Home>Highlight>N.J. courts lift social distancing, masking rules

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address delivered on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

N.J. courts lift social distancing, masking rules

By David Wildstein, August 24 2022 6:14 pm

The New Jersey Courts will lift mask and social distancing requirements for juries on September, 1, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced on Wednesday.

Rabner says the new policy will increase the number of jury trials and “protect the health of prospective jurors.”

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 virus, the Supreme Court has modified court operations consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New Jersey Department of Health,” Rabner said. “Based on that guidance, the Court has adjusted protocols for jury proceedings, which involve a substantial number of people in close physical proximity to one another”

Jurors will now be permitted to wear face masks, but not required to do so.

Rabner instructed judges to allow prospective jurors a chance to raise concerns about reporting in person during the orientation phase of their service.

Glenn A. Grant, the administrative director of the courts, said that all jurors will begin their service virtually.

“Afterward, and before the in-person exercise of peremptory challenges in criminal cases, individual trial judges will have discretion to conduct voir dire virtually or in person, taking into consideration all relevant factors,” Rabner said.

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