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

Capitol Report

September 6, 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 New Jersey State Bar Association 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.

SPECIAL EDITION - CRIMINAL LAW (PART THREE)

This special edition of the Capitol Report focuses on Criminal Law legislation that is currently pending in the State Legislature. This is the third of four reports focusing on Criminal Law.

Pending Legislation

GANG RELATED OFFENSES

S-1537 (Rice) (NJSBA takes no position) Clarifies that gang related incident offense report is to be forwarded to Superintendent of State Police for inclusion in Uniform Crime Report. On March 22, the bill passed in the Senate (37-1) was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee.

S-1678/A-1864 (Rice/Johnson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a permanent Gang Land Security Task Force. On March 11, S-1678 was introduced and referred to the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee. A-1864 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee on Jan. 25.

S-1729/A-2470 (Bucco/Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Requires court to consider gang affiliation when making bail determinations. On March 11, S-1729 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A-2470 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee on March 8.

A-2183 (Munoz) (Under review by the NJSBA) Upgrades the crime of soliciting or recruiting for criminal street gang while on school property. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-776 (Bramnick) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes the crime of participation in criminal street gang initiation ritual. On Jan. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee.

CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES

S-975/A-2636 (Allen/Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) This bill amends N.J.S.A.2C:33-2.1, which pertains to loitering for the purpose of illegally using, possessing or selling controlled dangerous substances, to clarify that "entering" a public place to meet another person for the purpose of making a drug connection is included within the conduct which constitutes the offense. On May 13, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. S-975 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 4.

A-2113 (Conaway) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes a civil action for the eviction or removal of persons who commit drug-related crimes on leased residential property. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-1133 (Evans) (NJSBA opposes) This bill would make it a crime for a person to possess, design or assemble a false or secret compartment in a motor vehicle with the intent to store, conceal, smuggle or transport a person, controlled dangerous substance, firearm, weapon or other contraband. On Jan. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee.

PRE-TRIAL INTERVENTION

S-1155/A-821 (Van Drew/Albano) (Under review by the NJSBA) Increases the application fee and provides for an admission fee to pre-trial intervention; dedicates fee increase for victim services. On Feb. 4, S-1155 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A-821 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Jan. 12.

S-1529 (Goodwin) (NJSBA opposes) Prohibits persons charged with certain gun crimes from entering pretrial intervention programs. On Feb. 22, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee.

CRIMES AFFECTING MINORS

S-304 (Allen) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides that records of convictions for carjacking, promoting prostitution of a child and certain child endangerment crimes shall not be expunged. On Jan. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-528/A-1773 (Kean/Munoz) (Under review by the NJSBA) "Judy and Nikki's Law"; provides for life imprisonment without parole for persons convicted of murder of a child 16 years of age or younger. On Jan. 12, both bills were introduced and referred to the Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees.

S-707 (Pennacchio) (NJSBA opposes) Provides that committing a sex act with a minor constitutes sexual assault against the minor under certain circumstances. On Jan. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-747/A-2192 (Beck/Munoz) (Under review by the NJSBA) Enacts the "Jessica Lunsford Child Protection Zone Act," would expand Megan's Law to restrict sex offenders from residing in areas frequented by children. On Feb. 11, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. S-747 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 12.

S-873/A-290 (Connors/Rumpf) (Under review by the NJSBA) Requires local government notification of sex offender registration and prohibits sex offenders from living near schools, child care centers or playgrounds. On Feb. 1, S-873 was introduced and referred to the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee. A-290 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee Jan. 12.

S-912 (Doherty) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes the appointment of testamentary guardians without consent of the surviving parent under certain circumstances. This bill would eliminate this requirement upon proof that the surviving parent has been convicted of certain crimes against the child. On Feb. 1, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-951/A-1957(Vitale/Conners) (Under review by the NJSBA) Expands the means to obtain a protective order for a minor. On Feb. 4, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A-1957 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Feb. 8.

S-997/A-617 (Allen/Peterson) (Under review by the NJSBA) Revises the child pornography law. On Feb. 4, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A-617 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Jan. 12.

S-1562 (Turner) (NJSBA opposes) Upgrades the crime of stalking when victim is less than 18 years old. On March 4, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-1703/A-680 (Turner/Greenstein) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for mandatory life imprisonment for sexual assault of a minor. On March 11, A-680 was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. S-1703 was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Jan. 12.

A-541 (Handlin) (Under review by the NJSBA) Prohibits sex offenders from entering school property. On Jan. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-1126 (Evans) (Under review by the NJSBA) Extends the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. On Jan. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-1355 (Angelini) (Under review by the NJSBA) Bars sex offenders from jobs which primarily consist of contact with children. On Jan. 12, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law & Public Safety Committee.

A-1921 (Burzichelli) (NJSBA takes no position) Authorizes the release of sex offender registration information to the Department of Human Services and county welfare agencies. On Feb. 8, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

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.