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Suspension of Court Cases Over Judge Shortage Stuns Legal Observers

Updated: Jun 20

February 8, 2023 |

“Our courts have been reduced from a court of law to a court of emergency,” said Jeralyn Lawrence, president of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Lawrence said she was shocked to hear that divorce and civil lawsuits in six New Jersey counties are to be put on indefinite hold because the courts don’t have enough judges to do the job. “What the chief is now saying is, ‘If your life or liberty is at stake, if there’s an emergency or something of that ilk, the court is open to you. And I only have enough judges to tend to those emergencies, because we’ve been operating at this ridiculous level of sustained vacancies.’”

NJ SEED: The governor and the legislature are responsible for filling judicial vacancies and for providing adequate funding for an effective court system. The axiom, “Justice delayed is justice denied” is clearly at work here as civil litigation, often impacting business as well as individuals, is suspended in six NJ counties and likely delayed in others.

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