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

Capitol Report

March 29, 2010

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. It is compiled by the government affairs department of the New Jersey State Bar Association. 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.

NJSBA Action in Trenton

S-914 (Gill) (NJSBA supports) On March 18, Stuart L. Pachman of Brach Eichler LLP (NJSBA Business Law Section) appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee on S-914, an NJSBA-drafted bill, which provides that a professional corporation may use or register an alternate name and eliminates the need for periods in corporate identifiers like P.C. and P.A. The bill was amended to expressly provide that the alternate name must contain the full or last name of one or more of the shareholders or adequately describe the type of professional service in which the professional corporation will be engaged. On March 22 the bill passed in the Senate (38-0), was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

Pending Legislation

Criminal Law

A-1050 (Quijano) (NJSBA supports) Upgrades offenses of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law to a crime of the third degree. On March 22 the bill was amended in the Assembly to create a civil action for persons who suffer damages, and provides that persons convicted of the offenses are barred from appointment as a notary public. The bill is awaiting Assembly vote.

Family Law

S-799 (Vitale) (NJSBA opposes) Provides adult adopted persons, their adult descendants, and adoptive parents and guardians of minors access to an adopted person's original birth certificate and other related documents, with certain restrictions to protect birth parents' privacy. On March 22 the bill passed in the Senate (27-10), was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Human Services Committee.

Municipal Court Practice

A-1452 (Wisniewski) (NJSBA opposes) Requires the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to modify the traffic accident report forms it supplies to police departments to indicate whether the driver was inattentive, and the particular causes of the driver's inattentiveness involved. On March 22 the bill passed in the Assembly (56-16-4).

Public Utilities

A-906 (Chivukula) (NJSBA takes no position) Requires the Board of Public Utilities to provide equal opportunity for prospective business applicants from all areas of the state that pay societal benefits charges imposed pursuant to Section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60), to apply for and receive incentives for funding under program the board determines shall be funded by that charge. On March 22 the bill passed in the Assembly (76-0).

Executive Orders

The following executive order was signed on March 19:

Executive Order No. 20 On February 9, Governor Christie issued Executive Order No. 12 creating a Housing Opportunity Task Force chaired by former Senator Marcia Karrow and four other members. The task force was formed to review New Jersey's affordable housing mission, examining the regulations and methodologies of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the State Planning Act in meeting the constitutional obligations of the Mount Laurel court decisions in a manner consistent with sound planning and economic growth. Now that the task force has completed its work and reported its findings, Governor Christie signed Executive Order No. 20, rescinding Executive Order No. 12.

AMICUS MATTERS

Klumpp v. Borough of Avalon

On March 22, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in this case, in which the NJSBA is participating as an amicus curiae party. The issue in the case is whether a municipality may occupy a property and obtain title through inverse condemnation without initiating condemnation proceedings under the Eminent Domain Act. The NJSBA argued in a brief it submitted that no taking of property can occur without the property owner having actual or constructive notice of the action. The Court has reserved decision.

Nominations

The following nominations received advice and consent by the Senate on March 22:

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF BANKING AND INSURANCE
Thomas B. Considine, of Spring Lake Heights

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Gary M. Lanigan, of Staten Island, NY

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Bob Martin, of Princeton

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICES
Poonam Alaigh, of Warren

COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
Jennifer Velez, of Summit

The following nominations were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 22:

MEMBER AND CHAIR OF THE STATE PAROLE BOARD
James T. Plousis, of Ocean City

HORIZON BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD, INC. OF NEW JERSEY - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Russell L. Hewit, of New Vernon, NJSBA member
John C. Kelly, of Convent Station, NJSBA member

NEW JERSEY HEALTH CARE FACILITIES FINANCING AUTHORITY
David Knowlton, of Pennington

NEW JERSEY PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS COMMISSION
John Bonanni, of Boonton
P. Kelly Hatfield, of Summit

NEW JERSEY SPORTS AND EXPOSITION AUTHORITY
Mike Ferguson, of New Providence
George Kolber, of Locust
Robert Yudin, of Wyckoff

NEW JERSEY TRANSIT CORPORATION
Bruce M. Meisel, of Saddle River

NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE AUTHORITY
Ronald Gravino, of Edison
Sam Raia, of Saddle River

PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY
William P. Schuber, of Oradell, NJSBA member

SOUTH JERSEY TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
Maurice Hill, of Toms River

STATE INVESTMENT COUNCIL
Jeff Oram, of Mendham Borough

STATE PAROLE BOARD
Norman Robertson, of Passaic

UNIVERSITY OF MEDICINE AND DENTISTRY OF NEW JERSEY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Kevin Barry, of Mendham
James H. Coleman, of Scotch Plains, NJSBA member

DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF BANKING
Garret Komjathy, of Middletown

MONMOUTH COUNTY SHERIFF
Shaun E. Golden, of Farmingdale

Public Notice

The New Jersey Law Revision Commission met on March 18 in the commission offices on the 7th Floor, 153 Halsey Street, Newark, to discuss the following agenda:

1. Title 39 Consideration of an updated consolidated memorandum describing issues raised by the Motor Vehicle Commission during its review of the Title 39 project, changes made to the tentative report by Staff in response to the MVC comments, and issues on which staff is seeking commission guidance in order to finalize the report.

2. Title 2A Causes of Action Consideration of a draft tentative report incorporating the changes to the Title 2A civil causes of action memorandum that were requested by the commission at the February meeting.

3. Durable Power of Attorney Consideration of a memorandum and draft final report.

4. Uniform Real Property Transfer on Death Act Consideration of a memorandum proposing the Uniform Real Transfer on Death Act (URPTODA) as a new project.

5. Title 9 Parentage Consideration of a draft final report embodying changes made to meet recommendation of the Department of Human Services.

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.