The destruction in New Jersey caused by Hurricane Sandy included damage to and destruction of active case files maintained by attorneys and self-represented litigants in areas affected by the hurricane and its aftermath. To assist those affected attorneys and self-represented litigants to reconstruct their lost or damaged files, the Judiciary is providing an emergent assistance process by which those affected can request, at no cost: (a) a listing of their active cases, and (b) copies of court documents in specific cases.
An “active” case file for these purposes is defined as follows:
• Any Superior Court matter that has an “active” status in the court’s case management system. These are matters that have not been marked settled, dismissed, or those where judgment/summary judgment has not been entered), any matter where the time to appeal has not yet expired, any matter post-judgment that has an active writ, any matter post-judgment that has a proceeding or application pending before the court, or any matter where an application to the court cannot be made without obtaining new copies of documents in the court’s files;
• Any docketed judgments where the statutory period of the judgment (generally 20 years) has not expired, where a judgment was revived prior to the expiration date and the revival is still within the statutory period, or where the statutory period is expired but has been tolled, or extended, by the court;
• Any Municipal Court cases that have not been disposed of; and
• Any case pending a decision of the Tax Court, Appellate Division, or Supreme Court; in these courts, however, the need for copies of documents will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis regardless of the status of the case.
Affected attorneys and self-represented litigants can request a list of their active cases by completing the Active Case File Recovery Assistance — Emergent Hurricane Sandy Request Form. The form can be accessed on the Judiciary’s website and the New Jersey Bar Association’s website. The completed form can then be submitted to SCCO via a new dedicated email address (RequestsForRecordsDestroyedByHurricaneSandy.Mailbox@judiciary.state.nj.us).
This same form can be used to request copies of specific case files. Priority will be given to those requests in cases with upcoming trials or other emergent needs.
Adversaries of attorneys and self-represented litigants in cases affected by this hurricane-related loss of files are encouraged to assist in reconstructing those case files to the extent possible, thereby allowing for a more complete reconstruction of case files to include documents not contained within the court’s files.
Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.
Acting Administrative Director of the Courts
Dated: November 15, 2012