Published herewith is the September 2000 Report of the Committee of Special Civil Part Supervising Judges on Standardization of Operating Procedures and Best Practices, including appendices “A” through “F”. The Report is the product of a year long effort by the Supervising Judges, acting as a Committee of the Conference of Civil Presiding Judges, that included extensive dialogue with the organized bar, Civil Division Managers, Special Civil Part Clerks, and the Supreme Court Committee on Special Civil Part Practice. The Judicial Council has reviewed the Report and recommended to the Supreme Court that the recommendations contained therein be approved with the following exceptions:
1. In calendaring small claims and other Special Civil Part actions for damages, the complementary dispute resolution event provided for in Recommendations #9 and #20 should be scheduled for the same day as the trial so that unnecessary multiple appearances by litigants are avoided, not merely “minimized” as stated in Recommendation #9.
2. Recommendation #13, calling for an amendment to Rule 1:13-7(b) regarding the restoration of actions dismissed because of lack of service, should be approved in part. However, the Judicial Council recommends that motions to restore a case more than one year after its dismissal should be made ex parte, rather than on notice to the defendant as proposed by the Committee. This would require that the amendment to that rule include a provision that explicitly preserves defendant’s right to raise a statute of limitations defense in the main case if the court orders restoration of the case.
The Supreme Court invites written comments on this Report and the recommendations that it contains. Please send any such comments by Monday, July 23, 2001 to Hon. Richard J. Williams, Administrative Director of the Courts, Hughes Justice Complex, P.O. Box 037, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0037. Comments may also be submitted by e-mail to the following address: Comments_mailbox@njcourts.gov. All comments must include the author’s name and address (or e-mail address).
Comments submitted in response to this notice will be maintained in confidence if the author specifically requests confidentiality; in the absence of such a request, the author’s identity and comments may be subject to public disclosure.
Richard J. Williams, J.A.D.
Administrative Director of the Courts
Dated: June 1, 2001