In this issue:
1. Business Networking Party Friday, February 3, 2006 5-8PM
2. New statutes signed: Upgrades the crime of criminal mischief under certain circumstances; creates new offense.
3. Probate- New law provides that surviving domestic partner would have the same intestacy rights as a surviving spouse and would have authority to make funeral arrangements.
4. – Authorizes court to refrain from imposing driver’s license suspension on defendant convicted of CDS offense if compelling circumstances exist.
5. – Placing juveniles in detention restricted
6.– State’s guardianship law amended
7 If an illegal stop, refusal to take breath test suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree
8. In domestic violence, defendant must have access to information sheet in discovery
9. Edison Freezing Cold Hash Run- newspaper article links
1. Business Networking Party Friday, February 3, 2006 5-8PM
Edison Chamber of Commerce and Metuchen Area Chamber of Commerce present a networking party to help celebrate Kenneth Vercammen's 20 years of providing excellent service to clients"
Open House, Client, Professionals & Business Owners Social.
Food, Refreshments, T- shirts and special gifts
The networking event will be held at the Kenneth Vercammen Law Office, 2053 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, NJ 08817 near the Nixon Post Office, approximately 1/2 mile from Route 1/ Wick Plaza, and 1 mile from Middlesex County College. Bring plenty of business cards.
There is 50 parking spaces nearby on Russell Ave. and Lillian St. around the corner near Kal's Deli, on Woodbridge Ave. near the Green Derby Tavern, and across the street on School House Lane.
Visit website at www.njlaws.com for directions or call and we will fax directions or email at KenV@njlaws.com
Fax that you are attending to Edison Chamber of Commerce at 732-738-9485 or call 732-738-9482
-Yes, We will be attending the networking party
Name: _____________________ email: _________________________
2. New Bills Into Law-January 12, 2006
Upgrades the crime of criminal mischief under certain circumstances; creates new offense. S-273/A-2517
Criminal mischief is graded as a crime of the third degree if the actor purposely or knowingly causes pecuniary loss of $2,000.00 or more, or a substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, oil, gas or power, or other public service.
This bill upgrades the crime of criminal mischief to a crime of the second degree when the actor purposely or knowingly causes a substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service if the interruption or impairment recklessly causes a death.
The bill also adds a crime of the fourth degree if the actor purposely or knowingly breaks, digs up, obstructs or otherwise tampers with any pipes or mains for conducting gas, oil or water, or any works erected for supplying buildings with gas, oil or water, or injures, cuts, breaks down, destroys or otherwise tampers with any electric light wires, poles or appurtenances, or any telephone, telecommunications, cable television or telegraph wires, lines, cable or appurtenances.
The bill would also clarify that it would be a crime of the fourth degree if the actor purposely or knowingly causes pecuniary loss in excess of $500.00 but less than $2000.00.
3. Provides that surviving domestic partner would have the same intestacy rights as a surviving spouse and would have authority to make funeral arrangements. S-2083/A-3429 –
The committee amendments include changes to various sections of Title 3B, the Probate Code, to provide that a surviving domestic partner would have the same rights concerning inheritance as a surviving spouse if the decedent has not left a will. The committee amendments include a definition generally of "domestic partner" for Title 3B and include "domestic partner" in the definition of "heir." Various references to "surviving spouse" would be amended to include "or domestic partner" in such sections as those concerning intestate shares of heirs; elective share; the definition of "augmented estate;" granting of letters of administration; and entitlement to assets without administration.
The committee also amended the original section of the bill, N.J.S.A. 45:27-22, to include a reference to N.J.S.A. 3B:10-21 which provides generally that prior to appointment, a person named executor in a will may carry out written instructions of the decedent relating to his body, funeral and burial arrangements. This would be in addition to N.J.S.A. 3B:10-21.1 which provides that prior to probate, a decedent's appointment of a person in a will to control the funeral and disposition of human remains may be carried out in accordance with section 22 of P.L. 2003, c.261 (C.45:27-22).
This bill as introduced amended the "New Jersey Cemetery Act, 2003" to provide that a surviving domestic partner, as defined in the "Domestic Partnership Act," shall have the same rights as a surviving spouse with respect to the decedent's funeral and the disposition of the decedent's remains if the decedent has not left a will.
4. –Authorizes a court to refrain from imposing driver’s license suspension on defendant convicted of drug offense if compelling circumstances exist. S-2517/A-878
Under current law, the court must order every person convicted of an offense concerning controlled dangerous substances or drug paraphernalia, as set out in chapters 35 and 36 of the Criminal Code, to forfeit his or her driving privileges for a period of six months to two years. In cases involving juveniles under the age of 17, the period of suspension ordered by the court begins after the day the juvenile reaches age 17. This bill allows the court to refrain from imposing the driver's license suspension under certain circumstances.
As a condition of receipt of certain federal funds, federal law (set out in 23 U.S.C.A. §159) requires each state to comply with one of the following three options:
(1) the state must require driver's license suspension for CDS offenses in all cases (as does current New Jersey law); or
(2) the state must require drivers' license suspension for CDS offenses unless there are "compelling circumstances warranting an exception"; or
(3) the state's Governor must submit two certifications to the federal Secretary of Transportation: one stating that the Governor is opposed to the enactment or enforcement in the state of a law requiring drivers' license suspensions for convicted drug offenders; and one stating that the legislature (including both Houses where applicable) has adopted a resolution expressing its opposition to such a law.
This bill conforms to alternative (2) of the federal statute. Under the bill, the court will not order a driver's license suspension for a person convicted of a drug offense if the court finds "compelling circumstances warranting an exception." For purposes of the bill, compelling circumstances warranting an exception exist if the forfeiture of the person's right to operate a motor vehicle will result in extreme hardship and alternative means of transportation are not available.
The committee amendments were proposed by the Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing established by P.L. 2003, c.265. These amendments provide that a person, at any time after sentencing and upon notice to the prosecutor, may make an application to the court to restore his right to operate a motor vehicle if the application is based upon new evidence or new information which demonstrates compelling circumstances warranting an exception. For example, a person may be sentenced to forfeit his driving privileges for two years. After serving one year of that sentence he may relocate and alternative means of transportation may no longer be available near his new residence. Under the amendments that person may apply to the court for reconsideration of his loss of driving privileges given the new information bearing on this matter.
5. – Revises & restricts criteria for placing juveniles in detention. S-2927/A-4466
Under current law, a court may detain a juvenile if releasing the juvenile would "adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of a juvenile." This bill removes this broad language and allows detention only as specified in the bill.
A juvenile also may be placed in detention under current law if: (1) detention is necessary to secure a juvenile's presence at the next court hearing when the juvenile has a record of willful failure to appear at juvenile proceedings or to remain where placed by the court; or (2) not detained, the physical safety of persons or property would be seriously threatened by that juvenile and the juvenile is charged with an offense, which if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime of the first, second, third or fourth degree. A juvenile charged with a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense also may be detained, but only temporarily, if police and court personnel are unsuccessful in locating a parent or guardian to accept custody.
This bill would change the current law to also allow a juvenile to be detained when the juvenile is subject to a current warrant for failure to appear at court proceedings which is active at the time of arrest. The bill clarifies that a failure to appear at juvenile court proceedings or to remain where placed by the court or the court intake service shall be deemed recent if it occurred within the 12 months immediately preceding the detention hearing, or if it occurred within the period of 12 to 24 months preceding the detention hearing and the juvenile is unable to demonstrate a record of voluntary compliance with any subsequent court appearance and placement requirements.
Under the provisions of this bill, juveniles charged with offenses that, if committed by an adult, would constitute a first, second, third and certain fourth degree crimes would be subject to detention. Those fourth degree crimes are: aggravated assault; stalking; criminal sexual contact; bias intimidation; failure to control or report a dangerous fire; possession of a prohibited weapon or device; or unlawful possession of a weapon.
The bill specifies that juveniles charged with offenses that, if committed by an adult, constitute other fourth degree crimes or a disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense, may be temporarily placed in a shelter or other non-secure placement only if a parent or guardian cannot be located or will not accept custody of the juvenile.
ACS for A-2869/3093/SCS SS for S-221 – Provides standards for registered professional guardians; appropriates $95,000.
S-1137/A-2248 – Removes limitation on punitive damages awards in civil actions arising from convictions for murder, aggravated manslaughter or manslaughter.
Bill Into Law-January 11, 2006
6.– Amends the State’s guardianship law. ACS for A-1922/S-224
This bill revises numerous sections of chapter 12 of Title 3B of the New Jersey Statutes concerning guardianship.
This bill clarifies the court's authority with regard to addressing the immediate needs of an incapacitated person. The bill establishes procedures for the appointment of a general guardian, a limited guardian of the person, estate or of both, a special guardian or a temporary "pendente lite" guardian who would act on behalf of the incapacitated person with regard to his medical, financial, educational, legal or vocational needs. It sets forth the powers and duties of the guardian, when a bond must be furnished by a guardian and when reasonable compensation for services would be granted. The bill expands the current reporting procedures for guardians. In addition, the bill revises various sections throughout chapter 12 of Title 3B by deleting all references to "mental incompetent" and replacing them with "incapacitated or alleged incapacitated" to provide uniformity and consistency in these sections.
7 If an illegal stop, refusal suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree. State v. Badessa 185 NJ 303 (2005).
The police officer's observations at the scene of the illegal stop were necessary to prove an essential element of refusal to take the Breathalyzer test. Because the evidence must be suppressed, the state cannot prove a violation of the refusal statute.
8. In domestic violence, defendant must have access to information sheet in discovery. Pazienza v. Camarata 381 NJ Super. 173 (App. Div. 2005).
A defendant in a domestic-violence proceeding should be permitted access to pages two and three of the three-page confidential information sheet completed by the victim during the intake process. Unlike page one, which contains personal and identifying information, the second and third pages contain information about the alleged domestic-violence incident and prior history. There is no reason for confidentiality of this information and withholding it from the defendant might adversely affect his ability to defend the charge.
No pat-down for drugs for DWS. State v. Whitted unreported (App. Div. A-14-2-0096, decided May 4, 2005). As there was no articulable basis for placing defendant in the back of the police car while the officers issued him appropriate summonses for driving with a suspended license and failing to produce either the registration or insurance card for the vehicle he was carelessly driving, the subsequent pat-down search was unlawful, and the conviction for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cocaine) found during the search is vacated. Unreported source: NJ Law Journal May 9, 2005 p. 71
9. Edison Freezing Cold Hash Run- newspaper article links
The Annual Edison Freezing Cold Hash Run was held Sat. Jan. 7, 2006
A great time was had in a record setting attendance
Front page, section B Home News Tribune
HASHERS RUN FOR THE FUN OF IT
Edison/Metuchen/ Woodbridge Sentinel:
TV News 12 filmed the run and post race party in Edison
2005 Photos- http://groups.msn.com/RumsonHash/home.htm
Thank you for reading our newsletter! God Bless America USA #1
Kenneth Vercammen, Esq.
2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
PHONE 732-572-0500 (Fax) 732-572-0030
"Celebrating 20 years of providing excellent service to clients 1985-2005"
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