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

Capitol Report

January 28, 2013

 

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers, as well as the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters. To obtain a complete copy of the Capitol Report and/or retrieve a former Capitol Report, please visit our website at www.njsba.com

 

SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

 

Elder and Disability Law

A-2947 (PDF) (Singleton)/S-2238 (PDF) (Allen) Makes various revisions to laws concerning disabled person identification cards and placards related to parking privileges. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was signed by the governor. 

 

Higher Education

A-1083 (PDF) (Quijano)/S-2150 (PDF) (Kean) Requires the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to develop and distribute a document containing student loan repayment information for school districts and nonpublic high schools to disseminate to students. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was signed by the governor. 

 

NJSBA ACTION IN TRENTON

 

Business Law

A-3049 (Diegnan)/S-2328 (PDF) (Gill) Allows certain business combinations between resident domestic corporations and interested stockholders. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

The NJSBA Board of Trustees, Legislative Committee and Business Law Section voted to support this legislation because it is believed to provide flexibility in complying with the New Jersey Shareholder Protection Act without understanding the specific purposes of this complex statute.

 

A-3050 (PDF) Diegnan)/S-2327 (PDF) (Gill) Allows corporate shareholder meeting participation by remote communication and clarifies remedies for dissenting shareholders. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

The NJSBA Board of Trustees, Legislative Committee and Business Law Section voted to support this legislation because it is believed to modernize New Jersey to expand shareholder participation and also clarifies the rights of dissenting shareholders.

 

A-3123 (PDF) (Diegnan)/S-2326 (PDF) (Gill) Revises the law concerning derivative proceedings and shareholder class actions. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

The NJSBA Board of Trustees, Legislative Committee and Business Law Section voted to support this legislation because it is believed to bring clarity to the law governing derivative proceedings and shareholder class actions. In addition, the NJSBA believes the dollar amount increase is long overdue.

 

Family Law

A-781 (PDF) (Munoz) Expands domestic violence protection for adoptive parents. On Jan. 17, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

The NJSBA Board of Trustees, Legislative Committee and Family Law Section support this legislation expanding protections for adoptive parents. 

 

Health Law

A-732 (PDF) (Eustace) Makes it a crime of the third degree to practice psychology, marriage and family therapy, chiropractic or state-certified psychoanalysis without the appropriate license or certification. On Jan. 17, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

The NJSBA Board of Trustees, Legislative Committee, Family Law Section, Health Law Section and Women in the Profession Section voted to support this legislation with amendments because it is believed the bill would protect vulnerable patients seeking treatment for personal and emotional problems from unlicensed professionals who have the potential to inflict significant harm on them. However, the NJSBA respectfully asks that the legislation be amended to exclude attorneys, clergy, and court mediation professionals from coverage under the bill. Otherwise, persons who are authorized by law to engage in activities that might constitute the practice of “marriage and family therapy” when practicing law would be prohibited from doing so.

 

Municipal Court Practice

A-3598 (PDF) (Gusciora) Establishes a conditional dismissal program in municipal court. On Jan. 17, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

The NJSBA’s Board of Trustees, Legislative Committee and Municipal Court Practice Section voted to support this legislation because it will fix a longstanding inequity in the municipal court system. Presently, pre-trial intervention (PTI) is only allowed for indictable offenses. The NJSBA strongly supports creating an alternative, such as conditional discharge, to address these circumstances.

 

In 2003, the American Bar Association adopted a report titled “Collateral Sanctions and Discretionary Disqualification of Convicted Persons,” which urged legislatures throughout the country to review their criminal code to ensure the penalties associated with violations are not so insurmountable that it becomes difficult for convicted persons to reintegrate into society after serving their sentence or paying fines. The NJSBA embraced these findings as part of its longstanding position in opposition to arbitrary or excessive fees and surcharges for motor vehicle penalties. For this reason, the state bar strongly supports the present legislation, which provides an appropriate set of penalties.

 

Municipal Court Practice Section chair Kenneth Vercammen and section trustee Michael Hoffman testifying in support of this bill.

 

PENDING LEGISLATION

 

Banking Law

A-3052 (PDF) (Diegnan) Creates the Residential Mortgage Satisfaction Act; places certain requirements on the issuance of mortgage pay-off letters; provides an additional process for discharging mortgages of record. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

A-3053 (PDF) (Diegnan) Provides a procedure to cancel a mortgage of record by affidavit of an entitled person under certain conditions. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Business Law

A-3049 (PDF) (Diegnan) Allows certain business combinations between resident domestic corporations and interested stockholders. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

Consumer Protection Law

A-3318 (PDF) (Mainor) Provides that certain personal identifying information may be redacted from certain public records in certain circumstances. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Dispute Resolution

A-3696 (PDF) (Mosquera) Concerns arbitration for certain non-teaching school staff. On Jan. 17, 2013, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Education Committee.

 

Elder and Disability Law

A-3404 (PDF) (Lampitt) Provides a gross income tax credit for certain expenses paid or incurred for the care and support of a qualifying senior family member; designated as the Caregiver's Assistance Act. On Jan. 17, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Women and Children Committee with amendments and referred to the Assembly Budget Committee.

 

Higher Education

A-3546 (PDF) (Riley)/S-2291 (PDF) (Rice) Eliminates the requirement that every full-time student at an institution of higher education in New Jersey maintain health insurance coverage. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released form the Assembly Higher Education Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Insurance Law

A-2204 (PDF) (DeAngelo) Includes reverse rate evasion as a form of insurance fraud and provides for civil and criminal penalties. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee with amendments and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

S-1253 (PDF) (Vitale) Revises statutory mental health coverage requirements and requires all health insurers and the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) to cover treatment for alcoholism and other substance use disorders under the same terms and conditions as other diseases or illnesses. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee with amendments and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

Renewable Energy Cleantech and Climate Change

A-2416 (PDF) (Eustace)/S-980 (PDF) (Greenstein) Encourages development of electric vehicle charging stations in transportation projects. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

Consumer Protection Law

A-3539 (PDF) (Mainor) Provides that certain personal identifying information may be redacted from certain public records in certain circumstances. On Jan. 8, 2013, the bill was withdrawn from the files.

 

Public Utility Law

A-357 (PDF) (Wolfe) Requires water purveyors and licensed operators to notify municipalities they service regarding water supply and water quality issues. On Jan. 17, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee with a substitute and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

S-779 (PDF) (Weinberg) Prohibits a cemetery company from charging an additional fee for rendering certain services on a Sunday. On Jan. 14, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

 

S-2036 (PDF) (Whelan) Permits liens in favor of planned real estate development associations for unpaid assessments in planned real estate developments. On Jan. 8, 2013, the bill was received in the Assembly and referred to the Assembly Higher Education Committee.