2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NJ Laws Email Newsletter E258 - October 24, 2007

NJ Laws Email Newsletter E258
Kenneth Vercammen, Attorney at Law
October 24, 2007

In This Issue
1. New Law signed to protect injured victims of hit & run accident.
2. In DWI Refusal, Officer should Read Additional Paragraph.
3. Reasonable Suspicion Required to Search a Disabled Car.
4. Proposed law would permit some suspended persons to drive to work to pay child support.
5. Governor Jon S. Corzine signed a new law recently which requires new State residents to register their vehicles in New Jersey.
6. Recent WebPages we have created.
7. We have established a new Web blog called "Law Enforcement Caselaw"

1. New Law signed to protect injured victims of hit & run accident. Law prohibits car insurance company from use of "step-down" provisions to limit uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in Car insurance policies

This new law prohibits the use of "step-down" provisions in motor vehicle liability policies issued to corporate or business entities to lower uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for employees to the limits of coverage available to the employees under their personal policies.

This new law is in response to the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision in Pinto v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, 183 N.J. 205 (2005). In Pinto, the court held that as to a motor vehicle liability policy that names a corporate or business entity as a named insured, step-down provisions which limit uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for employees of that entity that are not individually named on the policy are valid and enforceable. Thus, the court's ruling allows an employee's coverage under an employer's business motor vehicle insurance policy to be limited to the lower limits of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage contained in the employee's individual motor vehicle liability policy, even in situations in which the employee is injured in a covered vehicle in a work-related accident, if the employer's policy so provides.

This new law reverses the effect of the Pinto decision by prohibiting step-down provisions in these policies. Further, the new law expressly provides that a policy that names a corporate or business entity as a named insured shall be deemed to provide the maximum uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage available under the policy to any individual employed by the corporate or business entity, regardless of whether the individual is an additional named insured under that policy or is a named insured or is covered under any other policy providing uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Drivers now receive better protection against negligent drivers who have no insurance or bare minimum policies but cause traumatic injuries. The new law also helps persons injured in hit & run car accidents.

2. In DWI Refusal, Officer should Read Additional Paragraph. State v. Spell 395 NJ Super. 337 (App. Div., 2007).

In refusal to take a breathalyzer test N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2, the Appellate Division wrote, effective October 1, 2007 officers must read the additional paragraph of the statutorily promulgated statement of the Motor Vehicle Commission before any refusal conviction can be sustained. However, this opinion is stayed pending appeal by Attorney General.

3. Reasonable Suspicion Required to Search a Disabled Car. State v. Elders 195 NJ 224 (2007).
The "reasonable and articulable suspicion" standard of State v. Carty. 174 N.J. 351 (2002), which governs consent searches of cars that are validly stopped applies equally to disabled vehicles on the State's roadways. In this case, the Court concludes that there was sufficient credible evidence in the record to support the trial judge's findings that the troopers engaged in an unconstitutional investigatory detention and search.

4. Proposed law would permit some suspended persons to drive to work to pay child support.
Proposed Bill ASSEMBLY, No. 3240 would allow a person whose license has been suspended for certain motor vehicle violations to apply for a restricted use license. The license would be used exclusively for traveling to and from the licensee's place of employment or education, when other transportation is not available, and for driving on the job where that is a condition of employment. I support this bill since the proposed law is intended to mitigate the adverse effects of a suspension of driving privileges on certain persons who must drive motor vehicles to maintain their employment or continue their education.
Persons who can maintain employment pay taxes and child support. Unemployed persons often become a drain on society.
Under the proposed bill, the court would make a recommendation to the Motor Vehicle Commission as to whether the license should be granted. A restricted use license would be granted only if all fines are paid and sentences completed in connection with the license suspension and proof of fully paid liability insurance is provided.
I urge voters to contact their legislators to support ASSEMBLY, No. 3240.

5. Governor Jon S. Corzine signed a new law recently which requires new State residents to register their vehicles in New Jersey

The legislators recognized there was an increase in non NJ drivers moving to New Jersey but failing to timely register their cars in New Jersey or obtain New Jersey licenses. This is also common with immigrants using unrecognized international licenses, having the car registered in another state, but then living and driving in New Jersey.

The new law extends "touring privileges" to nonresidents who have registered their vehicles in their home state [USA only], so that a vehicle would not have to be registered in more than one state at a time. In addition, current law specified that a person who was authorized to drive in this State as a nonresident prior to moving to New Jersey retains this right for 60 days after establishing New Jersey residency. These provisions have been interpreted by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to imply that a new New Jersey resident must register any vehicles he intends to drive on public highways within 60 days of becoming a resident.

This amended law expressly requires new New Jersey residents to register their vehicles within 60 days of becoming a resident of this State. Violations would be punishable by a fine up to $250 for a first offense and up to $500 for a second or subsequent offense. In addition, the vehicle would be impounded for a minimum of 96 hours for third or subsequent offenses. The law also allows impounded vehicles that are not claimed by their owners to be sold at auction, and outlines procedures for such sale. If the identity and address of the owner are known, the proceeds from the sale, less any towing, storage, and other costs, would be forwarded to the owner.

The Legislative committee adopted amendments clarifying that the ability to obtain release of an impounded vehicle is separate from the payment of court fines and fees associated with adjudication, clarifying the disposition of violation monies, requiring that the lienholder, if the lienholder's name and address are known, is to be notified of an impending sale of an impounded vehicle, and making technical changes to the text of the bill.

Under the law, one-half of the fines and penalties imposed and collected for violations would be paid to the chief financial officer of the county and one-half to the chief financial officer of the municipality in which the violation occurred, unless the complaining witness is a State law enforcement officer or other State official in which case the monies would be paid to the State Treasurer.

6. Recent and New Web Pages/Articles by Kenneth Vercammen

What to do if you have a Sport related Injury?

What are Interrogatory Questions?

Underage drinking at PNC Arts Center/Garden State Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ

Miranda Right to Remain Silent

Drug Recognition Expert Defense

7. We have established a new Web blog called "LAW ENFORCEMENT CASELAW"


This Webblog sets for weekly updates on criminal cases which affect police, law enforcement and homeland Security. Our Editor is Mike Rowan, a 2nd year law
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NJ Personal Injury & Civil Law Blog- http://njlawspersonalinjury.blogspot.com/
NJ Elder Law Blog -http://elder-law.blogspot.com/
NJ Drug Law Blog - http://drugarrest.blogspot.com/

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