BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ Bernards Township's municipal court operations are set to resume with "a slow roll in" via videoconfering this Thursday, May 7, Township Administrator Pat Monaco said last week.

However, for this week, "There will not be too many cases," Monaco said at last week's "virtual" Bernards Township Committeem which was held via Zoom videoconferencing, and televised and livestreamed.

Bernards Township Court was regularly scheduled to begin its weekly sessions at 9 a.m. each Thursday in the municipal meeting room prior to the statewide lockdown to spread the slow of COVID-19 that began in mid-March. The township's municipal court judge is Katherine E. Howes, who also is municipal court judge in neighboring Bedminster Township.

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Talks about shared court with Bedminster to pick up again

Monaco also said that Bernards Township officials will resume discussions with Bedminster Township to see if a deal can be worked out to share municipal court services in that township. Peapack-Gladstone and Bernardsville already share their municipal court operations with Bedminster, where Howes presides over a Bedminster-based court.

Last November, Bernards Township officials announced that their talks to work out an agreement with Bedminster to save public funds and increase efficiency had failed to reach a successful outcome, even after months of negotiations.

But now, Monaco said the towns are "looking to have further discussions." 

At the virtual Township Committee meeting, municipal officials discussed the slow restart of local government, which also included the reopening of the Pill Hill recycling center and disposal center this past weekend, and additional Zoom-based meetings of boards and commissions scheduled for the first three days of the week.