2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

Kenneth Vercammen is a trial attorney in Edison, NJ. He is a speaker at the annual Nuts & Bolts of Estate Administration & Elder Law program, American Bar Association General Practice Division.

He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appears in Courts throughout New Jersey each week litigation and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 150 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation and probate law for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Municipal Court Law Review 2014


              Supreme Court tells Police “Need a Warrant” for Phone Searches. Riley v. California 134 S. Ct. 999 (2014)
The police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested

 2. DWI statute and Alcotest not unconstitutional. State v. Campbell 436 N.J. Super. 264 (App. Div. 2014)
Defendant appeals his conviction of drunk driving ("DWI") and the trial court's denial of declaratory relief on his claim of unconstitutionality.
Defendant's prosecution was based upon an Alcotest reading of his blood alcohol content ("BAC") above the per se level of .08 prohibited by N.J.S.A. 39:4-50(a). He argues that case law authorizing the admission of Alcotest BAC results when the prerequisites for such admissibility are shown by "clear-and-convincing" proof, coupled with the statute's conclusively incriminating treatment of a BAC at or above .08, improperly combine to relieve the State of its constitutional burden of proving a driver's guilt by the more rigorous standard of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt."
The Court rejects defendant's claim of unconstitutionality. The argument fails to distinguish the State's threshold burden of establishing the Alcotest's evidential admissibility from the State's ultimate burden at trail of establishing defendant's guilt of a per se offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if a pretrial motion to suppress the BAC results has been denied, a defendant can still present competing evidence or arguments at trial to persuade the court that the testing procedures were flawed and that his guilt has not been proven by the more stringent reasonable doubt standard.

3. Driving While Suspended Conviction Upheld Although DWI Conviction Vacated. State v. Sylvester __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2014) A-5192-12T4
N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26b makes it a fourth degree offense to drive while one's license is suspended or revoked for a second or subsequent conviction for driving a car while under the influence of alcohol (DWI). In a bench trial before the Law Division on this charge, defendant argued that her second DWI conviction had been voided ab initio by the municipal court when it granted her PCR petition two months after she was indicted for one count of violating N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26b. Thus, defendant argues the State cannot rely on this vacated second DWI conviction to meet its burden of proof under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26b. The trial court rejected this argument. The court affirmed.
It is undisputed that at the time defendant committed this offense, she was aware her driver's license had been revoked by a presumptively valid second conviction for DWI. The court relied on State v. Gandhi, 201 N.J. 161, 190 (2010) to hold that a second DWI conviction vacated through PCR granted by a court after a defendant engages in conduct prohibited in N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26b, cannot be applied retroactively to bar a conviction under this statute.

4. Court Says Ban on Fake Government Documents Not Unconstitutional. State v. Borjas 436 N.J. Super. 375 (App. Div. 2014) (A-6292-11T2)
Defendant was found guilty by a jury of three counts of knowingly making false government documents, second- degree offenses proscribed by N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1(b), and four counts of knowingly possessing false government documents, fourth-degree offenses proscribed by N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1(d). The incriminating items were created or stored in hard drives on computers at defendant's residence. The items were discovered by law enforcement officers pursuant to a search warrant, although the officers found no printouts of the false items.
The court rejected defendant's argument that subsections (b) and (d) of N.J.S.A. 2C:21-2.1 are unconstitutionally overbroad because they allegedly infringe too much upon protected forms of expression. In doing so, the court does not foreclose a future "as-applied" challenge to the statute by an artist, student, or other person who, unlike the present defendant, makes or stores false images for benign reasons involving constitutionally protected speech.
Additionally, the court rejects defendant's argument that the statute is void for vagueness because it lacks an express element requiring the State to prove a defendant's specific intent to use the false items for illicit purposes. The court also rejects defendant's criticisms of the trial judge's jury instruction defining the term "document" under the statute to encompass items or images stored on a computer. The instruction is consistent with the broader meaning associated with the term "document" in common modern usage.

5. Testimony for State by Defendant’s Investigator Violated Right to Counsel. State v. Nunez 436 NJ Super. 70 (App. Div. 2014)
The court reverses defendant's murder conviction because the trial judge permitted the State to bolster its case by calling defendant's investigator to testify to a prior consistent statement of the State's only eyewitness in violation of defendant's right to counsel.

6. Judge must Recuse from case if involved as prosecutor. State v. Presley 436 N.J. Super. 440 (App. Div. 2014)
In State v. McCann, 391 N.J. Super. 542 (App. Div. 2007), the court announced a prospective "bright-line rule" that called for invalidating search warrants issued by a judge who was bound to recuse himself or herself based on a prior relationship. Upon being advised he had prosecuted one of the defendants when he was an assistant prosecutor, the trial judge recused himself. So, the question here is not one of recusal but of remedy. Defendants here ask us to apply McCann to the following facts: the judge prosecuted only one of the defendants; no defendant alleges the judge was biased or aware of the disqualifying facts when he issued the warrants or that there was insufficient probable cause for their issuance; and finally, the defendant prosecuted by the judge withheld the disqualifying facts while appearing before the judge on unrelated matters for "strategic" reasons for over a year. The court concludes that McCann is distinguishable; the remedy sought by defendants will not serve the interests of the Code of Judicial Conduct; and the appropriate remedy should be determined by what is "required to restore public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the proceedings, to resolve the dispute in particular, and to promote generally the administration of justice." DeNike v. Cupo, 196 N.J. 502, 519 (2008).


7. Protective sweep permitted where shots fired in high crime neighborhood. State v. Gamble 218 N.J 412 (2014) 
Under the totality of the circumstances, which provided the officers with a reasonable and articulable suspicion that defendant was engaged in criminal activity, the investigatory stop and protective sweep of the passenger compartment of the van were valid.

8. No warrant needed for DWI blood for DWI tickets issued before 2013
State v Jones __ NJ Super. __ (App. Div. 2014) A-0793-13T1
The Court granted the State leave to appeal from an order that suppressed the results of a blood sample taken without a warrant prior to Missouri v. McNeely  133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013), and now reverses. Defendant caused a multiple vehicle accident, resulting in personal injuries that required hospitalization. Emergency personnel took approximately thirty minutes to extricate the unconscious defendant from her vehicle and the police investigation took several hours.
It is undisputed that the blood sample was obtained consistent with New Jersey law that existed at the time. The Court need not decide whether McNeely should be applied retroactively because the facts support a warrantless blood sample even if McNeely applies. Although McNeely rejected a per se exigency rule, it adhered to the totality of the circumstances analysis set forth in Schmerber v. California,  86 S. Ct. 1826, 1836 (1966), stating the metabolization of alcohol was an "essential" factor in the analysis. Further, the Court noted that the facts in Schmerber which, like here, included an accident, injuries requiring hospitalization, and an hours-long police investigation, were sufficient to justify a warrantless blood sample for use in an expert’s comparison of DNA samples, a defendant’s federal and state confrontation rights are satisfied so long as the testifying witness is qualified to perform, and did in fact perform, an independent review of testing data and processes, rather than merely read from or vouch for another analyst’s report or conclusions.


9. Supervising chemist can testify in vehicular homicide if they independently verified correctness of blood test results State v. Michaels __ NJ__ (2014) (A-69-12)
Defendant’s confrontation rights were not violated by the admission of Dr. Barbieri’s report or his testimony regarding the blood tests and his conclusions drawn therefrom. Dr. Barbieri was knowledgeable about the testing process, independently verified the correctness of the machine-tested processes and results, and formed an independent conclusion about the results. Defendant’s opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Barbieri satisfied her right to confrontation on the forensic evidence presented against her.

10 Supervising chemist can testify in rape case if they independently verified correctness of DNA results State v.  Roach __ NJ __ (2014)  (A-129-11)
     Defendant’s confrontation rights were not violated by the testimony of the analyst who matched his DNA profile to the profile left at the scene by the perpetrator. Defendant had the opportunity to confront the analyst who personally reviewed and verified the correctness of the two DNA profiles that resulted in a highly significant statistical match inculpating him as the perpetrator. In the context of testing for the purpose of establishing DNA profiles.

11. Defendant has burden to timely to object to testimony by pathologist who did not perform the victim’s autopsy State v. Williams __ NJ__ (2014) (A-5-12)
Defendant’s failure to object to the admission of the testimony on confrontation grounds and his decision to cross-examine the medical examiner constitute a waiver of his right of confrontation.

12

13 For unlicensed driver, can’t get both fine and jail. State v. Carreon __ NJ Super. __ (App. Div. 2014) A-5501-12T1
This appeal required the court to consider whether a never-licensed driver may be fined and sentenced to a custodial term under the penalty provisions of N.J.S.A. 39:3-10. Because the court agreed that the statute allows a fine or imprisonment but not both, even for drivers, who, like defendant, have never been licensed, the court-reversed defendant's sentence and remand to the Law Division for resentencing.

Old  Index:
              Supreme Court tells Police “Need a Warrant” for Phone Searches. Riley v. California
              DWI statute and Alcotest not unconstitutional. State v. Campbell
              Driving While Suspended Conviction Upheld Although DWI Conviction Vacated. State v. Sylvester
              Court Says Ban on Fake Government Documents Not Unconstitutional. State v. Borjas
              Testimony for State by Defendant’s Investigator Violated Right to Counsel. State v. Nunez
              Abuse and Neglect Upheld Where Father Let Children Ride with Drunk Mother. New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency v. J.A
              School Bus Driver Who Left Young Child on Bus Committed Act of Neglect. New Jersey Department of Children and Families v. R.R.
              Criminal Charge where later civil violation can be expunged. In the Matter of the Expungement Application of P.H.
              Judge must Recuse from case if involved as prosecutor. State v. Presley
               Protective sweep permitted where shots fired in high crime neighborhood. State v. Gamble
              No warrant for DWI blood for DWI tickets issued before 2013. State v, Jones
              Expungement of Single Judgment Encompassing Multiple Crimes Denied. I/M/O The Expungement of the Criminal Records of G.P.B.,
13. Supervising chemist can testify in vehicular homicide if they independently verified correctness of blood test results State v. Michaels

14. Supervising chemist can testify in rape case if they independently verified correctness of DNA results State v.  Roach
15. Warrantless DWI blood taking allowed where multiple vehicle accident and hospitalization State v Jones
   16. Defendant has burden to timely to object to testimony by pathologist who did not perform the victim’s autopsy State v. Williams
17 For unlicensed driver, can’t get both fine and jail. State v. Carreon



Removed from Fall and will use in Winter, 2015

6. Abuse and Neglect Upheld Where Father Let Children Ride with Drunk Mother. New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency v. J.A. 436 N.J. Super. 61 (App. Div. 2014)
In this appeal, the court concluded that a parent fails to exercise the minimum degree of care required by N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4) when permitting children to be passengers in a vehicle driven by a person who appears to be inebriated.

7. School Bus Driver Who Left Young Child on Bus Committed Act of Neglect. New Jersey Department of Children and Families v. R.R. 436 NJ Super. 53 (App. Div. 2014)
Appellant was a school bus driver. At the end of her route she did not visually inspect the bus to make sure there were no children left on board, as required by N.J.S.A. 18A:39-28. Instead, she had relied upon a school bus aide's representation there were not any children on the bus, even though in the past the driver had found the aide to be unreliable. In fact, a five-year old was left on board after the bus driver left for the day. The child was not discovered for fifty-five minutes.
The court affirmed the finding of the Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Performance Management and Accountability of the Department of Children and Families that the bus driver had engaged in willful and wanton conduct in violation of N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b), for relying upon an undependable aide's representation and not personally inspecting the bus herself to determine if any children remained on board.
8. Criminal Charge where later civil violation can be expunged. In the Matter of the Expungement Application of P.H. 436 N.J. Super. 427 (App. Div. 2014)
The court considered the application of the expungement statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-1 to -32, where petitioner was charged with a fourth degree offense but ultimately agreed to a violation of a statute for which he paid a civil penalty. Petitioner requested expungement of all criminal records, which was granted by the trial judge; records of the civil violation and the file of the NJSPCA were not subject to expungement.
The State appealed, advancing numerous reasons for reversal, primarily arguing the final disposition controls whether expungement relief is available. Maintaining the initial criminal charges were part of the same file that was disposed of through a plea agreement-allowing defendant to pay a civil penalty, the State asserts expungement cannot be permitted. The court disagreed and concluded petitioner was not convicted and the final disposition was not a plea agreement. Rather, the criminal charges were dismissed. Accordingly, expungement was permitted under N.J.S.A. 2C:52-6(a).

              Expungement of Single Judgment Encompassing Multiple Crimes Denied. I/M/O The Expungement of the Criminal Records of G.P.B., 436 NJ Super. 48 (App. Div. 2014)
The court held that expungement is not permitted by N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2(a), which allows expungement for a person convicted of "a crime," where the petitioner had pleaded guilty to multiple briberies over the course of two days even though those crimes had a single purpose and even though they were memorialized in a single judgment of a conviction. 


Editorial Assistance by Jillian Spielman, 3rd year law student, New York Law School.


Photos: Happy Hour July 18  NJSBA President Paris Eliades was among the hundreds of persons at the Summer Happy Hour at Bar Anticipation. The St. Patrick Happy Hour is March 13, 2015.

Seminar: Handling Drug DWI and Serious Motor Vehicle Cases in Municipal Court
Monday, October 27, 2014 5:30PM-9:00PM
NJ Law Center, New Brunswick

Speakers: Kenneth A.  Vercammen, Esq., Past Municipal court Attorney of the Year
William G. Brigiani, Esq., Past President Middlesex County Bar
Hon. William D. Feingold, Esq.,  North Brunswick
John Menzel, Esq., Past Chair Municipal Court Section
Norma M. Murgado, Esq., Chief Prosecutor- Elizabeth
Assistant Prosecutor-Woodbridge
Joshua H. Reinitz, Esq., Vice Chair Municipal Court Section
For registration, contact NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education 732-214-8500
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ, 08817
732-572-0500

Thursday, October 16, 2014

E4531. What is Hazing in NJ? 2. What is rape in NJ and sexual assault in NJ? 3. Metuchen Fair rescheduled for Saturday Oct. 18 10-4

E453
1. What is Hazing in NJ?  
2. What is rape in NJ and sexual assault in NJ?
3. Metuchen Fair rescheduled for Saturday Oct. 18 10-4 

1.What is Hazing in NJ?

2C:40-3. Hazing ; aggravated hazing

a. A person is guilty of hazing a disorderly persons offense, if, in connection with initiation of applicants to or members of a student or fraternal organization, he knowingly or recklessly organizes, promotes, facilitates or engages in any conduct, other than competitive athletic events, which places or may place another person in danger of bodily injury.

b. A person is guilty of aggravated hazing a crime of the fourth degree, if he commits an act prohibited in subsection a. which results in serious bodily injury to another person.

2C:40-4. Consent not available as defense to hazing

a. Notwithstanding any other provision of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to a prosecution under this Act.

b. More information on website www.njlaws.com

2. What is rape in NJ and sexual assault in NJ 2C:14-2?

New Jersey calls rape a sexual assault. Below are the NJ statutes on sexual assault. Below are the NJ statutes on sexual assault
2C:14-2  Sexual
Assault  
a. An actor is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:
(1) The victim is less than 13 years old;
(2) The victim is at least 13 but less than 16 years old; and
(a) The actor is related to the victim by blood or affinity to the third degree, or
(b) The actor has supervisory or disciplinary power over the victim by virtue of the actor's legal, professional, or occupational status, or  
 (c)The actor is a resource family parent, a guardian, or stands in loco parentis within the household;
(3) The act is committed during the commission, or attempted commission, whether alone or with one or more other persons, of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, aggravated assault on another, burglary, arson or criminal escape;
(4) The actor is armed with a weapon or any object fashioned in such a manner as to lead the victim to reasonably believe it to be a weapon and threatens by word or gesture to use the weapon or object;
(5) The actor is aided or abetted by one or more other persons and the actor uses physical force or coercion;
(6) The actor uses physical force or coercion and severe personal injury is sustained by the victim;
(7) The victim is one whom the actor knew or should have known was physically helpless or incapacitated, intellectually or mentally incapacitated, or had a mental disease or defect which rendered the victim temporarily or permanently incapable of understanding the nature of his conduct, including, but not limited to, being incapable of providing consent.
b. An actor is guilty of sexual assault if he commits an act of sexual penetration with another person under any one of the following circumstances:
(1)The actor uses physical force or coercion, but the victim does not sustain severe personal injury;   
2C:14-1  Definitions in sexual assault cases.
2C:14-1.  Definitions.  The following definitions apply to this chapter:
a. "Actor" means a person accused of an offense proscribed under this act;  

b. "Victim" means a person alleging to have been subjected to offenses proscribed by this act;  

c. "Sexual penetration" means vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio or anal intercourse between persons or insertion of the hand, finger or object into the anus or vagina either by the actor or upon the actor's instruction.  The depth of insertion shall not be relevant as to the question of commission of the crime;  

d. "Sexual contact" means an intentional touching by the victim or actor, either directly or through clothing, of the victim's or actor's intimate parts for the purpose of degrading or humiliating the victim or sexually arousing or sexually gratifying the actor. Sexual contact of the actor with himself must be in view of the victim whom the actor knows to be present;  

e. "Intimate parts" means the following body parts:  sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast of a person;  

f. "Severe personal injury" means severe bodily injury, disfigurement, disease, incapacitating mental anguish or chronic pain;  

g. "Physically helpless" means that condition in which a person is unconscious or is physically unable to flee or is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to act;  

h. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2011, c.232)  

i. "Mentally incapacitated" means that condition in which a person is rendered temporarily incapable of understanding or controlling his conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, intoxicant, or other substance administered to that person without his prior knowledge or consent, or due to any other act committed upon that person which rendered that person incapable of appraising or controlling his conduct;  

j. "Coercion" as used in this chapter shall refer to those acts which are defined as criminal coercion in section 2C:13-5(1), (2), (3), (4), (6). and (7), amended 1983, c.249, s.1; 1989, c.228, s.2; 2011, c.232, s.3.

 Indictable Criminal Penalties   [Felony type] [ Superior Court]
                                     Jail potential         Fine max           Probation
         1st degree       10- 20 years              $200,000         [presumption of jail]
         2nd degree      5-10 years                 $150,000         [presumption of jail]
         3rd degree       3- 5 years                 $15,000           1 year- 5 year
         4th degree      0- 18 months             $10,000           1 year- 5 year

         There are many other penalties that the court must impose in criminal case. There are dozens of other penalties a court can impose, depending on the type of matter. Readwww.njlaws.com/jail_for_crimes_and_disorderly_conduct.html

Sayreville football player also charged with 2C:33-1. Riot
  
a. Riot. A person is guilty of riot if he participates with four or more others in a course of disorderly conduct as defined in section 2C:33-2a:

(1) With purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of a crime;
(2) With purpose to prevent or coerce official action; or
(3) When he or any other participant, known to him, uses or plans to use a firearm or other deadly weapon.

     Riot, if committed under circumstances set forth in paragraph (3) is a crime of the third degree. Otherwise, riot is a crime of the fourth degree.

b. Failure of disorderly persons to disperse upon official order. Where five or more persons are participating in a course of disorderly conduct as defined in section 2C:33-2 a. likely to cause substantial harm, a peace officer or other public servant engaged in executing or enforcing the law may order the participants and others in the immediate vicinity to disperse. A person who refuses or knowingly fails to obey such an order commits a disorderly persons offense.

2C:13-2.  Criminal Restraint

A person commits a crime of the third degree if he knowingly:

a. Restrains another unlawfully in circumstances exposing the other to risk of serious bodily injury; or

b. Holds another in a condition of involuntary servitude.

      The creation by the actor of circumstances resulting in a belief by another that he must remain in a particular location shall for purposes of this section be deemed to be a holding in a condition of involuntary servitude. In any prosecution under subsection b., it is an affirmative defense that the person held was a child less than 18 years old and the actor was a relative  or legal guardian of such child and his sole purpose was to assume control of  such child.


3. Metuchen Fair rescheduled for Saturday Oct. 18 10-4

Monday, October 13, 2014

E452 1. Testimony for State by Defendant's Investigator Violated Right to Counsel. State v. Nunez 436 NJ Super. 70 (App. Div. 2014) 2. Judge must Recuse from case if involved as prosecutor. State v. Presley 436 N.J. Super. 440 (App. Div. 2014) 3. Protective sweep permitted where shots fired in high crime neighborhood. State v. Gamble 218 N.J 412 (2014) 4. Free Office Space for New Attorney and go to Court & Mentor program- Edison, NJ available October 1 5. Next community events 6. Welcome our Fall 2015 Law Clerks

1.   Testimony for State by Defendant's Investigator Violated Right to Counsel. State v. Nunez 436 NJ Super. 70 (App. Div. 2014)
2.   Judge must Recuse from case if involved as prosecutor. State v. Presley 436 N.J. Super. 440 (App. Div. 2014)
3.   Protective sweep permitted where shots fired in high crime neighborhood. State v. Gamble 218 N.J 412 (2014)
4.   Free Office Space for New Attorney and go to Court & Mentor program- Edison, NJ available October 1
5.   Next community events
6.   Welcome our Fall 2015 Law Clerks

 
1. Testimony for State by Defendant's Investigator Violated Right to Counsel. State v. Nunez 436 NJ Super. 70 (App. Div. 2014)

 
       The court reverses defendant's murder conviction because the trial judge permitted the State to bolster its case by calling defendant's investigator to testify to a prior consistent statement of the State's only eyewitness in violation of defendant's right to counsel.

2. Judge must Recuse from case if involved as prosecutor. State v. Presley 436 N.J. Super. 440 (App. Div. 2014)
 
      In State v. McCann, 391 N.J. Super. 542 (App. Div. 2007), the court announced a prospective "bright-line rule" that called for invalidating search warrants issued by a judge who was bound to recuse himself or herself based on a prior relationship. Upon being advised he had prosecuted one of the defendants when he was an assistant prosecutor, the trial judge recused himself. So, the question here is not one of recusal but of remedy.  Defendants here ask us to apply McCann to the following facts: the judge prosecuted only one of the defendants; no defendant alleges the judge was biased or aware of the disqualifying facts when he issued the warrants or that there was insufficient probable cause for their issuance; and finally, the defendant prosecuted by the judge withheld the disqualifying facts while appearing before the judge on unrelated matters for "strategic" reasons for over a year. The court concludes that McCann is distinguishable; the remedy sought by defendants will not serve the interests of the Code of Judicial Conduct; and the appropriate remedy should be determined by what is "required to restore public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the proceedings, to resolve the dispute in particular, and to promote generally the administration of justice." DeNike v. Cupo, 196 N.J. 502, 519 (2008).


3. Protective sweep permitted where shots fired in high crime neighborhood. State v. Gamble 218 N.J 412 (2014)
 
         Under the totality of the circumstances, which provided the officers with a reasonable and articulable suspicion that defendant was engaged in criminal activity, the investigatory stop and protective sweep of the passenger compartment of the van were valid.


4. Free Office Space for New Attorney and go to Court & Mentor program- Edison, NJ available October 1
 
            Kenneth Vercammen's Law Office has a space sharing opportunity for new lawyer or recent unemployed attorney to get experience and go to court and learn NJ Law office procedures. This is a mentoring experience where you can learn NJ Law Office Procedure.
           Attorney will be provided with use of desk on main floor, plus if needed private office space in furnished basement to start their practice, rent-free. They can see clients in first floor office rooms. In return they will handle municipal court appearances, Telephone communications with courts, prosecutors, clients, etc, Will signings and other legal work and criminal law website updates in lieu of rent for maximum 5 hours per week.
           Go to court and get court experience. Excellent opportunity to jump-start your career. You will get to represent people in Municipal Courts in Middlesex, Union and Monmouth County and meet the top Prosecutors and Judges. Must be admitted in NJ and have a car.
           Learn to interview potential Municipal Court/Criminal clients. Also learn to draft Wills and work on Litigation files. Attorney may also help provide legal assistance to members of prepaid legal plans and public defender clients. Follow up contact calls with clients, courts, prosecutors and bar associations.
  Excellent mentoring position for the right attorney. Are you hardworking and aggressive?  Visit our website:www.njlaws.com to learn about our office.

The following is included with office use:
Desk space
Reception room for clients and use as Bona Fide Office
You can copy and use our Complaints, Motions, Form Letters and Pleadings.
Use our marketing books, marketing CDs, Criminal, Municipal Court and Elder law audiotapes and video library now located in basement
Use of our computer forms Motions, Complaints, and Form letters
Ability to use a file cabinet in basement to store your old files
Lighting/ Utilities
Bathroom Supplies
Landscaping / Snow Removal
Valuable advice
Hot water, municipal water/sewer charge paid

If interested, fax, email or mail a resume and cover letter.
KENNETH VERCAMMEN & ASSOCIATES, PC ATTORNEY AT LAW
2053 Woodbridge Ave. Edison, NJ 08817(Phone) 732-572-0500


5. Next community events 

10/4   Shillelagh 5K Bar A Lake Como, New Jersey 

10/5   Jersey Shore Half Marathon & Lighthouse 5k   Sandy Hook 9am

10/6   North B Wills & Power of Attorney Seminar
          North Brunswick Chapter #3885 of AARP   1:30
          North Brunswick Senior Center, 15 Linwood Place, North Brunswick, NJ 08902
          If someone you know does not have a Will, please have them contact us.

10/8    NJSBA Open house

10/11  Race to Outrun Hunger Roosevelt Park

10/11  Metuchen Fair

10/12  East Brunswick 5k & 10k 1pm RVRR well run event www.ebrr.org, post race we go to Lori's  Lakeside on Farrington Lake, North Brunswick


6. Welcome our Fall 2015 Law Clerks:

Bangi Laki Northeastern
Kerin Sajjad Rutgers Newark
James Gomes   William Paterson
Daniel Park John Jay      
Donte Bronaugh     Rutgers
Greg Burton St. Joes High
       At the request of several placement offices, we have established the volunteer Law Clerk Internship Program and Public Defender Internship. I serve as a mentor and reference on behalf of students who finish the program. We show students how to communicate with clients, set up litigation files, obtain police reports, and the importance of marketing. We remain available after their 12-week internship for references and questions. I have a feeling of satisfaction helping the students. Someday, when these students become the Chief Justice, they will remember the lawyer who helped them out in the beginning. This personal mentor/internship program has given me friendship and a feeling of accomplishment. We also bridge the gap between school placement offices and the real world by providing career advice and suggestions.

         If any other students are also interested, please have them send us a cover letter and resume immediately. 

       Editorial Assistance provided by Donna DeFrancisco.  Ms. DeFrancisco is currently participating in our Fall Internship Program.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

E451 1. New Law establishes limits and enumerates certain factors concerning modification and termination of alimony; establishes "open durational" alimony 2. New Law requires certain police vehicles to be equipped with cameras A-2280/S-1305 3. Next community events 4. HELP WANTED- Clerk for Law Office- envelope stuffing, misc. clerk duties Oct 1- Nov 30

NJ LAWS EMAIL NEWSLETTER E451
Kenneth Vercammen, Attorney at Law
In this issue:
1.   New Law establishes limits and enumerates certain factors concerning modification and termination of alimony; establishes "open durational" alimony
2.  New Law requires certain police vehicles to be equipped with cameras  A-2280/S-1305 
3.   Next community events 
4.  HELP WANTED- Clerk for Law Office- envelope stuffing,   misc. clerk duties Oct 1- Nov 30

1. New Law establishes limits and enumerates certain factors concerning modification and termination of alimony; establishes "open durational" alimony

        The governor signed Senate Bill Nos. 488 this week. This law amends N.J.S.2A:34-23 to modify the types of alimony that may be awarded, establish durational limits for alimony awards, and to enumerate certain factors concerning modification and termination of alimony.
       The law provides specific grounds for modification and termination when the obligor retires, loses a job or otherwise has a reduction in income, or when the obligee cohabits with another person.  The law also eliminates the phrase "permanent alimony" from the statutes and establishes the term "open durational alimony."
       The law modifies the factors to be considered by the court in determining an alimony award by clarifying that when considering the standard of living established in the marriage or civil union and the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living, neither party shall have a greater entitlement to that standard of living than the other.  In addition to the factors set forth in the current statute, the court shall consider the nature, amount, and length of pendente lite support paid, if any.
TYPES OF ALIMONY AND DURATIONAL LIMITS
      Under the old law, the court could award the following types of alimony: permanent, limited duration, rehabilitative, and reimbursement.   
      The law amends the statute to eliminate the requirement that the court must first determine that an award of permanent alimony is not warranted prior to awarding limited duration and other types of alimony.
      The durational limits established by the law provide that for any marriage or civil union less than 20 years in duration, the total duration of alimony shall not, except in exceptional circumstances, exceed the length of the marriage or civil union.  The law clarifies that a determination of the length and amount of alimony is to be made by the court pursuant to consideration of all of the statutory factors set forth in subsection b. of section 1 of the law , amending N.J.S.2A:34-23.  In addition, the court must consider the practical impact of the parties' need for separate residences and the attendant increase in living expenses on the ability of both parties to maintain a standard of living reasonably comparable to the standard of living established in the marriage or civil union, with neither party having a greater entitlement to that standard of living. 
      Exceptional circumstances which may warrant deviation from the durational limits include:
(1) The ages of the parties at the time of the marriage or civil union and at the time of the alimony award;
(2) The degree and duration of the dependency of one party on the other party during the marriage or civil union;
(3) Whether a spouse or partner has a chronic illness or unusual health circumstance;
(4) Whether a spouse or partner has given up a career or a career opportunity or otherwise supported the career of the other spouse or partner;
(5) Whether a spouse or partner has received a disproportionate share of the marital estate;
(6) The impact of the marriage or civil union on either party's ability to become self-supporting, including but not limited to either party's responsibility as primary caretaker of a child;
(7) Tax considerations of either party; and
(8) Any other factors or circumstances that the court deems equitable, relevant and material.
      RETIREMENT
      The law specifies that alimony may be modified or terminated upon the prospective or actual retirement of the obligor. 
Under the law , there shall be a rebuttable presumption that alimony shall terminate upon the obligor reaching full retirement age, except that any arrearages that have accrued prior to the termination date shall not be vacated or annulled.  "Full retirement age" is defined as the age at which a person is eligible to receive full retirement for full retirement benefits under section 216 of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. s.416).  The court may set a different alimony termination date for good cause based on specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. The rebuttable presumption may be overcome if the court determines that alimony should continue after consideration of the following factors:
(1) The ages of the parties at the time of the application for retirement;
(2) The ages of the parties at the time of the marriage or civil union and their ages at the time of the alimony award;
(3) The degree and duration of the economic dependency of the recipient upon the payor during the marriage or civil union;
(4) Whether the recipient has foregone or relinquished or otherwise sacrificed claims, rights or property in exchange for a more substantial or longer alimony award;
(5) The duration or amount of alimony already paid;
(6) The health of the parties at the time of the retirement application;
(7) Assets of the parties at the time of the retirement application;
(8) Whether the recipient has reached full retirement age as defined in the law ;
(9) Sources of income, both earned and unearned, of the parties;
(10) The ability of the recipient to have saved adequately for retirement; and
(11) Any other factors that the court may deem relevant.
      If the court determines that the presumption has been overcome, then the court would apply the alimony factors set forth in subsection b. of section 1 of the law in order to determine whether modification or termination of alimony is appropriate. If the obligor intends to retire but has not yet retired, the court would establish the conditions under which the modification or termination of alimony will be effective.
      If an obligor seeks to retire prior to reaching full retirement age, the obligor would have the burden of demonstrating, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the prospective or actual retirement is reasonable and made in good faith.  Both the obligor's application to the court and the obligee's response to the application shall be accompanied by current Case Information Statements or other relevant documents as required by the Rules of Court, as well as the Case Information Statements or other documents from the date of entry of the original alimony award and from the date of any subsequent modification.
      In determining whether the obligor demonstrated that the prospective or actual retirement is reasonable and made in good faith, the court shall consider the following factors:
(1) The age and health of the parties at the time of the application;
(2) The obligor's field of employment and the generally accepted age of retirement for those in that field;
(3) The age when the obligor becomes eligible for retirement at the obligor's place of employment, including mandatory retirement dates or the dates upon which continued employment would no longer increase retirement benefits;
(4) The obligor's motives in retiring, including any pressures to retire applied by the obligor's employer or incentive plans offered by the obligor's employer;
(5) The reasonable expectations of the parties regarding retirement during the marriage or civil union and at the time of the divorce or dissolution;
(6) The ability of the obligor to maintain support payments following retirement, including whether the obligor will continue to be employed part-time or work reduced hours;
(7) The obligee's level of financial independence and the financial impact of the retirement by the obligor upon the obligee; and
(8) Any other relevant factors affecting the obligor's decision to retire and the parties' respective financial positions.
      If the obligor intends to retire but has not yet retired, the court shall establish the conditions under which the modification or termination of alimony will be effective.
     
LOSS OF INCOME
      When an obligor who is not self-employed seeks modification of alimony, the court shall consider the following factors:
(1) The reasons for any loss of income;
(2) Under circumstances where there has been a loss of employment, the obligor's documented efforts to obtain replacement employment or to pursue an alternative occupation;
(3) Under circumstances where there has been a loss of employment, whether the obligor is making a good faith effort to find remunerative employment at any level and in any field;
(4) The income of the obligee; the obligee's circumstances; and the obligee's reasonable efforts to obtain employment in view of those circumstances and existing opportunities;
(5) The impact of the parties' health on their ability to obtain employment;
(6) Any severance compensation or award made in connection with any loss of employment;
(7) Any changes in the respective financial circumstances of the parties that have occurred since the date of the order from which modification is sought;
(8) The reasons for any change in either party's financial circumstances since the date of the order from which modification is sought, including, but not limited to, assessment of the extent to which either party's financial circumstances at the time of the application are attributable to enhanced earnings or financial benefits received from any source since the date of the order;
(9) Whether a temporary remedy should be fashioned to provide adjustment of the support award from which modification is sought, and the terms of any such adjustment, pending continuing employment investigations by the unemployed spouse or partner; and
(10) Any other factor the court deems relevant to fairly and equitably decide the application.
      If the changed circumstances arise from the loss of employment, the length of time a party has been involuntarily unemployed or has had an involuntary reduction in income shall not be the only factor considered by the court, but rather the court shall determine the application based upon all of the enumerated factors, however, no application shall be filed until a party has been unemployed, or has not been able to return to or attain employment at prior income levels, or both, for a period of 90 days.  The court shall have discretion to make any relief granted retroactive to the date of the loss of employment or reduction of income.
       When a self-employed party seeks modification of alimony because of an involuntary reduction in income since the date of the order from which modification is sought, then that party's application for relief must include an analysis that sets forth the economic and non-economic benefits the party receives from the business, and which compares these economic and non-economic benefits to those that were in existence at the time of the entry of the order.
    The court may establish a temporary remedy which may include: temporarily suspending or reducing support on terms established by the court; directing that support be paid in some amount from assets pending further proceedings; directing a periodic review; or entering any other order the court finds appropriate to assure fairness and equity to both parties.
COHABITATION
      Under the law , the court may suspend or terminate alimony if a payee cohabits with another person. Pursuant to the law , cohabitation involves a mutually supportive, intimate personal relationship in which a couple has undertaken duties and privileges that are commonly associated with marriage or civil union but does not necessarily maintain a single common household.
     When assessing whether cohabitation is occurring, the court shall consider the following:
(1) Intertwined finances such as joint bank accounts and other joint holdings or liabilities;
(2) Sharing or joint responsibility for living expenses;
(3) Recognition of the relationship in the couple's social and family circle;
(4) Living together, the frequency of contact, the duration of the relationship, and other indicia of a mutually supportive intimate personal relationship;
(5) Sharing household chores;
(6) Whether the recipient of alimony has received an enforceable promise of support from another person within the meaning of subsection h. of R.S.25:1-5 ("palimony"); and
(7) All other relevant evidence.
      In evaluating whether cohabitation is occurring and whether alimony should be suspended or terminated, the court shall also consider the length of the relationship.  A court may not find an absence of cohabitation solely on grounds that the couple does not live together on a full-time basis.

2. New Law requires certain police vehicles to be equipped with cameras  A-2280/S-1305 

          The law requires certain municipal police vehicles to be equipped with mobile video recording systems, and increases an existing surcharge on persons convicted of driving while intoxicated to provide funding for the municipal cost of equipping police vehicles with video systems.  Under the law, every new or used municipal police vehicle purchased, leased, or otherwise acquired on or after the law's effective date that is primarily used for traffic stops must be equipped with a mobile video recording system.
       The law defines a "mobile video recording system" as a device or system installed or used in a police vehicle or worn or otherwise used by an officer that electronically records visual images depicting activities that take place during a motor vehicle stop or other law enforcement action.
         The law increases, from $100 to $125, the current surcharge imposed on persons convicted of driving while intoxicated. The law provides for the additional $25 surcharge to be payable to the State, county, or municipal entity that issued the summons, and stipulates that the increased amounts payable to municipalities from the surcharge must be used for the cost of equipping police vehicles with mobile video recording systems. 
  
3. Next community events 

Seminar: Top Recent Criminal and Traffic Cases in NJ, September 30 from 5:00PM-5:45PM, Tuesday, Co-Sponsor Local 9 Retired Police & Fire Middlesex & Monmouth Chapter
Location: Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen, 2053 Woodbridge Ave, Edison, NJ 08817

10/4   Shillelagh 5K Bar A Lake Como, New Jersey 

10/4   Sayreville Hit the Bricks 5k 9:30

10/5   Jersey Shore Half Marathon & Lighthouse 5k   Sandy Hook 9am

10/6    North B Wills & Power of Attorney Seminar
           North Brunswick Chapter #3885 of AARP   1:30

 
10/8    NJSBA Open house

10/11  Race to Outrun Hunger Roosevelt Park

 
10/11  Metuchen Fair

10/12  East Brunswick 5k & 10k 1pm RVRR well run event www.ebrr.org, post race we go to Lori's  Lakeside on Farrington Lake, North Brunswick


4. HELP WANTED- Clerk for Law Office- envelope stuffing,   misc. clerk duties Oct 1- Nov 30

Monday-Friday
2-3 hours per day Monday- Friday     start 8:55

$8.50 per hour
OTHER DUTIES
-Adding client names to computer database, prepare letters, and work on client traffic ticket matters.
- Preparation of documents on Computer and mail to courts
-Telephone Answering

-General Office duties in Law Office
-Update mailing/ client lists and learn marketing
-All other work needed including working on personal injury cases
Must be dependable and committed to perfection.
Call Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
732-572-0500

         Check out our website at www.njlaws.com to see more information on our law office.