COVID-19 Info & Resources

Please check regularly for updates. 

Note: This is not a definitive list. Please contact ENLS for assistance.

Courts & Government Offices

United States

Bankruptcy Court

  • All trials scheduled to be conducted prior to July 31, 2020, will be adjourned and rescheduled by the court.​

  • All case trustees will consider and accommodate all reasonable requests for continuance of debtor bankruptcy meeting.​

  • Some meetings will be conducted by telephone conference.

  • Pro Se litigants can apply online by submitting a bankruptcy package. This application is only currently available for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 cases. This feature is only for those without an attorney or bankruptcy preparer.

NJ Family Court

On March 16, 2020, the AOC issued a directive for emergency family matters to use two standard forms: 

        1. Emergency Application

        2. Order to Show Cause 

​​

On March 27, 2020 the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an Omnibus Order:

 

  • Rule 5:5-l(e) is relaxed and supplemented to permit the additional extension of discovery deadlines through April 26, 2020.

  • Periods of dismissal for lack of prosecution will be tolled from March 16 through April 26, 2020 and automated dismissals for lack of prosecution will be suspended through April 26, 2020.

  • Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel sessions scheduled from March 16 to April 10, 2020 have been postponed, and Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel sessions scheduled from April 11 to April 26, 2020 will also be rescheduled.

  • Effective April 27, 2020, Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel sessions will resume via video and/or telephone conference initiated by an arbitrator or panelist.

  • Court rules regarding Early Settlement Panel are relaxed to – extend time frames, permit submissions sent directly to panelists; authorize proceedings in location other than courthouse and allow post-Early Settlement Panel events to proceed without simultaneous entry of court order.

​​

  • Depositions may be conducted remotely using video technology; and court reporters may accept and administer oaths remotely.

​​

  • On March 31, 2020 the Court issued an Order to provide guidance on conducting Matrimonial Early Settlement Panel by telephone or video and temporarily suspending the economic mediation program.​

​​

  • On April 9, 2020 the Court issued an Order implementing JEDS permitting the filings of family cases electronically.  JEDS is to be used in any matters in which eCourts cannot be used.

  • To ensure communication between the Criminal Division and Family Division where the defendant has a no-contact order in the Criminal Division and a concurrent domestic violence or custody matter in the Family Division, the court shall ensure the following items are addressed before entering, modifying, or vacating a no-contact order:

  1. Court staff has checked available systems, including the Party Court History (PCH) and the CIC-Court Document Search, for co-occurring matters with the parties, and informed the judge of the results of those searches.

  2. The court is to consider any no-contact conditions, TRO/FRO, or visitation ordered by other courts.

  3. The court is to consider all other relevant information. 

Essex County Surrogate Court

  • Out of abundance of caution and for the protection of the Essex County community and employees, the office is closed to the public until further notice. If you have any questions please call: 973-621-4901.

  • All searches must be done via mail by utilizing the NJ Judiciary Record Request Form. The cost per search is $10.00. Please include a check or money order payable to the Surrogate of Essex County.

Social Security Administration

  • As of Tuesday, March 17, all Social Security offices are closed to the public for in-person service until further notice. Social Security will still provide critical services that are listed at the following website:

                        www.ssa.gov/coronavirus  

 

  • Secure and convenient online services remain available at www.ssa.gov.  Local offices will also continue to provide critical services over the phone.

  • ​All Social Security Administration hearing offices are closed to the public. If you have a hearing already scheduled with one of SSA's offices, hearing office staff may be reaching out to you to offer a telephone hearing.  SSA Staff will be triaging cases to ensure that cases designated as critical are addressed first. If you decline a telephone hearing, your case will be postponed and rescheduled as timely as possible. 

  • ​Effective March 18, 2020, all non-emergent matters before the Office of Administrative Law will be adjourned through April 1, 2020.  Emergent fair hearings will be conducted via telephone conference.

NJ Superior Court

In response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the public health emergency in New Jersey, the courts have issued the following orders through June 28 (in addition to those already in place):

  • All trials scheduled to be conducted prior to April 30, 2020, will be adjourned and rescheduled by the court.​

  • All case trustees will consider and accommodate all reasonable requests for continuance of debtor bankruptcy meeting.​

  • Some meetings will be conducted by telephone conference.

  • Evictions of residential tenants remain banned under Executive Order 106, and evictions of residential tenants will remain banned until up to two months after the public health emergency is lifted. The public health emergency has been extended until July 5, 2020.

  • Landlord/tenant complaints may be filed with the courts. New complaints must include the landlord’s email address and, when possible, the tenant’s email address.

  • The courts may schedule conferences to obtain or confirm contact information from landlords and tenants. The courts may also schedule conferences to conduct settlement negotiations in hopes of resolving cases.

  • Trials are suspended until further notice.

  • Please visit New Jersey Court's website for all administrative directives: 

        njcourts.gov/attorneys/directives.html

Essex County - Division of Assistance & Benefits

  • Effective Monday, March 30th, the Division of Family Assistance and Benefits offices will be closed to the public. Clients seeking assistance can apply online at NJHelps.org or call 973-395-8000. When you need to bring paperwork to the office, you can fax, mail or look for the drop box located at 18 Rector Street, Newark, NJ 07102 or 50 South Clinton Street East Orange, NJ 07018.

  • County residents who want to apply for SNAP food assistance or cash assistance under the Work First New Jersey program are encouraged to do so online at NJHelps.org. Interviews will be done by phone, so you do not need to come into the office to apply for benefits.

  • Work First New Jersey cash assistance clients who are due for their case to be reviewed in March or April automatically will get a 60-day extension. You do not need to come into the office.

  • Attention SNAP recipients: If your case is due to be recertified in March or April and you were unable to get your paperwork in or complete your interview, your case will not be closed. You will receive your benefits on the usual day. Your case will be recertified at some point in the future, once this public health crisis has settled. In the meantime, you will continue to receive SNAP benefits.

  • If you are a SNAP food assistance or a Work First New Jersey cash assistance client, you are not required to attend your work activity unless you want to and the program is operating. This includes people who are applying for Work First New Jersey General Assistance and are in a work activity for 28 days while their application is being reviewed. No penalty will be assessed to you if you do not attend your work activity.

  • Please call our call center at 973-395-8000 to schedule a telephone interview.

  • All clients who receive food assistance through NJ SNAP will receive the maximum benefit for their family size in May to help address critical food needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clients can check their balance at NJFamiliesFirst.com or by calling the number on your card.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Legal Notices

 
Social Security Administration - COVID-19 Economic Impact Payment

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.

“Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take an action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

To determine whether you need to take any action to receive your economic impact payment, or a payment for your qualifying child, visit this link: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/assets/materials/economic-impact-payments-for-social-security-and-ssi-recipients.pdf

Supplemental Security Income Recipients Will Receive Automatic COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments

The Social Security Administration announced today that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will receive automatic Economic Impact Payments directly from the Treasury Department.  Treasury anticipates these automatic payments no later than early May.

SSI recipients who have qualifying children under age 17, however, should not wait for their automatic $1,200 individual payment.  They should now go to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info section to provide their information.

For more information, please visit https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/.

Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015 (SASPA) - Procedure for obtaining a temporary protection order - Modified to address COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the New Jersey Judiciary is implementing all possible measures to apply social distancing in current court operations, consistent with the recommendations of the New Jersey Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.  Accordingly, the procedures for applying for a SASPA protective order have been temporarily modified.

Relief for Tenants and Homeowners

New Jersey Eviction Moratorium - Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 106 stops tenants and homeowners from being locked out or removed from their homes from March 19, 2020, until up to two months after the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Federal Eviction Moratorium - Stops nonpayment of rent eviction cases against tenants living in Federally subsidized housing (including public housing, project based Section 8 buildings, Low Income Housing Tax Credit buildings, and the Section 8 voucher program). This began March 27, 2020 and extends for 120 days.

Foreclosure Relief for Homeowners - the CARES Act stops foreclosures, including the filing of foreclosure complaints, seeking a foreclosure judgment, writ of execution, holding a foreclosure sale or executing a foreclosure-related eviction. This applies to homeowners with federally-backed mortgages. 

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have extended their moratorium on foreclosures and evictions on single-family homes until at least August 31, 2020, according to an announcement from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Administration. The moratorium applies mortgages backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for single-family homes only.

  ​

Federal Mortgage Payment Relief - the CARES Act offers borrowers with federally backed mortgages  up to 180 day forbearance plans (i.e., temporary suspension of monthly payments) if they have a financial hardship caused, directly or indirectly, by the COVID-19 emergency. To apply, contact your loan servicer to request forbearance. No additional fees, penalties, or additional interest will be added to your account.

NJ Mortgage Payment Relief - NJ offers a 90 forbearance program agreed to by 40 different mortgage lenders.  For more information see:

https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/covid/mortgagerelief.html

https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/covid/mortgagerelief/index.html

The City of Newark 2020 Emergency Fund for Rental Housing Assistance Impacted by COVID-19 grant application is now closed. Those residents who applied who were selected to receive aid will be notified by email.

Executive Order on Security Deposits

Governor Murphy enacted Executive Order 128, which allows most tenants to apply their security deposit to the rent for up to 60 days after the end of the State of Emergency.

New Jersey Administrative Order Protecting Hotel and Motel Resident(s)

New Jersey Administrative Order 2020-9 provides a moratorium on removing residents in hotels and motels for up to 60 days after the end of the state of emergency if they have no alternate housing to return to.

 

As clarification, individuals who have no permanent housing to which they may safely or lawfully return and live at a hotel or motel on a continual basis are not considered “transient guests or seasonal tenants”, and thus are entitled to the protections against evictions included in Executive Order No. 106 (2020).