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

Capitol Report

January 23, 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.

Pending Legislation

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

S-913 (Oroho) Revises the Administrative Procedure Act concerning conflicts between rules of different state agencies. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.     

BUSINESS LAW

S-723 (PDF)/A-1694 (PDF) (Sarlo/Russo) (NJSBA supports) Creates a business court. On Jan. 10, these NJSBA-drafted bills were introduced and referred to the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees, respectively.

S-742 (PDF)/A-1543 (PDF) (Sarlo/Burzichelli) (NJSBA supports) Establishes the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. On Jan. 10, these NJSBA-drafted bills were introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee and Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee, respectively.

CRIMINAL LAW

S-884/A-2078 (Bateman/Munoz) Requires that sexual abuse against a child be reported to law enforcement officials. On Jan. 17, both bills were introduced and referred to the Senate and Assembly Law and Public Safety committees, respectively.

S-895/A-2105 (Vitale/Coughlin) Clarifies that criminal impersonation committed by any means, including electronic communications or Internet website, shall be subject to criminal penalties. On Jan. 17, both bills were introduced and referred to the Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees, respectively.

A-1627 (PDF) (Bramnick) (Under review by the NJSBA) Establishes a municipal court conditional dismissal program for certain first-time offenders. On Jan. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

A-2067 (DeAngelo) Establishes the Sex Offender Management Commission; amends Megan's Law in response to the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.   

A-2079 (Munoz) Increases penalties for harboring or concealing a sex offender. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.      

A-2093 (Wimberly) Creates the crime of victimization of persons with disabilities and senior citizens. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee.   

CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW

S-937 (Van Drew) (NJSBA takes no position) Prohibits sending unsolicited advertising by text messaging, and requires companies offering text messaging services to allow their customers to block all incoming and outgoing text messages. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.   

S-943 (Van Drew) (NJSBA supports with amendments) Invalidates consumer contracts that require a waiver of right to file a consumer complaint. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.   

FAMILY LAW

S-1 (PDF)/A-1 (Weinberg/Gusciora) (NJSBA supports) Enacts the Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.   

GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR

S-888 (Allen) Allows the attorney general to prevent halfway house placement of murderers. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.     

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

S-754 (PDF) (Scutari) Requires justices of the Supreme Court, judges of the superior court, tax court judges, workers' compensation judges and administrative law judges to be admitted to the practice of law for at least 15 years prior to appointment to the bench. On Jan. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A-763 (PDF) (Barnes) (Under review by the NJSBA) Provides for new and increased court and application fees to fund Legal Services of New Jersey, and to fund the Judiciary's computerized court information system. On Jan. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

ACR-13 (PDF) (Handlin) Proposes a constitutional amendment clarifying the Legislature's authority to pass laws requiring contributions from justices' and certain judges' salaries to help fund employee benefits. On Jan. 10, the resolution was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW

S-976 (Greenstein) (NJSBA supports) Provides exclusive jurisdiction to the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) for certain unfair labor practice claims. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Labor Committee.   

MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE

S-894 (Vitale) (NJSBA supports) Increases additional penalty assessment for drunk driving; dedicates revenue to the Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB). On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.   

S-920 (Van Drew) Amends Kyleigh's Law to remove the requirement that certain drivers display a decal. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.   

REAL PROPERTY AND ESTATE LAW

S-80 (PDF) (Bateman) (NJSBA supports) Creates the Uniform Trust Code. On Jan. 10, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S-915 (Gill) (NJSBA supports) Regulates sales of certified copies of deeds or conveyances of real estate. On Jan. 17, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.  

Amicus Matters

DePascale v. State of New Jersey, Supreme Court Docket No. 69,401: This case questions whether the Pension and Health Care Benefits Act, as applied to sitting judges and justices, violates the New Jersey Constitution. On Jan. 18, 2012, the NJSBA filed a motion for leave to participate as amicus curiae in this matter. The NJSBA’s proposed brief argues that the act is unconstitutional as applied to sitting judges and justices and threatens the independence of the Judiciary.