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

Capitol Report

February 27, 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.

 

On the Governor’s Desk

S-1 (PDF) (Weinberg) (NJSBA supports) Enacts the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act. On Feb. 21, the governor’s conditional veto was received in the Senate.

 

Pending Legislation


CONSUMER PROTECTION

S-437 (PDF) (Sacco) Prohibits the purchaser of a used motor vehicle from waiving the dealer's obligation regarding emissions control equipment. On Feb. 16, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee.

 

CRIMINAL LAW

S-775 (PDF) (Weinberg) Establishes Alex DeCroce's Law; enhances crime victims' rights under the Crime Victim's Bill of Rights. On Feb. 16, the bill was released from the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.   

 

S-1608 (PDF) (Bucco) Clarifies that crime victims' rights must be recognized by all courts in the state. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

S-1616 (PDF) (Madden) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes Kulesh and Kubert's Law; establishes the violation of the hands-free cell phone law as reckless under the vehicular homicide and assault by auto statutes. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. 

 

S-1633 (PDF) (Oroho) (NJSBA opposes) Adds "significant bodily injury" to the assault by auto or vessel statute; upgrades penalties for inflicting serious bodily injury. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

S-1634 (PDF) (Oroho) Creates David's Law; establishes the crime of negligent vehicular homicide. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

S-1643 (PDF) (Bucco) (NJSBA takes no position) Clarifies that using a motor vehicle to publicly display obscene material is fourth-degree crime. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. 

 

FAMILY LAW

S-768 (PDF) (Scutari) (Under review by the NJSBA) Authorizes annulments of marriages and civil unions, without cause, when demanded by a party less than 30 days from the date of the ceremony; changes marriage and civil union licensing requirements and increases fees for such licenses. On Feb. 16, the bill was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee with amendments and was referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.   

 

S-1388 (PDF) (Scutari) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for modification of child support and certain alimony payments due to changed circumstances. On Feb. 16, the bill was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.   

 

S-1607 (PDF) (Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Provides for a presumption of joint physical custody in a child custody determination; addresses relocation. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

HEALTH AND HOSPITAL LAW

A-733 (PDF) (Eustace) Prohibits healthcare institutions from discharging prescription medications into sewer or septic systems in certain circumstances. On Feb. 16, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

S-881 (PDF) (Lesniak) Amends the special probation statute to give judges additional discretion to admit certain offenders to a "drug court" program; establishes a pilot program for mandatory admission to special probation. On Feb. 16, the bill was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee with amendments and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.   

 

LAND USE

A-1338 (PDF) (Greenwald) (NJSBA supports) Extends the expiration date of certain permits pursuant to the Permit Extension Act of 2008. On Feb. 16, the bill was amended on the Assembly floor and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-1128 (PDF) (Turner) (NJSBA supports) Establishes a conditional intervention program in municipal court for certain first-time offenders. On Feb. 16, the bill was released from the Senate Judiciary Committee with amendments and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.   

 

S-1632 (PDF) (Oroho) Requires the Motor Vehicle Commission to immediately suspend the driver's license of alleged drunk drivers who cause a death. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. 

 

REAL PROPERTY, TRUST AND ESTATE LAW

S-1621 (Bucco) (NJSBA opposes) Establishes the process by which a fiduciary is discharged. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

WOMEN IN THE PROFESSION

S-1618 (PDF) (Bucco) (NJSBA takes no position) Establishes the Post-Viability Protection Act. Under the provisions of the bill, a physician shall not perform an abortion or termination of pregnancy unless the physician or the referring physician first shall have made and recorded a determination of the gestational age of the unborn child at the time of the abortion or termination of pregnancy; and if the gestational age of the unborn child is determined to be 20 weeks or greater, the physician shall also determine whether or not the unborn child is viable. On Feb. 16, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

Nominations

The following nomination was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 21:

 

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

Douglas K. Wolfson, of North Brunswick, NJSBA member

 

The following nomination was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 16:

 

NEW JERSEY SPORTS AND EXPOSITION AUTHORITY

Michael H. Gluck, of Skillman, NJSBA member

 

The following nominations were reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 16:

 

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

J. Christopher Gibson, of Cape May Court House, NJSBA member

Robert G. Malestein, of Hopewell Township, NJSBA member

James R. Swift, of Millville, NJSBA member

 

SECRETARY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Rochelle R. Hendricks, of Fair Haven