New Jersey Workers’ Comp Courts Set for Limited Reopening April 6th

Submitted by New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation court calendars were suspended March 17, 2020 through April 3, 2020.   On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Director of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, Hon. Russell Wojtenko, Jr. advised in a Notice to the Bar that a limited reopening will occur on Monday, April 6, 2020 to permit telephonic case conferences and settlements.

There are 15 vicinages in New Jersey for workers’ compensation hearings. One supervising judge from each district will be available to discuss certain cases telephonically. The emphasis will be on emergent matters as well as settlements by affidavit, motions for medical and temporary disability benefits and certain pretrial conferences.

In the March 30 Notice, the Director made clear that there will be no in-person workers’ compensation proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials in which social distancing will be enforced).

The Director’s Notice to the Bar emphasizes that the goal of the Division is to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus to court personnel, attorneys and their staff, as well as litigants, witnesses and members of the public. The Notice observes that New Jersey workers’ compensation courts will continue to be closed to the public and to non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.

Employers, third party administrators, carriers and all practitioners should understand that time demands on the supervisory judge in each venue will be significant in attempting to cover multiple court lists each day. Still this Notice is very positive news in that emergent matters and settlements by affidavit can now move forward.

Originally published here by

Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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