Civil and matrimonial trials in NJ Vicinage 13 (Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties) have been temporarily suspended by order of the NJ Supreme Court. The stated reason is the large number of judicial vacancies in the three counties, requiring the current judges to handle what are seen as more pressing cases, such as criminal and juvenile matters. The court has not set a target date to resume of civil and matrimonial trials.
This is not good news as it will inevitably lead to increasing the case backlog that already exists as part of the hangover from the Covid closures.
What can litigants do until the court decides to reopen? A few possibilities . . . Sometimes cases can be filed in counties that are not subject to the closure, or in limited circumstances even in federal court. Parties might try private mediation or arbitration instead of going to court. These are not decisions to be made lightly, so be sure to confer with qualified litigation counsel before you choose any of these alternatives. Steinberg Law, LLC is here to help.