Union County Surrogate Statement on Reports of U.S. Postal Service Delays
Union County Surrogate James S. LaCorte issued the following statement in response to actions reportedly taken by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy resulting in delays in the delivery of mail.
“If accurate, the reports of an intentional slowdown in mail delivery go beyond allegations of election interference to impact the emotional and financial well-being of our residents, who are already coping with the economic and social fallout of the COVID-19 crisis as they work through the process of estate settlement,” said Surrogate LaCorte. “Any delay in the normal course of procedure only adds to the stress and heartbreak of losing a loved one.”
“Postmaster DeJoy has announced his intention to suspend his actions, but the damage has already been done. The Postal Service must be returned to normal operations as quickly as possible, and those responsible for this callous neglect of a vital, constitutionally mandated service must be called to account for their actions,” added LaCorte.
The Surrogate’s Office has been experiencing delays of up to three weeks in mail delivery since June, even as the need for its services has increased significantly during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In July, the office conducted 64 administrations and 155 probates, an overall increase of almost 40% compared to July 2019.
The Surrogate office is closed to the general public.
Hours of operation effective immediately will be Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm for phone, fax or email only.
- For questions and/or concerns email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org or send a fax to 908-351-9212.
- For general information about COVID-19 call the New Jersey Department of Health at 800-222-1222 or 800-962-1253.
- A toll free emotional support line is also available at 877-294-HELP (4357).
During the COVID-19 closure, our office will continue to process paperwork to probate Wills, appoint Administrators and perform other Surrogate appointments. You can mail or fax the information sheet, death certificate, copy of Will (if applicable) and asset page to our office and the paperwork will be reviewed and processed by the staff. If you prefer to email, you should email all documents to Susan Dinardo at email@example.com and it will be forward to the appropriate clerks for filing during our modified office hours. All paperwork will be mailed or emailed to you and/or your attorney for signatures and returned to our office for filing and preparation of fiduciary documents.
All Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part matters should be handled in a similar manner. You may mail new Complaints and Orders to Show Cause to the office for review and filing. Any emergent matters should be emailed directly to Lisa Brophy at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will correspond with counsel or pro se clients about the handling of these matters with the Superior Court Judge. You may also email Ms. Brophy any new Complaints for filing and they will also be filed during our modified office hours.
I believe I have a responsibility as Surrogate to keep the people of Union County aware of the necessity for estate planning and have therefore prepared this web site for your information.
It is important for you to know if you leave no Will, the laws of New Jersey will determine who shall receive your property. The law makes no distinction as to youth or age, illness or health, wealth or poverty, or any of the many other special circumstances which often vitally affect the well being of your own family, or the special causes that are most important to you. Only through a legal Will can you provide for those you love.
This web site is also provided to inform you of the services to which you are entitled from the Union County Surrogate’s Office.
Please be assured that my staff and I are here to advise and assist you in any matter pertaining to these services. Our office is located on the Second Floor, Old Annex, Union County Court House, 2 Broad St., Elizabeth, New Jersey. If we can be of any help to you, if you have a question, or if you wish to arrange a date to have the Surrogate speak before your club or organization, contact us at this office or call 908-527-4280