On March 21, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order mandating all non-essential retail businesses temporarily close in order to halt the spread of COVID-19. This has affected DCPP investigations, ongoing cases, and court hearings. Most DCPP staff has been ordered to work from home. As of April 6, all permanency, adoption, and resource staff are working remotely. Emergency removals are still occurring and hearings will be conducted remotely—most likely by telephone. As of right now, the state’s court system will be adjourning all fact-findings in child abuse and neglect cases, as well as termination of parental rights trials, though courts are discussing if the system will have to resort to having trials remotely.
You still have rights in your DCPP case. You should still being having contact with your children and access to services. If you are facing a removal of your child or visitation has stopped please contact the LSNJLAWSM Hotline at www.lsnjlawhotline.org or 1-888-576-5529.