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Important Update: New Jersey Workers’ Comp Courts to Open Telephonically

New Jersey
March 30, 2020
March 30, 2020
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On March 30, 2020, Chief Judge Wojtenko of the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation notified the bar that in a continued effort to the slow the spread of the virus, the Courts will continue to be closed to the public and non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.  As of April 6, 2020, however, the Courts have also agreed to hold telephonic hearings for matters including all emergent matters, and the following non-emergent matters - pretrial conferences, general motions for medical and temporary disability benefits, and settlements by affidavit.

The Court has assigned one Judge for each vicinage to handle all matters.  The following designated Judges are:

  • Atlantic City - Hon. Audrey Kernan, S.J.
  • Bridgeton – Hon. Arthur Marchand, A.S.J.
  • Camden – Hon. Ingrid French, A.S.J.
  • Freehold – Hon. Lionel Simon III, A.S.J.
  • Hackensack – Hon. Diana Ferriero, A.S.J.
  • Jersey City – Hon. Jill Fader, S.J.
  • Lebanon – Hon. Glenn Kaplan, S.J.
  • Mt. Arlington – Hon. Michael Luther, S.J.
  • Mt. Holly – Hon. George Geist, S.J.
  • New Brunswick – Hon. Ashley Hutchinson, A.S.J.
  • Newark – Hon. Philip Tornetta, A.S.J.
  • Paterson – Hon. William Roca, S.J.
  • Plainfield – Hon. Marie Del Valle Koch, A.S.J.
  • Toms River – Hon. Eugene Mulvaney, S.J.
  • Trenton – Hon. David Puma, S.J.

The Chief Judge has further explained that their plan is to limit physical interactions in the Court to the greatest extent possible and shift to the use of telephone conferencing, and if possible, video conferencing for judges, attorneys and litigants.  The Chief Judge advised that there will be no in-person court proceedings but added that there are exceptions for extremely limited emergency matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary disability benefits and trials in which case social distancing will be enforced.

We will continue to keep you updated as more details of how the hearings will be conducted become available and we will continue our efforts at moving cases forward as expeditiously as possible.