In the wake of the financial disaster created by the COVID pandemic, many New Jersey landlords and tenants have become familiar with Executive Order 106, which states that no lockouts of residential tenants can occur until two months after the State of Emergency has ended. As of the date of our last blog, it appeared that the State of Emergency would end in early July. However, after two extensions, the State of Emergency is now scheduled to expire in September. Of course, we cannot predict whether an additional extension will be granted, but it would be an understatement to say that we are very concerned.
Concurrent to the State of Emergency is the fact that the Courts simply cannot open due to safety concerns. Consequently, if you are one of the unlucky landlords who filed your matter after the middle of February and your matter did not get reached before the Courts closed on March 16, you may be waiting a very long time for your matter to get scheduled for trial. We estimate that there are currently 45,000 Landlord Tenant cases in the New Jersey Courts that are still waiting for trial dates.
In the meantime, the Court is also eager to resume hearing cases and they have considered alternate ways to do so. These methods include online hearings for those litigants who have access to computers.