COVID-19 UPDATES: The NJ and PA Courts

Illustration of courthouseLast Updated: April 3, 2020

As the COVID-19 continues to spread, each day creates a new challenge. Courts are issuing standing orders regarding delays and closures to protect the public health and ensure the courts continue to operate as effectively as possible. Below is a summary of the most recent orders issued by the Supreme Courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania regarding certain deadlines and extensions.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of New Jersey entered a standing order regarding State court operations amidst the current pandemic, such as:

  • All jury trials are suspended and will be rescheduled for a date following April 26, 2020
  • No new civil or criminal jury trials will be conducted until further notice
  • All current grand jury sessions, including State Grand Jury, are cancelled until April 26, 2020, and new notices will be issued for rescheduling for a date following April 26, 2020.
  • Municipal Court sessions are suspended through April 26, 2020
  • The courts will deem excluded the time period of March 16 through April 26, 2020, when calculating deadlines, and classify these dates as legal holidays, for discovery periods and filing deadlines and filings in civil cases will be deemed timely if filed by April 27, 2020
  • All non- emergency court proceedings, such as civil arbitrations and Matrimonial Early Settlement Panels scheduled from March 16 through April 26, 2020, have been postponed and will reconvene April 27, 2020 (likely by telephonic or video participation)
  • Landlord/Tenant calendars are suspended through April 26, 2020, and evictions of residential tenants are suspended in accordance with Executive Order 106 (March 19, 2020)

On April 1, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania entered an order regarding its State courts with supplemental information and extensions from its earlier March 16, 2020 order, including:

  • All jury and non-jury trials, both criminal and civil, are suspended
  • Jurors shall not report for jury duty through April 30, 2020
  • All Pennsylvania courts shall remain generally closed to the public through April 30, 2020
  • All Magisterial District Courts, Philadelphia Municipal Court, and Philadelphia Arraignment Court shall remain closed to the public, except for essential functions such as emergency protection from abuse, criminal case filings and subsequent processing, and any other function deemed essential by a President Judge
  • All time calculations for purposes of time computation and deadlines are suspended through April 30, 2020
  • All legal papers or pleadings that were required to be filed between March 19, 2020 and April 30, 2020 will be deemed to have been timely filed if they are filed by May 1, 2020
  • There is a stay on any eviction, ejectment, or other displacement from a residence based on failure to pay rent, loan, or other similar payment

Kang Haggerty continues to monitor the orders and other guidance by various courts, which are rapidly changing. Clients should contact their Kang Haggerty attorney for questions related to their specific matters.

Jacklyn Fetbroyt is a founding member of Kang Haggerty LLC and is currently a committeeperson of the Voorhees Township Committee. Among other things, Jackie focuses on counseling companies and business owners through all stages of their ventures from conception to dissolution, assisting her business clients in all of their needs for maintenance and growth. On Township Committee, Jackie strives to be a resource to and ears of the residents in her hometown. 

In this ever-changing landscape of information and legislation, please be aware that the information contained in this blog post may no longer be relevant or applicable. The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion

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