New Jersey Supreme Court Issues Order Clarifying Residential/Commercial Eviction Procedures in Response to the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
On February 5, 2021, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an Order (the “Order”) clarifying and expanding certain provisions of the Court’s July 14, 2020 Order relating to applications for residential and commercial landlord/tenant eviction trials. The Court’s Order provides that:
- Landlords/plaintiffs may—in emergent circumstances—apply for an Order to Show Cause for eviction in both residential matters and commercial matters;
- In determining whether to issue the Order to Show Cause, the court in both residential matters and commercial matters shall review the complaint and determine whether an emergency exists (e.g., violence against other tenants; criminal activity; extreme damage to residence; death of tenant or permanent closure of the business resulting in vacancy of the property);
- In residential matters, the basis of that landlord/tenant action cannot be nonpayment of rent, except in the case of the death of the tenant;
- In commercial matters, the basis of that landlord/tenant action cannot be nonpayment of rent, except where: (i) the tenant has vacated the property; (ii) the tenant's business is not operating and will not resume operations; or (iii) the commercial landlord is facing foreclosure or a tax lien;
- The court, based on its determination as to whether an emergency exists, may schedule a landlord/tenant trial, as permitted by Executive Order 106. Following any such trial an eviction may proceed in the "interest of justice."