New Jersey Pauses Divorce and Civil Trials in Six Counties Amid Judge Vacancies

gavel pounding to conclude new jersey divorce trials

New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner released a statement in February 2023 in which he explained that matrimonial and civil trials in New Jersey will be suspended except in limited cases, beginning February 21, 2023. Chief Justice Rabner’s Order is due to the record levels of judicial vacancies in two of the State’s vicinages. Along with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, judicial vacancies have contributed to substantial delays in process and a backlog of cases in the affected counties and throughout the State.

In Vicinage 13, which includes Hunterdon County, Somerset County, and Warren County, there are currently five vacancies out of the “normal” 20 judicial positions. Cumberland County, Gloucester County, and Salem County make up Vicinage 15, where there are currently nine vacancies out of the “normal” 28 judicial positions. Chief Justice Rabner asserted that with increased vacancies comes increased responsibilities for sitting judges who handle thousands of proceedings each month. The suspension of divorce and other trials aims to pressure the State’s executive and legislative branches to speed up the process of vetting, nominating, and confirming appropriate new judges.

In the meantime, New Jersey couples seeking a divorce or currently in the process of divorcing must seek alternative methods of resolution so as not to allow their case to languish. Collaborative divorce, arbitration, and mediation can be beneficial alternatives.

The experienced New Jersey divorce lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC can assist clients in navigating the arena of alternative dispute resolution to work towards reaching resolution of their matter without protracted and delayed litigation.  Call us at 908-800-7676 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Located in Somerville, New Jersey, our attorneys serve clients throughout Central New Jersey, including those in Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Warren County, Morris County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Union County, and Middlesex County.