August 13, 2012
This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers. The report may also include information about appearances of NJSBA representatives before legislative committees, and the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. The government affairs department of the association compiles the report. Following each bill number is the sponsor’s name, the NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status. Full and previous versions of the Capitol Report with links to related text are available online at www.njsba.com.
This special edition of the Capitol Report is the second of a series of reports summarizing the progress of NJSBA priority legislation since the beginning of the current legislative session.
S-1979 (PDF) (Scutari)/A-601 (PDF) (Spencer) (NJSBA opposes) Creates the Debt-Management Services Act of New Jersey. The NJSBA opposes this well-intentioned legislation, believing that by replacing New Jersey’s existing laws governing a variety of activities ranging from debt management to debt settlement to foreclosure rescue scams, New Jersey citizens would be exposed to anti-consumer credit-resolving practices.
Status: Both bills are pending review in the Senate Commerce Committee and Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, respectively.
S-723 (PDF) (Sarlo)/A-1694 (PDF) (Russo) (NJSBA supports) (NJSBA-drafted) Creates a business court. The NJSBA strongly supports the creation of a business court within the Law Division of the superior court of New Jersey. The NJSBA believes the expeditious enactment of this legislation will improve the economic climate in New Jersey. One of the primary reasons why the NJSBA endorsed the creation of a commercial and technology part was to create a cadre of judges with experience in handling not just complex litigation, but commercial litigation of all types. Such action is necessary to expedite review of these matters. The enactment of this bill will enable New Jersey to begin the process of establishing greater predictability in decisions affecting business issues, while streamlining the case management, reducing delay, and promoting the resolution of this type of litigation.
Status: Both bills are pending review in the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee, respectively.
S-315 (PDF) (Whelan)/A-700 (PDF) (Ramos) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the Office of Public Defender to provide legal representation for a child in proceedings after parental rights have been terminated. The NJSBA supports this legislation because a number of children are awaiting permanent placement. Unfortunately, after termination of parental rights, children are legal orphans until adopted. This legislation will allow legal guardians to assist with protecting the child’s interest of formalizing placement, even if an appeal is taken or new legal issues arise while placement is pending.
Status: Both bills are pending review in the Senate Judiciary Committee and Assembly Judiciary Committee, respectively.
A-903 (PDF) (Schepisi) (NJSBA supports) Revises the New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act and other laws relating thereto. The NJSBA supports this legislation, which provides immunity to a parent who voluntarily delivers a child to a safe haven, to encourage parents to safely surrender infants without fear of prosecution.
Status: The bill is pending review in the Assembly Human Services Committee.