Please see below the latest announcement from the Director and Chief Judge of Compensation, Russell Wojtenko, Jr., regarding operations of the New Jersey Workers' Compensation courts. As you can see, the courts will continue to be closed to the public and non-essential personnel until April 27, 2020. In the interim, one judge in each venue shall continue to virtually hear as many workers' compensation cases as possible.
Notwithstanding the above, we are moving forward with virtual hearings, including case settlements, since April 6, when virtual New Jersey workers' compensation court began.
The Supervisory Judge of each vicinage has their own protocols in place to ensure that hearings operate smoothly. Given the circumstances, the court rules have been relaxed, especially for settlements. Affidavits for settlements have been deemed acceptable by the Judges to minimize contact. The Judges have the discretion to designate settlement orders as consent orders by the parties. Moreover, no notary will be required for certifications or affidavits as it is not feasible for a petitioner to be able to obtain one during this time. The Judges have requested that all settlement orders and markings be submitted to the court a day before the hearing.
Furthermore, our department has regular Zoom and conference call meetings to advance practices, procedures and outcomes. We will continue to move forward and work on all matters, including closures and meaningful hearing conferences.