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In The Courts Recent News

New Jersey Judiciary Continues to Expand Its Electronic Filing System


Nearly 200,000 documents have been submitted through the Judiciary’s new electronic filing system since it was first made available this year to accommodate attorneys and self-represented litigants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Monday, 197,947 documents were filed through the Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system. More than half of those documents (113,330) were filed in family division cases. Another 44,398 documents were filed for landlord/tenant matters.

Although the JEDS system was in development before the pandemic, it was made available sooner in light of the courts’ suspension of most in-person proceedings and matters to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In the family part, attorneys and self-represented litigants can electronically submit documents related to divorce, post-divorce motions, child custody/parenting time, and child support applications and modifications. JEDS can also be used to submit complaints, answers, and motions for civil, special civil, the law division, criminal division, tax court, chancery, general equity, and foreclosure.

“Our electronic filing system has allowed us to continue the work of the courts on important matters, from child support to landlord/tenant issues, without bringing people into our courthouses,” said Judge Glenn A. Grant, acting administrative director of the courts. “As COVID-19 continues to change the way our court system must operate, we will continue to look for technological solutions that allow us to conduct court business in an efficient and safe manner.”

To view a tutorial on using the JEDS system, go to njcourts.gov.

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Bright Side In The Courts

Camden Vicinage to Celebrate National Adoption Day Virtually on Nov. 20


The Camden Vicinage will hold a National Adoption Day celebration on Friday, Nov. 20 during virtual proceedings to finalize the adoption of 20 children.

Superior Court Judge Francine Axelrad will begin the proceedings at 10 a.m., and Superior Court Judges Linda Eynon and Michael Joyce will conduct hearings at 1:30 p.m.

Gift bags containing teddy bears, coloring books, pajamas, blankets, and other items will be delivered to each child’s home.

The event is co-hosted by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection & Permanency in collaboration with the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Camden County and Camden County Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer.

National Adoption Day is an annual event in which courts and communities in all 50 states join to finalize thousands of adoptions and to celebrate families who adopt.

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In The Courts Recent News

Bellmawr Man Charged With Possession With Intent to Distribute Powder Crack Cocaine

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County, New Jersey, man made his initial court appearance on November 17, 2020 on charges of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Joseph C. Long, 30, of Bellmawr, New Jersey, was charged by complaint with two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The defendant was previously arrested by state authorities. He appeared by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider and was detained without bail.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Jan. 15, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Long’s apartment. Long was seen jumping out of the second-floor bedroom window and was later apprehended. Inside the apartment, officers found powder cocaine, crack cocaine, packaging and distribution related items, and over $3,400 in cash.

Each drug charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. 

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer; the Camden County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson; and the Bellmawr Police Department, under the direction of Chief William P. Walsh; with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen M. Harberg in Camden.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

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In The Courts Recent News

New Jersey Supreme Court Order Suspends Jury Trials Amid Second Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic


The Supreme Court issued an order today suspending criminal and civil jury trials and in-person grand jury sessions in response to a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Most court hearings have been held remotely since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March. As COVID cases declined and the court put safety measures in place, limited in-person proceedings, including socially distanced jury trials and in-person grand jury sessions, were able to resume in September.

“The increasing rates of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths make it impracticable and unsafe for certain in-person court events to continue at the level reached during the past few months,” the Court wrote in an order signed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.

The Court’s order extends the period of excludable time for prosecutors to bring cases to a grand jury by 45 days. In-person grand jury panels can switch to a virtual format, and existing virtual grand jury panels may continue to convene, under the order.

Virtual grand juries have been established in all 21 counties. The Judiciary has provided technology as necessary to enable participation by all qualified jurors.

Since the start of the pandemic, judges have conducted more than 100,000 remote court events involving more than 1.2 million participants.

The one in-person jury trial in progress will be allowed to continue. Fewer inperson trials are ordinarily held in late-November and December.

Since September, about a dozen jury trials have been conducted. The resumption of jury trials, though, resulted in the resolution of more than 115 criminal cases and settlements in more than 225 civil cases.

The Court said in its order that it will continue to be guided by experts in public health as it administers court operations in a manner that prioritizes the safety of court users.

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Bright Side In The Courts

Burlington Vicinage to Celebrate National Adoption Day Nov. 20 via Zoom


The Burlington Vicinage will celebrate its 14th annual Adoption Day on Friday, Nov. 20 at 8:45 a.m. virtually via Zoom.

Superior Court Judges John J. Burke III and John L. Call Jr. will finalize adoption proceedings for 13 children. The celebration will open with welcome comments by Assignment Judge Jeanne T. Covert, Judge Burke, and Amanda Hammond, area director of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.

“Adoption Day is always filled with hope and joy for so many children here in Burlington County, but the importance of family and security has never been greater than it is right now, as we struggle through a worldwide pandemic,” Judge Covert said. “This meaningful day takes on an even greater significance, as we look forward to celebrating the work of so many, to help our children and families to find permanent fulfillment.”

The vicinage’s Adoption Day celebration is co-sponsored by the Court Appointed Special Advocates program, the Burlington County Surrogate’s Office and the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency, whose staff will deliver balloons and edible arrangements to the families.

The Burlington County Bar Foundation will provide toy bears to the children.

National Adoption Day is an annual event that celebrates the families who choose to adopt, while raising public awareness of the need for adoptive homes.

Though adoption hearings are closed to the public, arrangements can be made for reporters to interview willing families after the proceedings. For more information, contact Natonya Phillips at 609-288-9500, ext. 38124