The cases of R.K.v.D.L., 434 N.J. Super. 113 (App. Div.2014) and Major v. Maguire, 224 N.J. 1(2016) highlighted the administrative and procedural problems in the filing and handling of non-dissolution family actions, particularly those which were complex in nature. In response to these cases, Rule 5:4-2(i) was previously amended not only providing for the filing of non-dissolution complaints utilizing forms promulgated by the Administrative Director of the Court, but permitting attorneys to file their own drafted “non-conforming” complaints, as long as those complaints also had appended thereto a completed supplemental form promulgated by the Administrative Director of the Courts. In this cycle, Rule 1:5-6(c)(1)(C) was amended to make clear that in the event non-dissolution complaints were not filed on and/or with the appropriate forms as promulgated, same would be returned stamped “received but not filed (date)” with notice that if conforming papers were filed within a designated time frame, filing would be deemed to have been made on the stamped receipt date.
Rule 1:11-2 governing the Withdrawal or Substitution of Counsel was amended to add a new subsection (c) providing that where an attorney is seeking to appear representing a client who had previously appeared pro se, the attorney must file a Notice of Appearance, and not a Substitution of Attorney, and pay the appropriate Notice of Appearance fee. It should be noted that counties are also requiring new attorneys to file a Notice of Appearance in post-judgment family actions if they had not previously appeared as attorney of record in the matter.