Last week, the NJ Supreme Court released an Action Plan for Ensuring Equal Justice. The Action Plan outlines a series of reforms that the Court will seek to accomplish within the next year in order to “eliminate disparities within the court system and remove institutional obstacles to justice.” The Plan includes general reforms aimed at the court system as a whole but also includes specific municipal court reforms.
These municipal court reforms include enabling alternative methods of resolving municipal court matters with the goal of reducing the need for litigants to appear in person. This goal would be achieved through an expansion of the Statewide Bureau Schedule to allow payment without appearance for low-level statutory fines and penalties, and the Municipal Online Dispute Resolution applications, which enables persons charged with minor matters to negotiate a plea amount via an online portal for approval by a judge. The Action Plan also calls for implementation of various recommendations such as the process for selecting municipal court judges, and court consolidation found in the Supreme Court Committee on Municipal Court Operations, Fines, and Fees, which the League has outlined in the past.
We will provide updates as the Supreme Court seeks to implement its Action Plan.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x137.