October 14, 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 the state bar association’s website at njsba.com.
RECENT AMICUS ACTIVITY
The NJSBA sometimes acts as amicus curiae in pending cases before New Jersey and federal courts where issues are believed to affect the legal profession or the system of justice.
This case concerned the reliability of the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C in the prosecution of driving under the influence cases. On Sept. 10, the Supreme Court heard oral argument. The New Jersey State Bar Association was represented by Jeffrey Gold, Esq. of Gold & Associates, who argued the Court should appoint a special master to oversee enforcement and implement the original court order as previously written.
On Sept. 18, the Court denied the defendants’ motions for orders in aid of the litigants’ rights, and granted the state’s motion for relief from further compliance with the Court’s original order. The Court authorized continued use of the current Alcotest 7110 and deemed the results admissible in prosecutions for driving under the influence, except in cases where the defendant is a woman over age 60, where other factors must be taken into consideration.
The issue in this case is whether the defendant was “informed” of the consequences of refusing to submit to a breath test as required to sustain a conviction for refusal under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4a(a), and whether the officer read to the defendant an outdated version of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s standard statement that did not reflect the current increased penalties for refusal. On Dec. 21, 2012, the New Jersey State Bar Association filed an amicus curiae brief drafted by Jeffrey Gold, Esq. and Kimberly Yonta Aronow, Esq. On May 13, Gold argued before the Court, affirming the lower court’s decision arguing that the proper form was not read and correct penalties were not conveyed.
On Sept. 18, the Supreme Court opinion held that the police officer’s errors in the reading of the standard statement informing the defendant of the consequences of refusing to provide a breath sample were not material in light of the statutory purpose to inform motorists and impel compliance. The officer’s misstatements could not have reasonably affected the defendant’s choice to refuse to provide a breath sample, and do not require reversal of the defendant’s conviction for refusal.
For a complete copy of the order and opinion, please visit the state bar association’s website at njsba.com.
THE NEW JERSEY LAW REVISION COMMISSION
The New Jersey Law Revision Commission will meet on Thursday, Oct. 17, to discuss the following:
1. Pejorative Terms Regarding Persons With Physical and Sensory Disabilities—Consideration of a draft final report, including changes made in response to comments received.
2. Title 9–Child Abuse and Neglect—Consideration of a draft tentative report incorporating changes made in response to comments received.
3. Title 2C–Sexual Offenses—Consideration of a revised tentative report incorporating changes to the previously released report and a short memorandum identifying the changes.
4. Tuition Aid Grants—Consideration of a draft final report proposing a modest change to N.J.S. 18A:71B-2 in response to the New Jersey Supreme Court decision in A.Z. ex rel. B.Z. v. Higher Educ. Student Assistance Authority, 427 N.J. Super. 389 (2012).
5. Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act—Consideration of a memorandum that does not recommend enactment of the Uniform Act in light of New Jersey's existing law.
For more information, please visit the New Jersey Law Revision Commission website.
P.L.2013, c.165 – Provides for an indication of veteran status on driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by the Motor Vehicle Commission. On Aug. 19, the bill passed in the Senate (36-0) and was sent to the governor. On Sept. 29, the governor signed the bill into law. (A-691)
REMINDER: USE OF ATTORNEY IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS
Please note, there has been an update to the requirement of using attorney identification numbers. The new rule will be effective on Nov. 1.
Again, all attorneys will be required to use their attorney identification number on the first page of papers filed with the Court. This requirement is part of a series of court rule amendments adopted by the Supreme Court, specifically, R.1:41.
Attorney identification numbers can be found on the Court’s website:
· Under the heading Legal select Attorney Index
· Type in your Name and click Search
· ID will be shown in blue on the left-hand side