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First Appearance

Once a complaint is issued, defendants are either arrested or issued a summons or notice to appear in Municipal or Superior Court on a first appearance. If they fail to appear, a warrant may be issued for the accused's arrest by a judge if there is proof of service, or evidence that the accused received the summons or notice and failed to appear. At the first court appearance, defendants are advised of their rights. Their bail is reviewed.

In the Essex Vicinage, there is a Central Judicial Processing Court, (CJP) which is located on the fifth (5th) floor of the Veterans Courthouse.  This court was established to handle initial bail reviews of cases involving arrests for indictable offenses. CJP has evolved into a clearinghouse of sorts, where indictable cases are screened by the Prosecutor's Office and diverted according to the complexity.  As a result of these screening decisions, cases are referred to the Grand Jury, Criminal Courts, Remand Court or Family Court.

CJP court, like all other courts in the Vicinage, is organized around the team concept. The CJP team, (as part of the Criminal Division) is organized into units. There are three (3) units; the Clerical, Investigative and the Indigency Screening Units.

The Clerical Unit is responsible for complaint intake, sound recording, data entry, team statistics and the court event. The Investigative Unit is responsible for researching defendants' criminal history, determining their bail status, recommending cases for diversion as well as determining the true jail status of defendants committed and awaiting CJP. The Indigency Screening Unit is responsible for interviewing defendants that are initially charged with indictable offenses to determine their eligibility to be represented by a Public Defender.

CJP Court is presided over by a Newark Municipal Court judge. Two (2) Public Defenders and three (3) Assistant Prosecutors with the respective staff are assigned to CJP court.

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