Chief Justice
Stuart Rabner

Acting Administrative Director of the Courts
Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.

Richard J. Hughes Complex
25 Market Street
PO Box 037
Trenton, NJ 08625

Office of Communications and Community Relations

Director
Winnie Comfort

Editor
Mike Mathis

Phone: (609) 292-9580
Fax: (609) 394-0128

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A Message from Judge Glenn A. Grant, Acting Administrative Director of the Courts.

Events which take place in our New Jersey courtrooms involve the full spectrum of life concerns.  Family matters, landlord tenant issues, complaints regarding fellow citizens, the prosecution of those who break the law – a myriad of life events bring the people of New Jersey into our courthouses. The Judiciary is dedicated to ensuring that each person who enters a court in our state is treated fairly and given a voice.

We’ve launched an initiative called Ensuring an Open Door to Justice to promote statewide awareness of the importance of access and fairness in our courts. This initiative is a continuation of the Judiciary’s long history of, and commitment to, equal treatment for all court users. Some examples of how the Judiciary ensures equal access include removing barriers for people with disabilities, providing interpreting assistance for people who speak little or no English and developing forms and other educational tools for litigants who are not represented by lawyers.

To build upon this foundation, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner formed the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Access and Fairness in the New Jersey Courts. The committee is comprised of judges, Judiciary staff and members of various public organizations and the bar.  It is developing a statewide campaign to involve all Judiciary employees in maintaining and enhancing access and fairness for consumers of court services. We recognize the importance of this endeavor despite significant organizational and structural challenges, such as the continued increase in the number of self-represented litigants, the cultural and demographic changes occurring in our state, and the economic pressures on litigants and the courts.

The Access and Fairness Initiative builds upon the Judiciary’s many accomplishments in recognizing and responding to challenges through the development of programs and services that improve the courthouse and courtroom experience. 

Central to this campaign is the focus on four key elements that impact one’s courthouse experience: respect, voice, neutrality and trust.  These concepts, referred to as “procedural fairness” in other states, are already embodied in the Judiciary’s existing core values of independence, integrity, trust, and quality service.

The Judiciary has a history of progressively removing barriers; in the early 1980s the Supreme Court Committees on Minority Concerns and Women in the Courts were formed. 

We have accomplished much to advance access and fairness in our courts, including enhanced customer service and technological achievements such as the ability for drivers to pay tickets online and litigants to electronically file some court documents.

We’ve established the Ombudsman Program, with a dedicated customer service manager in every courthouse to provide one-on-one specialized services to court users and to facilitate educational programs about the courts. Four courthouses have self-help centers to assist self-represented litigants with their court matters. With more than 80,000 interpreting events occurring in Superior Courts annually, the New Jersey Judiciary provides court interpreting services at no cost.

We broadcast Supreme Court arguments online and have made extensive use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to inform and educate the public about court news, programs and services.

But we recognize more can be done.  Over the next few months, you will be hearing more about the Access and Fairness Initiative.

Please visit Ensuring an Open Door to Justice online and learn more about how the Judiciary is enhancing access and fairness to the courts for all people.

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