As we wrote about, earlier this fall the Christie administration directed New Jersey law enforcement to stop prosecuting casinos and racing tracks for offering sports betting to patrons. At the time, the administration said it wasn’t technically authorizing such betting, but merely repealing the state’s former ban. Some praised Governor Christie’s move as a bold bid to save a declining casino industry, while others scoffed at what they interpreted as blatant disregard for federal law. In either case, it was a surprising move which led many to predict further legal controversy in the days to come — and now, those predictions have proven correct. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp has issued a temporary restraining order at the request of the N.C.A.A. and the major professional sports leagues, which are gearing up to seek a permanent ban once and for all.
This isn’t the first time we’ve written about New Jersey’s ongoing red light camera fiasco. Between the felony bribery charges leveled at Redflex upper management in Chicago, a fired whistleblower’s allegations that Redflex bribed officials in no fewer than 13 states (including, you guessed it, New Jersey), and the dismissal of a whopping 17,000 traffic tickets from American Traffic Solutions, the cameras are somewhat less than popular. Their poor reputation doesn’t look like it will improve anytime soon, since even more evidence against the cameras has recently come to light.
Massachusetts and Missouri have placed temporary bans on highway guardrails manufactured by Trinity Industries. State Highway officials say the guardrails, which have been linked to deaths and amputation injuries, have a defective design which allows them to puncture cars and their occupants like “spears.” Now at the center of multiple product suspensions and personal injury lawsuits, Trinity maintains that its guardrails are perfectly safe and meet all federal guidelines.
If you have a New Jersey court date scheduled for November 17, 2014 or later, get your wallet ready. On the heels of Senate Bill 946, a slew of new and increased fees are coming to the state judiciary this winter. The state court system has proposed raising 65 existing fees and creating an additional 17 new ones in hopes of raising an estimated $42 to $49.9 million in revenue. The increases are broad in scope, and affect everything from filing for divorce to getting a gun permit. Will you be affected?
This September has been full of legislative changes for the Garden State. Last week, we wrote about the Christie administration approving sports betting in New Jersey. This week, the Governor signed off on a bill to end lifetime alimony. The new bill, which has won almost universal support, both limits payment duration and supplies new guidelines for judges to use when making alimony determinations. The bill has been praised as a “fantastic new step” and “smart, realistic and balanced.”
New Jersey is home to some of the most relaxed gambling laws in the country. As recently as November of 2013, the Garden State legalized online gambling, while casino gambling famously drives much of Atlantic City’s economy. But with that economy sliding into an apparently inexorable decline, drastic measures may be called for. On Monday, Governor Chris Christie issued a directive to end New Jersey’s prohibition on sports betting in hopes that a gambling surge could help revitalize Atlantic City’s failing economy. But will Christie’s legal maneuver survive a federal ban on sports wagering?
Back in May, we wrote about allegations that Redflex Traffic Systems had a history of bribing local officials to implement their red light cameras. At the time, New Jersey State Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon called use of the cameras a “disgusting system that exists just to steal money,” adding that the cameras actually had “a history of increasing accidents.” Now, both Redflex and competitor ATS (American Traffic Solutions) are in the spotlight again — this time, because the state Judiciary has asked that a whopping 17,000 traffic infractions be dismissed due to missed deadlines and equipment glitches. If you live in New Jersey, your infraction could be among them.
Many people are familiar with the legal concept of wrongful death, where one party’s negligence results in the preventable death of another person: for example, a doctor who makes a terrible mistake during surgery. It is far less common to hear about instances involving wrongful life. Perhaps because abortion is such a divisive topic in the United States, often resulting in gridlock between pro-life and pro-choice camps, wrongful birth and life legislature has been slow to develop and many states bar parents from having the option to sue. New Jersey, however, is not among them. What are the legalities surrounding these rare and emotionally devastating cases?
From his days on Saturday Night Live to his role on TV show 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan has always been loved as a comedian — but his current state of affairs is no laughing matter. Morgan was hurt in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in June, and now, over two months later, is reportedly still fighting to make a full recovery from his injuries. In July the popular actor filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart for its involvement in the accident, and Morgan’s attorneys say their client continues to struggle with the medical fallout of his ordeal. His ongoing story is a grim reminder of just how devastating auto accidents can be for their victims, and of how important it is to fight for accountability when the worst happens. But why is it that Wal-Mart itself — and not just the actual driver — could be held liable for the crash?
Often when we hear stories about police brutality in the news, the stories point to the country’s largest and best-known departments: the NYPD, the LAPD, the Chicago PD. But while America’s biggest cities tend to be the “stars” of such accounts, allegations of departmental misconduct are not restricted to New York and L.A. In a civil lawsuit filed by plaintiff Matthew Groark, a federal judge is forcing the Atlantic City Police Department to hand over a “representative sampling” of nearly 2,000 Internal Affairs reports citing excessive force collected from 2003 to 2011.