In the News

Recent New Jersey Orders Involving Commercial Properties

New Jersey Law Journal

February 11, 2021

Sills Cummis’ Joshua Howley and Michael Geraghty were interviewed for a New Jersey Law Journal article about two New Jersey Orders dated February 5, 2021 – one involves the commencement of commercial landlord-tenant trials in certain circumstances and the other involves commercial foreclosure trials.   

As seen in this article, “On Monday, the New Jersey judiciary issued an order expanding and clarifying landlords’ ability to obtain trials in commercial landlord-tenant matters. And on the same day, the judiciary announced that state courts will resume issuing postjudgment writs of possession in commercial foreclosure cases.” 

The article later states, “The order will allow certain commercial landlords to proceed, such as the owners of properties housing restaurants that lost business due to COVID-19 and were unable to keep going based only on takeout orders, said Michael Geraghty, a lawyer at Sills Cummis & Gross in Newark who handles commercial landlord-tenant issues. In some cases, property owners complain to him that their tenant seems to have vacated the premises, but they can’t take possession of it without a court order, he says. 

“‘It’s a help to that category of landlord who are sitting with tenants who have stopped conducting business,’ said Geraghty. 

“However, the landlord-tenant order won’t help property owners whose commercial tenants remain in business but don’t pay rent, Geraghty said.” 

The article concludes, “Joshua Howley, another Sills Cummis lawyer who handles commercial foreclosures, said the order concerning foreclosures was an attempt to address discrepancies in practices employed around New Jersey. He said some counties have not conducted sheriff’s sales, due to confusion over proper procedures, during the pandemic. 

“But even though the order should allow commercial lenders to carry out foreclosures to their conclusion, Howley doesn’t anticipate any big bump in commercial foreclosures as a result. 

“‘I don’t view the notice to the bar opening the floodgates on foreclosures.’ The order ‘will provide clarity for all the involved parties—lenders, borrowers and sheriffs—that it is OK to proceed. It will allow commercial foreclosures to head to a conclusion. I don’t think it’s good for anyone that commercial properties are in limbo,’ said Howley.”