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.
Guns have the power to maim and kill, and as a result, their purchase and ownership is heavily regulated. However, those regulations can vary widely from one jurisdiction to the next, and what’s permissible in one state can create serious legal problems in another. 27-year-old Shaneen Allen of Philadelphia is now facing felony weapons charges in New Jersey for precisely that reason.
Subaru is one of the most popular auto manufacturers in America, selling hundreds of thousands of cars in dealerships across the nation each year. But now, a lawsuit is alleging that some of Subaru’s most popular models could be ticking time bombs. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Camden earlier this month, alleges that numerous Subaru models consume excessive oil and suffer from piston problems, and that these defects have the potential to cause injury or death to drivers. The suit takes its allegations one step further by claiming that Subaru was well aware of these hazards, yet failed to warn its unknowing consumer base. Could your car be affected?
From July 15th to July 17th, 2014, a number of South New Jersey counties, including Salem County, Cumberland County, Gloucester County, Camden County, Cape May County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County, participated in a 3-day sweep for non-custodial parents who owed child support. Salem County Sheriff, Charles Miller, announced that 760 parents delinquent on their child support payments had been apprehended. The stated goal of the sweep was to round-up non-custodial parents who have avoided their court-ordered child support obligations. Additionally, parents who have failed to appear at hearings to establish support were also targeted by this sweep. From the 760 warrants served, approximately $130,995.95 was recovered. While in isolation this recovery seems to be impressive, it failed to recovery even 1% of the total amount owed. The total amount of money owed on the issued warrants was $14.8 million. However, despite the small percentage collected, every cent truly does count when it comes to the upbringing and well-being of children. Hopefully news of enforcement actions like this one will encourage more non-custodial parents to pay their child support obligations.