Justice Fernandez-Vina Will be Temporarily Absent

The Supreme Court announced yesterday that Justice Fernandez-Vina recently had eye surgery and is scheduled for another operation “in the near future” as well.  Accordingly, he will not be participating in oral arguments for “a number of months.”  As a result, he will not take any role in those cases, though he will continue to participate in cases that have already been argued, and in the Supreme Court’s review of petitions for certification.  Until Justice Fernandez-Vina resumes his full duties, the Court will handle its docket with six jurists (five Justices and Judge Cuff) sitting.

Whether Chief Justice Rabner makes a temporary assignment of an Appellate Division judge (most likely Judge Fuentes, who is has the most seniority out of all of the Appellate Division judges) to sit in place of Justice Fernandez-Vina remains to be seen.  That may depend on the course of Justice Fernandez-Vina’s treatment and recovery.  The judiciary stated that he is “recovering well” from the eye surgery that he has already had.