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.

Juvenile Waiver Report Recommendations Receive Approval from NJSBA

The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) submitted its approval of the recommendations of the Supreme Court Family Practice Committee Juvenile Waiver Report issued on Dec. 29, 2017. A hearing will be held on the recommendations at 10 a.m. May 29, in the Supreme Court Courtroom, 8th Floor, Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton.

The proposed amendment to Rule 5:22-2 focuses on waiver of jurisdiction and referral without the juvenile’s consent. The amendment adds a new paragraph (f) to require the prosecutor to file a complaint warrant with the appropriate court within 12 hours of the granting of a waiver.

The NJSBA submitted comments on several Supreme Court reports, which will be covered in the Capitol Report over the next few weeks. To view these comments, visit njsba.com.

NJSBA Urges Uniform Notification of Municipal Court Closings

The NJSBA urged Chief Justice Stuart Rabner to consider instituting a uniform notification mechanism for municipal court closings in a letter last week.

“Unlike other courts, there is no central location where information about municipal court closings or delays is disseminated in an organized manner,” said NJSBA President Robert B. Hille. “It is important for practitioners and litigants to be able to quickly and easily access this information, especially in instances like those that occurred this past winter, where the governor declared a state of emergency yet some municipal courts remained open.”

The issue was raised by the Municipal Court Practice Section following the last state of emergency. In a letter to Hille, Joshua H. Reinitz, chair of the section, described the frustration of practitioners who drove to court during the storm, only to discover it was closed; the lack of professionalism in not being able to advise clients whether court is open or not; and the inherent danger and inconvenience of the uncertainty of the process, which “imbues a lack of professionalism.”

“Often, municipal court websites are not up-to-date, and the general phone lines are not answered on the morning of court, as staff are preparing for same,” said Reinitz.

The association recommended a policy to follow the superior courts in the vicinage, which would alleviate the necessity of a new website or alert system. In the alternative, it suggested establishing a standard, uniform publicly accessible place where municipal courts would be required to report any closings or delays, to eliminate confusion and guesswork, such as njcourts.com.

NJSBA Annual Meeting Programs Feature Legislators and Key Administration Officials

This year’s Annual Meeting and Convention includes a wide range of programs featuring legislators and key administration officials offering their insight on topics from tweeting to taxes. Check out the full complement of educational programming, and register to attend, at njsba.com.