What Happens on Your Day in Court?
Before going into the court room, you must sign in at the court window. Roll call is taken at the start of each court session. Once roll call is completed, the Judge will give an opening statement prior to the start of the court session explaining court procedures and rights of the defendants. This statement shall not, however, be a substitute for the Judge advising individual defendants of their rights prior to their respective hearings.
Cases that are scheduled by the court are to be heard in order as controlled by the New Jersey Court Rules. The court shall follow this order as closely as possible.
The order in which cases are called
1) Requests for postponements(cases to be reschedule for another court date);
2) Unlitigated motions;
3) Arraignments (advising defendants of rights/penalties);
a. Guilty pleas:
If the defendant pleads guilty, the Judge will ask questions regarding the offense charged to make sure that there is a basis for a guilty plea,enter a guilty finding and sentence the defendant according to the statue.
b. Not Guilty pleas:
If the defendant pleads not guilty and all involved parties are present, the case will proceed to trial. The State (Prosecutor) and the Defense (Attorney or Defendant) will both present their case to the Judge. Once both parties have finished with presenting their case, closing statements will be made. Once the Judge has heard all the testimony, the Judge will decide whether the defendant is guilty, not guilty or if the case should be dismissed. If the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty at the end of the trial, the Judge will then impose a sentence.
5) Litigated motions;
6) Contested matters with an attorney, and
7) Other contested matters.