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

Capitol Report

March 18, 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

 

NJSBA RECENT ACTION IN TRENTON

 

Family Law

A-2899 (Mosquera)/S-1152 (Weinberg) Directs the Division on Women to conduct an audit of the coordination of community responses to domestic violence. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate, Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote. The New Jersey State Bar Association supports A-2899.

 

Municipal Court Practice

S-2588 (Turner/Scutari) Establishes a conditional dismissal program in municipal court. On Feb. 26, 2013, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

The NJSBA’s Board of Trustees, Legislative Committee and Municipal Court Practice Section voted to support this legislation believing it will fix a longstanding inequity in the municipal court system. Presently, pre-trial intervention (PTI) is only allowed for indictable offenses. Therefore, for example, if an individual is charged with theft over $500, he or she qualifies for PTI, which allows them to be diverted from the criminal system before conviction. However, if the theft charge is less than $500, the individual does not qualify for PTI because it is not an indictable offense. In some instances, such as in the case of public employees, acceptance into PTI can preserve employment, while a conviction would mean the loss of employment. Thus, the NJSBA strongly supports creating an alternative such as conditional discharge to address these circumstances.

 

PENDING LEGISLATION                               

 

Business Law

S-1094 (Van Drew)/A-1887 (Milam) Prohibits the imposition of corporation business tax on certain foreign corporations carrying passengers into and out of state in a motor vehicle or motorbus. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate, Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

A-3818 (Singleton) Clarifies that the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act applies to real estate transactions. On March 7, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

 

 

Criminal Law

A-588 (Spencer) Prohibits possession of ammunition capable of penetrating body armor. On Feb. 26, 2013, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

 

A-1683 (Johnson) Criminalizes the purchase or possession of firearms ammunition by persons convicted of certain crimes. On Feb. 26, 2013, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

 

A-2027 (Munoz) Enacts the Jessica Lunsford Act; imposes mandatory term of imprisonment; provides for negotiated reduction of mandatory term under certain circumstances. On Feb. 26, 2013, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

 

A-3659 (Barnes) Revises the definition of destructive device to include certain weapons of 50 caliber or greater. On Feb. 26, 2013, the bill was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

 

Dispute Resolution

S-2163 (Lesniak) Concerns arbitration for certain non-teaching school staff. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

Family Law

A-3909 (Mainor) Revises alimony laws, including eliminating permanent alimony and establishing guidelines for the amount and duration of alimony awards. On March 7, 2013, the bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

 

Government and Public Section Lawyers

S-1400 (Rice) Requires a local unit or authority to provide the director of the Division of Local Government Services with a report concerning lawsuits to which it is a party before a budget is approved. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.


Health Law Section

S-1253 (Vitale) Requires the State Health Benefits Program and School Health Employees Benefit Program to cover treatment for alcoholism, other substance-use disorders, and non-biologically based mental illnesses under the same terms and conditions as for other diseases or illnesses. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate, Budget and Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

Higher Education

S-1191 (Lesniak) Concerns subcontracting agreements entered into by public school districts and higher education institutions. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with substitute and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

Insurance

S-2624 (Gill)/A-3731 (Schaer) Creates the Certificates of Insurance Act. On March 4, 2013, the bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee. On March 7, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Labor and Employment Law

A-1830 (Conaway) Requires insurance coverage in the individual and small employer markets and the State Health Benefit Program and School Health Employee Benefit Program for "off-label" uses of certain drugs. On March 7, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Local Government Law

S-316 (Whelan)/A-3725 (Burzichelli) Permits certain county boards of chosen freeholders to publish notices of proposed or amended ordinances by title and summary. On March 7, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

S-2242 (Lesniak) Clarifies that the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act applies to real estate transactions. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

Special Civil Part      

S-2018 (Stack) Requires landlords to pay attorney's fees for successful tenants if a lease reserves the landlord the same right. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee with amendments and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

S-2559 (Oroho) Revises the definition of "landlord" to include rooming and boarding house owners and operators with regard to ordinances holding landlords to certain standards of responsibility. On March 4, 2013, the bill was released from the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee and is awaiting Senate vote.

 

Women in Profession

A-3544 (Dancer) Requires notification of certain domestic violence victims through the Victim Information and Notification Everyday System (VINE). On March 7, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

Workers’ Compensation

A-2756 (Quijano) Provides surviving spouses of certain fire and police personnel who die in line of duty with workers' compensation for the entire period of survivorship. On March 7, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

S-1469 (Madden) Provides surviving spouses of certain fire and police personnel who die in line of duty with workers' compensation for the entire period of survivorship. On March 7, 2013, the bill was released from the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is awaiting Assembly vote.

 

NOMINATIONS

On Monday, March 3, 2013, the following nominates were referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee:

 

JUDGE OF THE SUPERIOR COURT:

Marlene Lynch Ford, of Toms River

 

WORKERS' COMPENSATION JUDGE:

Russell P. Cherkos, of Waretown