The October 29, 2014, deadline for policyholders to file a flood proof of loss is now less than two months away. The New Jersey federal court is continuing to accelerate resolution of pending Hurricane Sandy cases by shortening the time frames for the parties to complete arbitration and mediation in claims, whether by flood, wind, or other means, arising from the October 2012 storm.
In order to accomplish this, on August 13, 2014, the court entered Standing Order 14-3 which temporarily modifies the following local civil rules and which applies exclusively to Hurricane Sandy litigation:
- L. Civ. R. 201.1(f)(1): The arbitrator may extend the date of the hearing by a maximum of 14 days beyond the hearing date set forth in the Court’s Order, instead of 30 days.
- L. Civ. R. 201.1(g): The arbitrator must file his/her written award within 14 days after the hearing commences unless enlarged by a Judge or Magistrate Judge, rather than within 30 days after the hearing is concluded.
- L. Civ. R. 201.1(g): The arbitration award shall be entered as the judgment of the court after the 30 day period for demanding trial de novo in all Hurricane Sandy litigation cases pursuant to L. Civ. R. 201.1(h)(1) as modified herein has expired, rather than after the 60 day period in cases where the United States or any employee or agency thereof is a party.
- L. Civ. R. 201.1(h)(1): The period for filing and serving a written demand for trial de novo shall be 30 days in all Hurricane Sandy litigation, rather than 60 days in those cases in which the United States or any employee or agency thereof is a party.
- L. Civ. R. 301.1(c): A mediator shall be compensated a total of $250 for service in each case referred to mediation, rather than being compensated at the rate of $300 per hour; further, the mediator shall be responsible for billing the parties, who shall bear equal portions of the mediator’s bill.
- L. Civ. R. 301.1(e)(6): All proceedings in a civil action shall be stayed for 30 days, rather than 90 days, from the date that the civil action is referred to mediation, during which period the mediation shall be completed; however, the 30 day stay period can be modified by a judge or magistrate judge upon request of the mediator.
These rules are only a temporary modification to the Local Civil Rules and are to be in effect for a period not to exceed one (1) year and until further Order of the court.