In Bayonne, all in-person municipal court sessions remain suspended to mitigate public exposure to COVID-19. Instead, virtual court sessions have become common practice, using Zoom video conferencing.
Residents interested in resolving their cases through a virtual court proceeding can visit https://www.bayonnemunicipalcourt.org to complete a request form.
Court first ‘Zoomed’ back into session in Bayonne in May. While Gov. Phil Murphy has lifted some COVID-19 closures, in-person court appearances have not yet made the list of reinstated services.
At the start of the pandemic, many courthouses closed to prevent the further spread of the virus, including Bayonne’s. Then the city reopened municipal court via Zoom, following moves by Jersey City and Union City.
To Zoom, or not to Zoom
Those choosing to appear in the virtual court session will not have to appear at the courthouse. This option is voluntary and will be available for most court matters.
However, when it comes to trials, it depends on the case. Some trials can be held via Zoom while others must be conducted at the municipal courthouse. In-person trials will be held once the courthouse reopens.
Residents interested in appearing in the virtual court must submit the necessary form. The municipal court will schedule the matter in the virtual court, and will send an email confirmation with instructions on how to participate.
The court advised attorneys that they may use this form to request a virtual court date for their clients as well as enter their appearances upon receipt of office information and client information.
How to make payments
Since May, defendants can make payments for Municipal Complaint Time Payment Orders, and parking and traffic matters, through the municipal court’s online payment website at NJMCdirect.com.
Payments will continue to be accepted at the court by mail. Defendants can mail in payments or place them in a drop box at City Hall between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The court payment window is temporarily closed to the public.
Call the Bayonne Municipal Court office at 201-858-6934 or 201-858-6918 for non-traffic matters. Residents can also email the court office at email@example.com for questions concerning virtual court.
For updated information, visit www.njcourts.gov.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding during this difficult time,” according to a statement by the City of Bayonne.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.