New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

Capitol Report

July 20, 2009

By Tamika Wilson

This is a status report on recently passed and pending legislation and regulations, gubernatorial nominations and appointments of interest to lawyers. It is compiled by the legislative department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Following each bill is the number, sponsor's name, the NJSBA position, if any, bill description and status.

New Laws

REAL PROPERTY TRUST & ESTATE LAW

P.L.2009, c.82 (Sarlo) Permits conversion of age-restricted housing units to non-age-restricted housing units and modifies laws concerning affordable housing. On July 2, S-2577 was signed by the Governor.

P.L.2009, c.84 (Watson Coleman) Regulates mortgage foreclosure forbearance period and repeals section 18 of the "Mortgage Stabilization and Relief Act" to authorize lenders and creditors to exchange information concerning delinquent borrowers. On July 2, A-3821 was signed by the Governor.

Pending Legislation

BANKING LAW

A-2496 (Holzapfel) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides uniform procedure for sheriffs to provide certain surplus notices in mortgage foreclosure actions. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (78-0-1).

A-3099 (Watson Coleman) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for continuing education for real estate brokers, broker-salespersons and salespersons, and creates a new licensing category of referral agents. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (75-3-1).

CIVIL TRIAL BAR

A-1207 (Pou) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the court to credit an indigent person under certain circumstances. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (65-14) and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-1988/A-2493 (Van Drew/Burzichelli) (Under review by the NJSBA) "New Jersey Fair Debt Collection Practices Act." On June 25, A-2493 passed in the Assembly (60-18) and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-2294/A-2143 (Lesniak/Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Adds e-mail and any other online communication to the list of prohibited contacts enumerated in permanent restraining orders for convicted stalkers. On June 25, A-2143 passed in the Assembly (78-0) and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-2763/A-4158 (Cardinale/Russo) (Under review by the NJSBA) Eliminates statute of limitations in cases brought under the "Survivor's Act" where the death resulted from murder or manslaughter under certain circumstances. On June 25, S-2763 passed in the Senate (39-0) and was referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-3348 (Cryan) (Under review by the NJSBA) Creates e-mail registration requirement for convicted stalkers. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

FAMILY LAW

S-1513/A-2323 (Kean/DiMaio) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires notification of certain domestic violence victims through the Victim Information and Notification Everyday System (VINE). On June 25, S-1513 was referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

S-2530/A-3620 (Madden/Love) (Under review by the NJSBA) Denies surviving spouse with domestic violence restraining order or charged with intentional killing of decedent right to determine disposition of human remains of deceased spouse. On June 25, A-3620 passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HEALTH & HOSPITAL LAW

S-96/A-118 (Weinberg/Vainieri Huttle) (Under review by the NJSBA) Permits physicians and veterinarians to earn continuing education credits by providing certain free medical or veterinary services. On June 25, A-118 passed in the Assembly (77-2) and was referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.

S-2312/A-3465 (Gordon/Conaway) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires uniform billing and patient data reporting by ambulatory surgical facilities. On June 25, S-2312 passed in the Senate (39-0) and was and referred to the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

A-255 (Vandervalk) (NJSBA supports) Revises New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act and other laws relating thereto. On June 25, the bill passed in the Assembly (79-0) and was referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.

HIGHER EDUCATION

S-1609 (Lesniak) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for improved structure and fiscal management of higher education in New Jersey. On June 25, the bill passed in the Senate (36-0) and is awaiting Assembly vote.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

A-2054 (Wisniewski) (NJSBA supports) Shortens time periods for adverse possession, clarifies statutes, and repeals N.J.S.2A:14-30 and N.J.S.2A:14-31. On June 25, A-2054 passed in the Assembly (64-14-1) and was referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.

Regulatory Matters

Below please find proposed regulations with a deadline for comment of September 4, unless otherwise noted:

CRIMINAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 13:78 Provides changes to Division of Criminal Justice rules regarding administration of the Victim and Witness Advocacy Fund.

HEALTH & HOSPITAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 8:40A Provides changes to Department of Health & Senior Services rules regarding training and certifications for emergency medical technicians.

INSURANCE LAW

N.J.A.C 11:3-4.2, 4.4, 4.7, 4.8, 5.4, 5.10 and 5.11 Provides changes to Department of Banking and Insurance rules regarding personal injury protection benefits, medical protocols, diagnosis test, and personal injury protection dispute resolution.

N.J.A.C. 13:88 Provides changes to Department of Law and Public Safety, Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, rules regarding rules of practice and procedure.

SCHOOL LAW

N.J.A.C. 6A:9-8.8 Provides changes to Department of Education rules regarding professional licensure and standards.

N.J.A.C. 6A:13A; 6A:8-2.3 and 3.4 Provides changes to Department of Education rules regarding elements of high quality preschool programs.

N.J.A.C. 6A:32-15.1 Provides changes to Department of Education rules for school districts to impose a fee for criminal history background checks for applicants.

N.J.A.C. 6A:23A Provides notice that the Department of Education will conduct three public hearings on fiscal accountability, efficiency and budgeting procedures. The first hearing was held on July 16. The remaining hearing will be held on July 27 and July 30. Persons wishing to testify should register online at http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap23aph.htm.

PUBLIC UTILITIES

N.J.A.C. 14:5-9.2 and 9.6 Provides notice that the Board of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing on recently proposed amendments to its Electric Service rules, which address management of vegetation around electric transmission lines on Tuesday, July 21 at 10 A.M. at the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, 8th Floor Hearing Room, Two Gateway Center in Newark. For more information go online to http://nj.gov/bpu/agenda/rules/.

The following rules were recently adopted:

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

N.J.A.C. 1:13A Readopts Office of Administrative Law rules regarding Division of Consumer Affairs Lemon Law hearings.

CONSTRUCTION LAW

N.J.A.C.5:23-3.11A Provides notice of administrative correction to Division of Codes and Standards rules regarding the Public School Facility Plan review and Inspections and Uniform Construction Code Enhancements in public school facilities.

CRIMINAL LAW

N.J.A.C. 10A:18-6.2, 6.3, 6.7, 6.9 and 6.19 Adopts amendments to Department of Corrections rules regarding approval of potential visitors, attorneys and court related personnel visits, notification of prospective visitors, and denial, termination or suspension of a visit.

HIGHER EDUCATION

N.J.A.C. 9A:9-10.6, 10.9, 10.11, 11.1, 11.2, 11.4, 11.5, 11.7 and 11.8; 9A-9-10.3, 10.4 and 10.5; 9A-9.10.2 Provides changes to Higher Education Student Assistance Authority rules regarding New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship (NJ STARS) and New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Reward Scholarship II (NJ STARS II) programs.

Note: "Under review by the NJSBA" means that the bill is currently being examined by NJSBA sections, committees and/or Board of Trustees and a final position has not yet been reached on the measure.