more jury trials, especially trials involving detained criminal defendants, but still continue to protect the health of prospective jurors.

Before this order was in place, those counties which did conduct in person trials had the jurors spread out in the jury box and then throughout the audience. Masking was required unless you were speaking. Having the jurors back in the jury box will make it logistically easier to present to the jury, as well as make more courtrooms available for trials. That should help with the backlog of cases.

Most counties remain backed up in trying civil cases but we have seen an uptick in trial listings in some counties. Many counties still have a criminal trial list, however, that are taking priority over civil cases.

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About the Author

About the Author:

Ms. Ramos is an Executive Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department at Capehart Scatchard, P.A. located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. She is an experienced litigator with over 30 years experience handling diverse matters. Practice areas include tort defense, business litigation, estate litigation, tort claims and civil rights defense, construction litigation, insurance coverage, employment litigation, shareholder disputes, and general litigation.

For the years 2020-2023, Ms. Ramos was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Litigation - Insurance. The attorneys on this list are selected based upon the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. A complete description of The Best Lawyers in America© methodology can be viewed via their website at: https://www.bestlawyers.com/methodology.

In 2021, Capehart Scatchard and Ms. Ramos received the “Best Law Firm” ranking in the area of Litigation – Insurance (Metro, Tier 3) published by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. Law firms included on the list are recognized for professional excellence with consistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. To be eligible for a ranking, a firm must have at least one attorney who has been included in the current edition of Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top five percent of practicing lawyers in the United States. Betsy Ramos (Litigation – Insurance) was recognized for this prestigious award in the 2021 edition. For a description of the “Best Law Firm” selection methodology please visit: https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

“Best Law Firms” is published by Best Lawyers in partnership with U.S. News & World Report. For a description of the selection methodology please visit: https://bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.

*No aspect of this advertisement has been submitted to or approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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