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

Capitol Report

December 19, 2011

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.

Pending Legislation

BUSINESS LAW

A-4359 (PDF) (Burzichelli) (NJSBA-drafted) (NJSBA supports) Creates the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-4398 (PDF) (Chivukula) Concerns determination of allocated net operating losses for the corporation business tax benefit certificate transfer program. On Dec. 8, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee. 

CHILD WELFARE

A-2292 (PDF) (Ramos) (NJSBA supports) Authorizes the Office of the Public Defender to provide legal representation for a child in proceedings after parental rights has been terminated. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-1979 (PDF) (Weinberg) Concerns certain limitations on claims for victim compensation. Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2282 (PDF) (Weinberg) Requires inmates be provided with a comprehensive medical discharge summary before being released. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

S-2599 (PDF)/A-3700 (PDF) (Gill/Spencer) Requires services be provided for sexually exploited juveniles charged with certain offenses; creates an affirmative defense regarding prostitution. On Dec. 8, both bills were released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with amendments and from the Assembly Appropriations Committee respectively, and are awaiting vote in the Senate and Assembly.

S-3143 (PDF) (Bateman) Requires that sexual abuse against a child be reported to law enforcement officials. On Dec. 8, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. 

A-4297 (PDF) (Wisniewski) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes Caylee's Law; upgrades penalties for failing to report a death; criminalizes failure to report the disappearance of child within 24 hours. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with a substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

A-4396 (PDF) (Munoz, N.) Requires that sexual abuse against a child be reported to law enforcement officials. On Dec. 8, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee. 

FAMILY LAW

A-4410 (PDF) (Vainieri Huttle) Establishes a new standard for the court to grant grandparent or sibling visitation rights under certain circumstances. On Dec. 8, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee. 

INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

SCR-244 (PDF) (Turner) Supports the Occupy movement's protest against economic inequality and excessive money in politics, and their right to assemble peaceably. On Dec. 8, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Labor Committee. 

A-4418 (PDF) (Johnson) Prohibits job discrimination on the basis of credit history or financial status. On Dec. 8, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee. 

LAND USE

A-4267 (PDF) (Wagner) Allows counties and municipalities to use open space trust funds for the purchase of flood-prone properties. On Dec. 8, the bill was received in the Senate without committee reference and is awaiting Senate vote.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT LAW

A-4422 (PDF) (Greenwald) Extends the expiration date of certain permits pursuant to the Permit Extension Act of 2008. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-2167 (PDF) (Kean, S.) Establishes the Blue Ribbon Panel to Review New Jersey's Driver License Suspension Laws. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Senate Transportation Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

REAL PROPERTY TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-3103 (PDF)/A-4314 (PDF) (Norcross/Fuentes) Concerns appeals of the assessment of real property in certain municipalities. On Dec. 8, S-3103 was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. A-4314 was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote on the same day.

REGULATED PROFESSIONS

A-3929 (PDF) (Prieto) (NJSBA-drafted bill) (NJSBA supports) Requires certain civil actions against certain licensed persons to be brought within two years. On Dec. 8, the bill was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

Amicus Matters

SEGAL V. LYNCH, SUPREME COURT DOCKET NO. 67,683

On Nov. 1, the Supreme Court granted the New Jersey State Bar Association’s motion for leave to participate as amicus curiae in this case, which will address whether a parenting coordinator, who also is an attorney, may be awarded fees for time she spent responding to the plaintiff’s motions and subpoenas, and to his grievances against her, under the Parenting Coordinator Pilot Program implementation guidelines. The NJSBA brief, drafted by Bonnie C. Frost, Ronald G. Lieberman and Andrea Beth White, suggests that judges be given discretion to award appropriate fees to parenting coordinators for all time spent and expenses incurred in carrying out their coordinator responsibilities, including responding to party grievances.

PRIME ACCOUNTING V. TOWNSHIP OF CARNEY’S POINT, SUPREME COURT DOCKET NO. 68,380

On Nov. 1, the Supreme Court granted certification in this matter. The New Jersey State Bar Association had filed a brief, drafted by NJSBA President Susan A. Feeney and Daniel P. Zazzali, urging the Court to do so. The case questions whether a taxpayer should be permitted to amend a complaint challenging a tax assessment where the complaint did not correctly identify the taxpayer and instead named a former tenant's accounting department, which never owned or leased the property but was listed on the municipal tax bill. The NJSBA’s brief suggests that taxpayers should be able to rely on information kept by and obtained from the tax assessor.