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

Capitol Report

August 24, 2015

 

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 learn more, visit njsba.com.

 

Senator Sweeney Lauds Juvenile Justice Law

In the lobby of the Passaic County Administration Building, Senate President Stephen Sweeney praised state and local lawmakers for championing a bill that overhauls New Jersey’s juvenile justice system. NJSBA President Miles S. Winder III joined Sweeney and key stakeholders at the dais while sponsors of legislation, Senator Nellie Pou, Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter and Assemblyman E. Benjie Wimberly, thanked the judicial and legal communities for their involvement in passage of this landmark legislation. Early in the process, Pou invited the state bar association to collaborate with other stakeholders in the drafting of the legislation.

“For years, the juvenile justice system in New Jersey has been a leading example in efforts to ensure the wellbeing of children and young adults in detention centers,” said Sweeney. “With this new law, we can further improve our system and help young people who have made mistakes get the second chance they deserve to turn their lives around.”

The law promises major reforms to the juvenile justice system to focus more on rehabilitation. Changes include a revision in the age of transfer from juvenile to adult facilities from age 16 to 18, a limitation on how long and when to impose room restrictions – the juvenile system’s version of solitary confinement, and an increase in the age of waiver for a juvenile to enter the adult system from 14 to 15.

The association supported the Juvenile Justice Bill as a comprehensive and thoughtful proposal for reform. Governor Chis Christie signed the bill on Aug. 10.

New Court Rules Go Into Effect September 1

 

The state Supreme Court announced the adoption of new and amended court rules, including additional language in RPC 7.5 that permits law firm names to include language that describes the nature of the firm’s legal practice. .The rules were adopted in July and are effective September 1. Four new forms were added to the appendix for the arbitration of family matters.

Below is a brief description of the new rules. A full copy of the amended and new rules is available at judiciary.state.nj.us.

 

R. 3:10-3 – Notice of the State – Expert Testimony When Testifying Expert Did Not Participate in the Underlying Tests

 

The rule sets strict guidelines for when to notice, object and decide whether to permit the state to call an expert witness to testify at trial who did not conduct or participate in the scientific or other such test about which s/he will testify. The state has 20 days before the pretrial proceeding begins, or at least 20 days before the pretrial conference, to serve written notice upon the defendant and counsel of the intent to call the witness. The defendant has 10 days to serve written notice of objection to the state’s notice of intent, which must include the grounds for such objection. The court must decide admissibility no later than seven days before the beginning of trial. The state’s failure to file a notice of intent, within the timeframe required by the rule, will be extended upon demonstration of good cause, which extension will also extend the time for the defendant to object and the court to decide the matter.

 

R. 3:21-11 – Motion to Vacate Certain Convictions

 

A new court rule allows victims of human trafficking who were convicted of certain offenses to file a motion to vacate the conviction and contemporaneously expunge any reference to any arrest, conviction and any proceeding for prostitution. The rule sets forth the contents required for the motion as well as the procedure for the same.

 

R. 5:1-5 – Arbitration

 

This rule addresses all agreements to arbitrate and all consent orders to arbitrate in family court. The prerequisites include the completion of four new forms added to the appendix including an arbitration questionnaire, agreement or consent order, agreement to arbitrate, and an arbitrator/umpire disclosure form.

 

R. 5:3-8 – Review and Enforcement of Arbitration Awards

 

Parties of an arbitration may file final or interim awards for economic issues, custody and parenting time and child support by filing a motion, the return date which may be shorted by the court or summarily if no other family action is pending, to confirm the award.

 

R. 5:7-4A – Income Withholding for Child Support Notices

 

The rule sets forth an immediate right to withhold income from the obligor’s current and future income for child support, alimony, maintenance or spousal support once a child support order has been entered. The rule would apply to all orders established or modified on or after Oct. 1, 1990. Unless other arrangements are made, the order is forwarded to the Probation Division, which would then send out a notice. The rule further requires that every complaint, notice or pleading for the entry or modification of child support order include notice of the income withholding provision. For those orders where immediate income withholding is not imposed, income withholding will be imposed if the obligor accumulates an arrearage exceeding 14 days. Other provisions of the rule include notices that are required to be made in all judgment or orders that include child support and that employers are bound by the income withholding order.

 

R. 5:7-11 – Application for Title IV-D Child Support Services; Probation Division Enforcement; Monitoring-Only Services

 

The rule requires the submission of a completed Title IV-D application for any party seeking full Title IV-D enforcement services by the Probation Division of an order that includes the payment of child support or spousal support in conjunction with child support on the same order. The rule also provides for a monitoring-only application for orders that are paid to the New Jersey Family Support Payment Center. In these cases the Probation Division will not provide any enforcement services.

 

R. 5:14-4 – Gestational Carrier Matters; Orders of Parentage

 

In matters where a gestational carrier is used, the rule sets forth the procedure for the filing of a complaint and order to show cause to request an order of parentage naming the petitioners as the child’s legal parents. The pleading would be filed prior to the birth of the child or thereafter and prior to the issuance of a birth certificate. The rule requires that the executed order to show cause be entered by the court no later than three days after the filing of the complaint and a return date must be set no later than seven days after the filing of the complaint.

 

R. 7:5-4 – Motion to Suppress Medical Records Obtained Pursuant to R. 7:7-8(d)

 

With respect to a subpoena to produce medical records related to the presence of alcohol, narcotics, hallucinogens, habit-producing drugs or chemical inhalants in the body of an operator of a vehicle or vessel, the procedure set forth in R. 7:5-2 apply. That procedure requires that a brief be filed stating the facts and arguments in support of the motion to be submitted with the notice of motion. The state has 10 days to respond. For searches made without a warrant, written briefs shall be filed voluntarily or in the discretion of the judge, who will determine the briefing schedule. All motions to suppress must be heard before the start of the trial.

 

 

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