Representing Yourself in an Emergent Matter
Child Custody and Visitation
You can file your family case as an emergent matter if immediate and permanent harm will occur if your case isn’t heard right away. You can ask for things like emergency custody, termination of visitation, or temporary prevention of relocation of a child outside of New Jersey. Use the Emergent Application Order to Show Cause and the Model Form for Dissolution, Non-dissolution, and Domestic Violence and email them to the emergent filing mailbox for your county listed below.
You can file a special civil case as an emergent matter if you are a tenant and 1) you have been locked out by your landlord without a court order; 2) you have had your utilities turned off or otherwise not able to live in your rental home; or 3) you need access to your personal property and/or have had your personal property taken by your landlord. Use the Illegal Lockout packet and email it to the emergent filing mailbox for your county listed below.
You can ask the court to appoint a temporary (pendente lite) guardian for an adult with a physical or mental disability that you believe is incapable of making their own decisions. This can only be requested if there is an application for general guardianship pending with the courts, and if there is a critical need to protect the person from substantial harm to their physical or mental health, their safety or well-being, or their property or business affairs. See Court Rule 4:86 for more information. This type of case is usually filed with the county Surrogate’s Office. If your county Surrogate’s Office is closed, email your filing to the emergent filing mailbox for your county listed below.
Removal of Guardian and Appointment of Substitute Guardian
You can ask the court to substitute a different guardian for an incapacitated adult if the guardian’s actions pose a risk of substantial harm to the incapacitated person’s physical or mental health, safety or well-being, or to their property or business affairs. See Court Rule 4:86 for more information. This type of case is usually filed with the county Surrogate’s Office. If your county Surrogate’s Office is closed, email your filing to the emergent filing mailbox for your county listed below.
Other Immediate Health and Safety Hazards
You can file an emergent matter related to immediate health and safety hazards, such as environmental hazards. You must show that immediate and permanent harm will occur if it is not addressed right away. Use the Order to Show Cause with Temporary Restraints and email it to the emergent filing mailbox for your county listed below.
Emergent Matters That Can Be Filed Only by Attorneys on Behalf of Institutions
There are additional emergency cases that can be initiated only by an institution, including
- Quarantine applications, filed by state or local health departments, to enforce a quarantine or isolation order or otherwise restrict a person’s movements in certain public health situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic ;
- Special medical guardianships, filed by the administrator of a healthcare facility, seeking to give consent for lifesaving medical treatment for a patient who is unable to give consent themselves; and
- Protective arrangements, initiated by a county Adult Protective Services agency asking the court to authorize protective services for a vulnerable adult subject to abuse, neglect or exploitation.
Your local court ombudsman is available to answer questions about these and other case types.
Where to E-mail Your Emergent Filing
- Essex County -- EsxEmergent.Mailbox@njcourts.gov