Appellate Division Procedures to Expedite Appeals From Denial of Medical Furlough Applications by Inmates

As discussed here, the Supreme Court recently added due process protections to Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 124, which created a mechanism to identify persons held in state prisons or juvenile facilities who might obtain furloughs or parole due to COVID-19. The Appellate Division has announced procedures to expedite appeals from the denial of such relief. Those procedures are available here.

In summary, such appeals are to be filed via eCourts Appellate and the appeals should be designated on the system as being sealed. Letter briefs, not to exceed eight pages, are to be filed simultaneously by the parties within three days of the filing of the notice of appeal. Neither extensions of time nor reply briefs are permitted without leave of court.

The parties are “strongly encouraged to share documents as early as possible during the administrative process, and to file a joint appendix,” so as to implement the Supreme Court’s intent to expedite these appeals. There will be no oral argument, and the Appellate Division “shall issue its decision within three (3) days of receiving the submissions by all parties.”

Those provisions refer to the furlough program. COVID-related appeals from the Parole Board, from Rule 3:21-10(b)(2) decisions (which allow the amendment of “a custodial sentence to permit the release of a defendant because of illness or infirmity of the defendant”), and from Family Part decisions concerning juveniles in custody shall automatically be accelerated when filed. The Clerk’s Office will issue an expedited scheduling order, and the appeal will be “placed on the first available calendar and be decided expeditiously.” The Appellate Division may develop additional procedures for these types of appeals at a later date.