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Union Vicinage Family Division

New Annex Building
Elizabethtown Plaza
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07207

The Family Division of Union County is dedicated towards resolving disputes, assuring the rights of litigants and the protection of the community. The Family Division Presiding Judge, the Family Division Manager and the support staff all work closely to ensure that litigants feel that they were treated fairly and justly. The Family Division is complex, encompassing ten different case or docket types which receive almost 500 new cases a week.

  • The Domestic Violence area handles more than 75 Temporary and Final Restraining Orders per week;
  • The Case Reception/Intake Team receives approximately 200 child support, custody and visitation complaints per week;
  • The Matrimonial Team takes in approximately 80 new cases per week; and,
  • The Juvenile Team receives 80 juvenile complaints per week.

FAMILY DIVISION MANAGEMENT STAFF

Family Division Administration is located on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse Annex Building that is just behind the Main Courthouse on Elizabethtown Plaza.

Types of matters handled: Juvenile Delinquency; Domestic Violence; Dissolution (Divorce); Non-Dissolution (Child Support, Custody, Visitation); Child Placement; Child Abuse and Neglect; Termination of Parental Rights; Family Crisis; Domestic Violence Violations.

NAME TITLE LOCATION PHONE NUMBER

Edgar F. Sepulveda

Family Division Manager

1st Floor, New Annex

908-659-5827

Agnes Ekama

Assistant Family Division
Manager

2nd Floor, New Annex

908-659-5826

Naomi Miranda

Assistant Family Division
Manager

5th Floor, New Annex

908-659-5874

Sandy Boucher

Administrative Specialist

2nd Floor, New Annex

908-659-5827

FAMILY DIVISION JUDGES

NAME LOCATION TEAM LEADER PHONE NO.

Lisa F. Chrystal, P.J.F.P.

10th Floor Tower

Maria Velazquez

908-659-4743

Bradford  M. Bury J.S.C.

3rd Floor – Old Annex #301A

Lisa Zervas

908-659-5908

William A. Daniel, J.S.C.

5th Floor, New Annex #5A

Joseph Sterenczak

908-659-5829

Daniel R. Lindemann, J.S.C.

2nd Floor, Rotunda #201

Jessica Ranjbar

908-659-4741

Robert Kirsch, J.S.C

5th Floor, New Annex, #5B

Neil Ash

908-659-5881

Linda E. Mallozzi, J.S.C.

2nd Floor, Rotunda #204

Jose Oliveira

908-659-4740

Thomas J. Walsh, J.S.C.

Basement Rotunda

Alphonzo Davis

908-659-4783

James P. Wilson, J.S.C.

3rd Floor Rotunda #301

Jose Oliveira

908-659-4740

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT:

Main Number 908-659-5830 or 5832
Fax Number 908-659-5834
Domestic Violence Hotline - (800) 787-3224 or (800) 799-SAFE (7233) Battered Woman's Hotline - 908-355-1500 Victim Witness - 908-527-4596
Eligibility for Restraining Orders:
Any person, 18 years old or older who has been subjected to violence by the following:

  • A spouse.
  • A former spouse.
  • Any person with whom the victim has had a child.
  • A present or former household member.
  • A victim can be younger than 18 years of age if:
  • A present or former dating relationship; but only if the defendant is 18 years old or older.
  • Victim has a child with the defendant.
NAME TITLE PHONE NUMBER

Joseph Sterenczak

Team Leader

908-659-5839

Fernando Machado

Hearing Officer

908-659-5935

Batterers Program

Juan Avila

908-659-5842

David Schneider

Assistant Prosecutor, D.V. Unit

908-527-4580

 

MATRIMONIAL (DISSOLUTION)/NON-DISSOLUTION INTAKE/RECEPTION TEAM LEADERS

If you have a specific need for forms regarding the filing of a divorce or motion, we recommend that you visit the Court's Law Library or contact a local attorney. It is also against policy to impart legal advice.

NAME TELEPHONE NUMBER

John Boll, Matrimonial Intake

908-659-3254

Rhonda Watts, Non-Dissolution Intake, Consent Hearing Officer

908-659-5828

Kim Holley, Non-Dissolution Intake

908-659-5820

Filing fees for Matrimonial cases:

  • Complaints of Divorce: $275.00 with children; $250 without children
  • Appearance / Answer: $160.00 with children; $135 without children
  • Motions: $30.00
  • Order to Show Cause: $30.00
  • Child Support Hearing Officer - please call the number listed on your subpoena.
  • Tips for filing for child support, custody and visitation in Non-Dissolution cases: (Non-matrimonial parties).
  • The child for whom custody is sought must have resided in the State of New Jersey for six months and must currently live in Union County.
  • If you are not the natural parent(s) of the child(ren) in question, the court must notify the natural parents about your request for custody.
  • Natural parents must provide proof of relationship to the child (birth certificate, baptismal record, school record, proof of paternity or Certificate of Parentage).
  • If you are awarded custody, you must keep custody until another adult is willing to assume custody of the child(ren).
  • If you are divorced, you must file a motion in the county where the divorce was granted. The motion must be filed with the "Dissolution Unit" of the Family Court in that county.
  • There is a $6.00 filing fee for Child Support applications, payable by check or money order. NO CASH.
  • If you are applying for custody of a child who is currently receiving Welfare, a copy of the Custody Order will be forwarded to the Union County Division of Welfare.
  • If DYFS (Division of Youth and Family Services) has an active case regarding the child(ren) we can only accept your request for custody if you have, in your possession, a letter from DYFS recommending custody be awarded to you or a letter stating that the DYFS case is closed.
  • If you are alleging CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT, you must notify DYFS at 877 NJABUSE
  • The absent parent (for child support) must live in N.J. or it becomes a UIFSA complaint (Out of state or county complaint).
  • If you are filing for custody, you must have the address of both natural parents.

CHILDREN IN COURT TEAM

This team is dedicated to aid children who are in foster care or other residential placement and may be in the care of the Division of Youth and Family Services. The Team is responsible for case management for children who are currently placed outside of their homes because of alleged parental abuse or neglect. The Team is also responsible for the processing of all Abuse/Neglect and Guardianship cases filed with the court by DYFS. The Child Placement Review Boards and the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program supports this process.

TEAM LEADER TELEPHONE NUMBER

Jessica Ranjbar

908-659-4741

Jane Phillips

908-659-4626

Lisa Zervas

908-659-5908

Scheduling of Abuse/Neglect & Termination of Parental Rights:
Please call number on your notice.
Child Placement Review scheduling:
Please call number on your invoice

JUVENILE TEAM

The Juvenile team takes in between 90-100 juvenile complaints per month. The Team is responsible for the docketing and the scheduling of all juvenile delinquency and family crisis matters. Cases are divided into the following categories for purposes of scheduling Court hearings. The system is based upon the severity of the alleged offense and the juvenile's prior complaint history:

  • Court, Representation Mandatory Calendar
  • Court, Representation Not Mandatory Calendar
  • Juvenile Referee
  • Juvenile Intake Service Conference
NAME TITLE/ADDRESS TELEPHONE NO.

Nancy Spano-Yurek

Coordinator, Juvenile Conference Committee Program

908-659-4604

Neil Ash

Team Leader

908-659-5881

Sue Gleason

Assistant Prosecutor, Juvenile Unit

908-527-4631

Jennifer Edwards

Juvenile Probation

908-659-4096

 

Crisis Intervention Unit

908-298-7800

 

Youth Services Bureau 1130 East St. Georges Ave. Linden , NJ

908-298-7800

 

Public Defenders Office 65 Jefferson Avenue Elizabeth , NJ

908-820-3110


Assignment of Counsel Hearings (5A Hearings):

5A Hearings are performed on all cases listed on the Representation Mandatory calendar. Hearings are scheduled to fill out application for an attorney. According to household income, families may be eligible for either a Public Defender or a Court Assigned Attorney.
If a parent or guardian fails to appear for a scheduled Assignment of Counsel Hearing, a bench warrant may be issued for the parent!
Tips for when you come in for Assignment of Counsel Hearings (5A Hearings):

  • Have the past 2 current pay stubs for yourself and your spouse.
  • Have your spouse's social security number.
  • Bring last year's tax return.
  • Bring any outstanding medical bills.
  • Bring a copy of the complaint.
  • If on public assistance, bring your I.D. number.
  • In case of emergency adjournment, you must notify the court as soon as possible so an adjournment can be arranged.
  • Please be on time!

JUVENILE REFEREE PROGRAM:

A Juvenile Referee is a trained professional who handles cases that are too complex for a diversion program, yet may not be severe enough for a Court hearing before a Judge. A Juvenile Referee can however, recommend that a case be given to a Judge to hear should the case require Judicial intervention. A Juvenile Referee will hear the case, and make specific recommendations to the Judge who will sign the ultimate Order.
Juvenile Referees are:

  • Derrick McGhee: 908-659-5878

JUVENILE INTAKE SERVICES CONFERENCE:

The Intake Services Conference is set up to hear matters concerning delinquency complaints that are relatively minor in nature.

JUVENILE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE PROGRAM:

The Juvenile Conference Committee is a court appointed committee, composed of trained citizen volunteers who live in the County. JCC's will hear and determine first and second time minor juvenile delinquency matters. There are currently 22 Juvenile Conference Committees operating in Union County with close to 150 members. Every municipality is represented by a Juvenile Conference Committee.

VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS:

For more information, please contact
Nancy Spano Yurek at 908-659-4604
E-mail at Nancy.Yurek@judiciary.state.nj.us
Fax number: 908-659-5977
The Family Division supports a large Volunteer community. Our Volunteer Coordinators work hard to recruit and train caring individuals. There are four (4) volunteer programs within the Family Division of Union County.

  • Child Placement Review Board
  • Juvenile Conference Committee Program (Youth members are currently being recruited)
  • Supervised Visitation
  • Early Settlement Panels of experienced lawyers (Dissolution Cases)
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