Courts across the state have adjusted their policies and calendars in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Because this is a fluid and still evolving situation, the current directives and policies implemented by the Courts are subject to change. At present, the current landscape in the Camden County Family Division is as follows:
- Family Court is still open. The Camden County Superior Court is still accepting and processing filings (for divorce, non-dissolution, and other family matters), via mail or electronic filing; hand-delivered filings are not being accepted at present. The Court is not fully staffed so filings may be slowed, but they are being processed nonetheless.
- In-person Court appearances have been suspended (with the exception of extremely limited emergent matters and ongoing trials). Telephone or video conference will be used for case management conferences, motions and other hearings which have not been adjourned.
- New motion filings will be delayed, but most judges are proceeding with oral argument (conducted telephonically or via video conference).
- All Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel dates scheduled between March 16, 2020 and April 10, 2020 are postponed and will be rescheduled. MESPs scheduled for on or after April 13, 2020 are expected to proceed (telephonically or via video conference).
- Applications for restraining orders are still being processed, but litigants should apply for temporary restraining orders at their local police stations rather than at the Courthouse.
- As is the case in other counties, the Court Rules (specifically rules regarding discovery deadlines) have been relaxed.
It is important to keep in mind that this is an unprecedented situation which continues to evolve, seemingly by the hour. Most judges and attorneys recognize this and should be flexible with regard to scheduling and related issues. After all, we are all in this together.
More updates will be provided if and when they come. Until then, stay safe and remember, the family law attorneys at ALBFR&M are here for you.
Thomas Roberto, Esq. is a shareholder and partner at ALBFR&M located in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Tom advocates for his clients in all matters related to divorce and family law throughout New Jersey.