JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop, Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut, Municipal Court Chief Judge Carlo Abad, and Municipal Court Director Wendy Razzoli announce provisions in place to allow for virtual court proceedings beginning Monday, May 11, 2020.
For the health and safety of everyone involved, the transition to virtual court utilizing Zoom video conferencing will reduce foot traffic at the Jersey City Municipal Courthouse by allowing the public to appear remotely to have matters such as traffic, parking, DUI's, code enforcement, and minor criminal offenses heard.
“This is the latest example of the city’s commitment to continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, as we are rolling out a program unlike anything this city has ever seen,” said Mayor Fulop.
“It is encouraging to see the collaborative efforts, dedication, and resilience of city staff willing to adapt and learn new ways to assist the public.”
"A lot of residents depend on the municipal court to enhance the quality of life and public safety in Jersey City,” said Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut.
"With virtual court, we will keep court operations up and running without creating a backlog of cases, and our municipal prosecutors can keep solving residents' problems."
The introduction of virtual court highlights the collaborative efforts and swift transition from in-person court appearances to handling matters virtually.
Zoom video conferencing will allow multiple users simultaneously, and even a virtual waiting room to ensure efficiency for people on deck for their scheduled court times.
"The creation of the Jersey City Virtual Court has allowed us to provide continued access to our court system, while at the same time prioritizing the health and safety of the public and our staff, all of which has been made possible through a collaborative team effort between city and state offices," said Chief Municipal Court Judge Carlo Abad.
This virtual option is voluntary and available for most court matters.
Anyone who has a case and is interested in appearing in the virtual court can visit the city’s website, jcnj.org/MunicipalCourt, and complete the form to register.
"The Jersey City Municipal Court is committed to providing quality service, and I foresee many benefits for long-term use of this technology for the courts, attorneys, and defendants during this current crisis and beyond,” said Wendy Razzoli, Municipal Court Director.
“Virtual Court will accommodate various scheduling matters, in addition to cases whereby participants present health complications and/or travel limitations."
Trials must be conducted at the municipal courthouse. The Municipal Court will schedule each matter in the virtual court.
All defendants will receive an email confirmation with instructions on how to participate. Attorneys can also use the form to request a virtual court date as well as enter an appearance by using the link: www.jcnj.org/vcregistration.
“With great leadership, extraordinary vision, unimaginable technology, and unparalleled collaborative effort, all with the single goal of best serving the general public, we have created something truly special here,” said Chief Municipal Public Defender, Andrew Abrams.
“We recognize that it may be a long time before we can go back to traditional courtrooms with people sitting next to each other, so the procedures we are putting in place are done with an eye toward both the present and the foreseeable future.”