Calendar for New Jersey Civil Motion Dates
Each year the New Jersey Supreme Court puts out a calendar with civil motion return dates, which are normally two Fridays each month. Ideally, they are set during the first and third weeks of the month but the dates can vary because of holiday court closings.
As a general rule, the filing deadline to start a motion usually falls two Wednesdays before the motion return date and the response date is normally two Thursdays before the return date. However, the Superior Court of New Jersey is very lenient when a motion response is filed late. In addition, motions for summary judgment, family court and post-trial motions have different deadlines. The respondent in a summary judgment motion will be given at least 28 days before the motion return date. Post-trial motions must be filed within 20 days of the judgment or verdict. Family Court motions also do not have set calendar dates. Lastly, the dates for oral arguments and responses can be altered for a particular case at the judge’s discretion.
|Motion Hearing Date (Return Date)||Initial Motion Filing Date||Motion Response Date||Motion Reply Date|
1:6-3. Filing and Service of motions and Cross-Motions
(a) Motions Generally. Other than an ex parte motion and except as otherwise provided by R. 4:46-1 (summary judgment) and R. 5:5-4(c) (post judgment motions), a notice of motion shall be filed and served not later than 16 days before the specified return date unless otherwise provided by court order, which may be applied for ex parte. Thus, for example, if the return date of the motion is a Friday, the motion must be filed and served not later than the Wednesday, 16 days prior. If a motion is supported by affidavit or certification, the affidavit or certification shall be filed and served with the motion. Except as provided by R. 4:49-1(b) (motion for new trial), any opposing affidavits, certifications or objections filed pursuant to R. 1:6-2 shall be filed and served not later than 8 days before the return date unless the court relaxes that time. Thus, for example, if the return date is on a Friday, any response must be filed and served no later than Thursday of the prior week. Reply papers responding to opposing affidavits or certifications shall be filed and served not later than 4 days before the return date unless the court otherwise orders. Thus, for example, such papers must be filed and served on Monday for a return date of the following Friday. No other papers may be filed without leave of court. (b) Cross-Motions. A cross-motion may be filed and served by the responding party together with that party’s opposition to the motion and noticed for the same return date only if it relates to the subject matter of the original motion, except in Family Part motions brought under Part V of these Rules where a notice of cross-motion may seek relief unrelated to that sought in the original motion. A cross-motion relating to the subject matter of the original motion shall, if timely filed pursuant to this rule, relate back to the date of the filing of the original motion. The original moving party’s response to the cross-motion shall be filed and served as provided by paragraph (a) for reply papers. The court may, however, on request of the original moving party, or on its own motion, enlarge the time for filing an answer to the cross-motion, or fix a new return date for both. No reply papers may be served or filed by the cross-movant without leave of court. (c) Completion of Service. For purposes of this rule, service of motion papers is complete only on receipt at the office of adverse counsel or the address of a pro se party. If service is by ordinary mail, receipt will be presumed on the third business day after mailing.
1:3-1. Computation of Time
In computing any period of time fixed by rule or court order, the day of the act or event from which the designated period begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday nor legal holiday. In computing a period of time of less than 7 days, Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays shall be excluded.
4:46-1. Time for Making, Filing, and Serving Motion
A party seeking any affirmative relief may, at any time after the expiration of 35 days from the service of the pleading claiming such relief, move for a summary judgment or order on all or any part thereof or as to any defense. A party against whom a claim for such affirmative relief is asserted may move at any time for a summary judgment or order as to all or any part thereof. All motions for summary judgment shall be returnable no later than 30 days before the scheduled trial date, unless the court otherwise orders for good cause shown, and if the decision is not communicated to the parties at least 10 days prior to the scheduled trial date, an application for adjournment shall be liberally granted. Except as otherwise provided by R. 6:3-3 (motion practice in Special Civil Part) or unless the court otherwise orders, a motion for summary judgment shall be served and filed not later than 28 days before the time specified for the return date; opposing affidavits, certifications, briefs, and cross-motions for summary judgment, if any, shall be served and filed not later than 10 days before the return date; and answers or responses to such opposing papers or to cross-motions shall be served and filed not later than four days before the return date. No other papers may be filed without leave of court.
4:49-1. Motion for New Trial
(a) Grounds of Motion. A new trial may be granted to all or any of the parties and as to all or part of the issues on motion made to the trial judge. On a motion for a new trial in an action tried without a jury, the trial judge may open the judgment if one has been entered, take additional testimony, amend findings of fact and conclusions of law or make new findings and conclusions, and direct the entry of a new judgment. The trial judge shall grant the motion if, having given due regard to the opportunity of the jury to pass upon the credibility of the witnesses, it clearly and convincingly appears that there was a miscarriage of justice under the law.
(b) Time for Motion, Cross-Motion; Affidavits. A motion for a new trial shall be served not later than 20 days after the court’s conclusions are announced in nonjury actions or after the return of the verdict of the jury. The motion shall be noticed for hearing and argued no later than the second regular motion day following the service thereof, unless the court for good cause shown orders the hearing fixed for either an earlier or a later date. The opposing party may, within 10 days after service of the motion, serve a cross-motion for a new trial returnable at the same time and place as the motion. If a motion for a new trial is based upon affidavits they shall be served with the motion; opposing affidavits shall be served within 10 days thereafter which period may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 20 days either by written stipulation of the parties or court order. The court may permit reply affidavits. Except in special circumstances the motion shall be decided by the judge on trial notes without awaiting a transcript of the testimony.
(c) On Initiative of Court. Not later than 20 days after entry of judgment the court on its own motion may order a new trial for any reason for which it might have granted a new trial on motion of a party. After giving the parties notice and an opportunity to be heard on the matter the court may grant a motion for a new trial timely served, for a reason not stated in the motion. In either case, the court shall specify in the order the grounds therefor.
(d) Motion for New Trial as Not Barring Appeal. A motion for a new trial or any action or adverse determination on the motion shall not bar an appeal or the review of any matter on appeal.
Joseph Monaco, Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Lawyer
I, Joseph Monaco, have been practicing law in New Jersey for over 30 years. As a result, I am very familiar with New Jersey motion rules as a wrongful death and personal injury lawyer. The best thing about filing a motion in New Jersey is that every county follows the same rules. This is unlike Pennsylvania, where every county has its own set of local motion rules including the formats for the various motions that may be filed.
If you or a loved one have been wrongfully injured or killed as a result of someone else’s fault, call or text me at 609-277-3166 for a Free Consultation.
When are New Jersey Motions Heard?
The Superior Court of New Jersey has a calendar that sets motion dates which are usually the first and third Friday of each month. However, the dates can vary because of holidays and a judge’s prerogative to hear oral arguments on a different date.
How long do you have to file an answer to a civil motion in New Jersey?
By rule, civil motion answers are due two Thursdays before the Friday motion return date. However, certain motions such as summary judgment motions have longer response filing periods. Plus, Superior Court judges are usually lenient with the late filing a motion responses and they may also change the dates for oral arguments and responses in a particular case.