Two Grants of Leave to Appeal, and One Grant of Certification, by the Supreme Court

Supreme Court grants of certification far outnumber grants of leave to appeal. But not this time. The Supreme Court announced two grants of leave to appeal, both in criminal cases, and one grant of certification, arising from a civil case. In both leave to appeal cases, the Court issued a peremptory briefing schedule under which any motion for leave to appear as a micus curiae must be filed by May 1.

In State v. Juracan-Juracan, the question presented is “Does defendant have the right to have interpreting services provided in person, as opposed to remotely, at his criminal trial?” The Law Division ruled that interpreting services would be provided remotely. Defendant sought leave to appeal, which was denied in an order of a single Appellate Division judge. The order added that the Law Division had not abused its discretion as regarded in person vs. remote interpreting services. Now the Supreme Court will have its say.

State v. Gartrell presents this question: “After defendant fled on foot, did the police officers need a warrant to search defendant’s suitcase?” The Law Division granted a motion to suppress evidence , including weapons, ammunition, drugs, and cash, obtained from the search of the suitcase. On leave to appeal, in an unpublished per curiam opinion, a three-judge panel of the Appellate Division reversed that ruling.

Finally, in Keim v. Above All Termite & Pest Control, the Court granted certification to address this question: “Under the circumstances presented, were the employee’s injuries incurred during a motor vehicle accident compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act?” The Workers’ Compensation Division ruled that the injuries were not compensable, as the employee was not acting within the course and scope of his employment when the accident occurred. He was driving his company vehicle from his home to the employer’s shop to restock chemicals he used on jobs. An unpublished per curiam opinion of a three-judge Appellate Division panel, however, reversed that decision and found the injuries compensable.