New Jersey Courts Roar Back to Life: Divorces and Civil Trials Kick Off Amidst Mounting Challenges!

For the first time in almost a year, divorce and civil trial proceedings are once again being conducted in all of New Jersey’s counties, starting with Passaic County.

Last week saw the official lifting of the Passaic County case moratorium, which had been in place since July. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the New Jersey Supreme Court said that it follows the appointment of four justices to the Superior Court in Passaic County.

“We offer to assist the legislative and executive branches with that important concern and respectfully urge that the remaining vacancies in the vicinage be filled,” Rabner stated.

Early in March, Vicinage 13, which comprises the counties of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren, had their suspensions removed. The dates of those suspensions were February 21, 2023.

But there’s a fresh problem in Mercer County. Beginning on April 15, some family court cases will be moved to other vicinages, like as Middlesex, Burlington, and Atlantic/Cape May, according to Rabner.

There Are Still Judicial Openings in New Jersey

Acting Administrative Courts Director Glenn Grant stated Monday before the Assembly Budget Committee that there are 39 unfilled court seats in New Jersey.

Despite being lower than the 58 judicial openings at the beginning of the year and the peak of 78 vacancies in May 2022. The New Jersey State Bar Association, which had previously chastised lawmakers and Governor Phil Murphy for a backlog of nominations, reacted angrily to the unprecedented shortfall.

More recently, NJSBA President Timothy McGoughran praised Murphy and legislators for their efforts to address the issue. He claimed that in the first three months of 2024, almost twenty new judges were appointed.

According to McGoughran, “Everyone realized that there were real people getting hurt.”

The Backlog of Trial Cases Exceeds 81,000

Trials have started up again in the state, although there is still a sizable backlog. Grant said on Monday that there are still 81,415 trial issues pending, which is twice as many as there were in 2019.

According to Grant, getting back to pre-pandemic backlog levels may take three years.

These cases include marriage cases as well as civil cases like personal injury lawsuits.

“In divorce cases and children in court cases, those delays are intolerable,” McGoughran stated.

Families are in limbo as a result of ongoing delays. According to McGoughran, kids are being placed in situations where there are toxic parent-child connections or when kids can’t see one of their parents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *