Friday, November 10, 2017

program Expungements in Municipal Court: Navigating the New Rules to Get the Best Results for Your Client and Your Practice

reminder

REMINDER - The next Municipal Court Practice Section CLE program is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 13 at 4:30 p.m. at the New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick.
  
Expungements in Municipal Court: Navigating the New Rules to Get the Best Results for Your Client and Your Practice
  
1.8 CLE credits
  
Veteran Attorney and Past Section Chair Allan Marain and Assistant Prosecutor Christina Atallah will discuss the new rules for expungements, the different processes and requirements for expungements in municipal and superior court and strategies for ensuring that your petition goes through without an objection.
  
$15 per person (with CLE credits); Free (without CLE credits)
  

Download the registration form and fax to 732-249-2414, or login to register online. To register by phone, call Member Services 732-249-5000.

7:6-3. Guilty Plea by Mail in Non-Traffic Offenses

7:6-3. Guilty Plea by Mail in Non-Traffic Offenses

(a) Entry of Guilty Plea by Mail. In all non-traffic and non-parking offenses, except as limited below, on consideration of a written application, supported by certification, with notice to the complaining witness and prosecutor, and at the time and place scheduled for trial, the judge may permit the defendant to enter a guilty plea by mail if the court is satisfied that a personal appearance by the defendant would constitute an undue hardship such as illness, physical incapacity, substantial distance to travel, or incarceration. The guilty plea by mail form may also include a statement for the court to consider when determining the appropriate sentence.


Defense by Affidavit or Certification Program - We Go to Court if You Live Out of Area or Cannot Appear for Court Middlesex, Piscataway, South Plainfield, Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, Carteret, Highland Park, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Milltown, East Brunswick, South River, Sayreville, South Amboy, Old Bridge, Spotswood, South Brunswick, Plainsboro, Cranbury, Monroe, Jamesburg, Monmouth, Union, Somerset, Mercer, Ocean, Essex, Hunterdon, Burlington, county, NJ, New Jersey

  Defense by Affidavit or Certification Program - We Go to Court if You Live Out of Area or Cannot Appear for Court
DEFENSE BY AFFIDAVIT OR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM - WE GO TO COURT IF YOU LIVE OUT OF AREA OR CANNOT APPEAR FOR COURT
Our office helps people with traffic/ municipal court tickets. We provide representation on most Central New Jersey traffic cases. Motor vehicle violations and criminal charges can cost you. If you plead guilty by mail for almost all traffic tickets, in addition to fines you will later receive points on your drivers license. Both the DMV and your car insurance company will impose surcharges and eligibility points for three years.
If you live out of New Jersey or will be traveling outside of New Jersey, contact our Law Office regarding us providing representation under the Defense by Affidavit Rule.
Under the New Jersey Court Rules, a New Jersey Attorney can negotiate with the Municipal Court Prosecutor to attempt to reduce points, obtain dismissal of some tickets and provide other assistance. By reducing points and penalties you can reduce increases in your car insurance and surcharges.
An accumulation of too many points, or certain moving violations may require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. Division of Motor Vehicles or have your license suspended. Don't give up! We can appear in court for you on most Central New Jersey traffic violations.
The following are tickets we have handled without our clients having to appear because they were not available. Our attorneys can appear on your behalf without you having to go to court on the following matters: Violation Points 27:23-29 Moving against traffic-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway 2
# 27:23-29 Improper passing-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway 4
# 27:23-29 Unlawful use of median strip-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway 2
# 39:3-20 Operating constructor vehicle in excess of 45 mph 3
# 39:4-14.3 Operating motorized bicycle on restricted highway 2
# 39:4-14.3d More than 1 person on a motorized bicycle. 2
# 39:4-35 Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk. 2
# 39:4-36 Failure to yield to pedestrian or passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in crosswalk 2
# 39:4-41 Driving through safety zone. 2
# 39:4-52 Racing on Highway 5
# 39:4-55 Improper action or omission on grades and curves 2
# 39:4-57 Failure to observe directions of officer. 2
# 39:4-66 Failure to stop before crossing sidewalk 2
# 39:4-66.1 Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or leaving highway 2
# 39:4-66.2 Driving on private property to avoid traffic signal or stop sign 2
# 39:4-71 Improper driving on sidewalk 2
# 39:4-80 Failure to obey direction of officer 2
# 39:4-81 Failure to observe traffic signal 2
# 39:4-82 Failure to keep right 2
# 39:4-82.1 Improper operating of vehicle on divided highway or divider 2
# 39:4-83 Failure to keep right at intersection 2
# 39:4-84 Failure to pass right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction 5
# 39:4-85 Improper passing on right or off roadway 4
# 39:4-85.1 Wrong way on one-way street 2
# 39:4-86 Improper passing, in No Passing zone 4
# 39:4-87 Failure to yield to overtake vehicle 2
# 39:4-88 Failure to observe traffic lanes 2
# 39:4-89 Tailgating 5
# 39:4-90 Failure to yield at intersection 2
# 39:4-90.1 Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highway 2
# 39:4-91, Failure to yield to emergency vehicle 2
# 39:4-96 Reckless driving 5
# 39:4-97 Careless driving 2
# 39:4-97a Destruction of agricultural or recreational property 2
# 39:4-97.1 Slow speed blocking traffic 2
# 39:4-98 or Speeding up to 14mph above limit 2
# 39:4-99 Speeding 15-29 mph above limit 4
# Speeding 30 mph or more above limit 5
# 39:4-105 Failure to stop at traffic light 2
# 39:4-115 Improper turn at traffic light 3
# 39:4-119 Failure to stop at flashing red signal 2
# 39:4-122 Failure to stop for police whistle 2
# 39:4-123 Improper right or left turn 3
# 39:4-124 Improper turn: from approved turning course 3
# 39:4-125 Improper u-turn 3
# 39:4-126 Failure to give proper signal 2
# 39:4-127 Improper backing or turn in street 2
# 39:4-127.1 Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing 2
# 39:4-127.2 Improper crossing of bridge 2
# 39:4-128 Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing by certain vehicles 2
# 39:4-128.1 Improper passing of school bus 5
# 39:4-128.4 Improper passing of frozen dessert truck 4
# 39:4-129 Leaving scene of accident- No injuries 2
# 39:4-129 Personal Injury 8
# 39:4-144 Failure to observe of stop or yield signs 2
Please call us immediately if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter. Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Former Prosecutor for the Cranbury Municipal Court from 1991-1999, and Author Municipal Court Winning Strategies.
Upon request, we provide all potential clients with :
1. Our Written Agreement to Provide Municipal Court Legal Services 2. Municipal Court Information Sheet
We request all potential clients fill out the Municipal Court Information Sheet and return to our office immediately. You also need to fax or mail us: 1. Copies of the ticket and any hearing notice. 2. A check or money order. You can also pay by Visa, Master Charge or American Express over the phone and by fax. You should keep the Agreement to Provide Legal Services for your records. Once we receive the fee paid we will prepare a Letter of Representation to the Court, Prosecutor and you. We recommend our clients meet with us once prior to the court date.
After we are retained [paid], we will draft the Defense by Affidavit for our client. The Affidavit will need: 1 - Municipal Court Name 2 - Traffic Ticket Summons # 3 - Statute 4 - Name of Offense 5 - Defendants Address
In our detailed Court Affidavit, the client will need to indicate to the court the following: It would be an undue hardship for me to appear in person for trial. I understand my right to a reasonable postponement and waive my right to be present at the trial. I understand that if I plead NOT GUILTY, the judge will hear the testimony of the complainant or other witnesses. If I plead GUILTY, the judge may hear such testimony. I agree to abide by the judgment of the court. I understand that if convicted, for other than a parking offense, a record of same will be sent to the Division of Motor Vehicles which issued my license.
Our client authorizes us to enter a plea to a lower point violation. Our Law Office will prepare the Defense by Affidavit and mail it to our client.
Our clients must read the Defense by Affidavit carefully. If you need to make any changes, make the changes in ink on the form directly. You must immediately sign in front of a notary and return it to our office. If the hearing date is less than 10 days away, we recommend you send the signed Affidavit by Federal Express or UPS.
CALL THE COURT AFTER THE HEARING DATE
On the day of the court session or next morning, you should call the court directly to determine the specific reduced charge and the total fine and cost. You should also ask the court who your check should be made payable to and the address for mailing. Do not call our office since we do not have complete details on fines and addresses. You must pay the complete fines within 5 days. Fees. Fees can be paid by VISA, Master Card, American Express, check, money order or cash. Make checks payable to Kenneth Vercammen PC.
Representation/ What We will do for you in Defense by Affidavit Case. We will review and research necessary statutes and caselaw, contact the prosecutor, prepare defenses and determine mitigating factors.
1. Telephone consultation with client; 2. Office consultation with client, if requested; 3. Offer sound legal advice to client, plus access to our legal info website NJLaws.com 4. Preparation of letter of representation to Municipal Court; 5. Preparation of letter of representation to Municipal Court Prosecutor; 6. Preparation of statement to provide legal services; 7. Copies of all correspondence to Court and Prosecutor to client; 8. Opening of file. If client comes to our office, they may have a free client case folder, Municipal Court brochure, DMV points brochure, and Website brochure; 9. Review of necessary statutes and case law; 10. Draft Defense by Affidavit Pleading 11. Mail or fax Defense by Affidavit Pleading to client 12. Miscellaneous correspondence, preparation and drafting of pleadings and legal documents in contested serious cases; 13. Review documents supplied by client and court; 14. Travel to Municipal Court; 15. Negotiations with the Prosecutor and Representation in Municipal Court. 16. Preparation of End of Case Letter and client questionnaire. 17. Free Brochures provided on other legal topics such as Workers Comp, Wills, Personal Injury 18. Free subscription to monthly e-mail newsletter. Provide your email address. 19. Follow up telephone advice [If you call, provide the specific questions with the message]. 20. Invitation to client socials/ seminars and Community events via email. 21. Hold and maintain file for seven years in storage as free client service.
Other Legal Services Available. You and the Law Firm may make additional agreements to provide for legal services not covered by the Agreement. Additional services or work must be paid for. Without such agreements, the Law Firm is not required to do any additional work or any of the following: (a) Provide any legal services after the decision of the trial court; (b) Appeal any decisions of the trial court or make additional appearances after appearing in Court; (c) provide other legal services or advice not set forth above; or (d) Represent you in any other court or Tribunal
Your Responsibility- Please read carefully and follow instructions to help us help you

1. You must fully cooperate with the Law Firm and provide all information relevant to the issues involved in this matter. This includes providing details on what you told the police and court. 2 You must notify the court and the law office immediately if your address or phone numbers change. 3 Under the NJ Rules of Professional Conduct and Court Rules, we cannot send a letter of representation to the court until the Retainer is paid. All fees and requirements under this written retainer agreement and any other written documents must be complied with. Failure to comply with all requirements shall permit the law office to withdraw its offer of representation. The Law Firm will also withdraw at your request. You must advise our office and the Court in writing. 4 Pay your fines immediately. 5. If you call, you must provide your questions to our receptionist

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

NOTICE TO THE BAR SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT FROM THE 2015-2017 SUPREME COURT MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE COMMITTEE - PUBLICATION FOR COMMENT

NOTICE TO THE BAR
SECOND SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT FROM THE 2015-2017
SUPREME COURT MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE COMMITTEE -
PUBLICATION FOR COMMENT
This publishes for comment a Second Supplemental Report from the 2015-2017 Supreme
Court Municipal Court Practice Committee. This report, dated August 30, 2017, focuses on
sanctions for failure to appear or failure to pay municipal court-ordered obligations. The Committee
proposes the adoption of two new rules.
This additional supplemental report is also available on the Judiciary's Internet web site at
https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/courts/supreme/reports.html.
Please send any comments on the Committees' proposed rule amendments or other
recommendations in writing by Friday, October 6, 2017 to: 1
Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.
Acting Administrative Director of the Courts
Rules Comments - Municipal Court Supplemental
Hughes Justice Complex; P.O. Box 037
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0037
Comments on the Committee's report and recommendations may also be submitted via Internet e-mail
to the following address: Comments.Mailbox@njcourts.gov. ·
The Supreme Court will not consider comments submitted anonymously. Thus, those submitting
comments by mail should include their name and address (and those submitting comments by e-mail
should include their name and e-mail address). Comments are subject to public disclosure upon
receipt.
Glenn A. Grant, J.A.D.
Acting Administrative Director of the Courts
Dated: September 13, 2017
SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT OF THE
SUPREME COURT COMMITTEE ON
MUNICIPAL COURT PRACTICE
2015 -2017 TERM
August 30, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
I. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................. 1
11. REVISED RULES AMENDMENTS RECOMMENDED FOR ADOPTION
A. Contempt of Court, Rules 7:8-12; 7:9-5 ................................................. 2
Ill. CONCLUSION ................................................................................... 8
I. INTRODUCTION
The Municipal Court Practice Committee ("Committee") recommends that the
Supreme Court adopt the proposed new rules contained in this supplemental report.
Page 1
II. REVISED RULES RECOMMENDED FOR ADOPTION
This report submits for the Court's consideration two proposed Court Rules which
provide limits on the monetary sanctions municipal courts may impose on defendants who
fail to appear in court or fail to pay their obligations - Rule 7:8-12 (Sanctions: Failure to
Appear) and Rule 7:9-5 (Failure to Pay).
These proposed rules were previously presented to the Court by the Committee in
its report dated February 1, 2017. At the June 27, 2017 Supreme Court Administrative
Conference, the Court took no action on these two rules; it was indicated that the rules
may benefit from minor modifications to achieve greater clarity. 1
A. Background
As set forth in the February 1, 2017 report, these issues were initially brought before
the Committee when the members were asked to consider a report (Contempt Report)
drafted by the Contempt of Court Working Group. The Contempt of Court Working Group
was comprised of members of the Conference of Presiding Judges - Municipal Courts,
the Conference of Municipal Division Managers and representatives from the AOC. The
Contempt Report addressed the practice in many municipal courts of judges imposing
monetary sanctions on defendants who fail to appear in court for a hearing or fail to pay
penalties imposed after conviction. An evaluation of the practice in municipal courts by
the members of the Contempt of Court Working Group indicated that municipal court
judges who impose monetary sanctions for failure to appear or pay oftentimes do not follow
1 It was determined that the proposed conforming amendment to Rule 1 :2-4 (Sanctions: Failure to Appear;
Motions and Briefs) as set forth in the Committee's February 1, 2017 report will be submitted to the Civil
Practice Committee, which considers amendments to the Part I rules.
Page 2
the procedures outlined in Court Rules 1 :10-1 and -2 and therefore, these rules do not
provide a legal basis for the practice.
Additionally, the Contempt Report stated that while Rule 1 :2-4 permits a court to
impose a monetary sanction on an attorney or party who, without just excuse, fails to
appear for a court proceeding, that rule provides that the amount should be paid to the
"Treasurer, State of New Jersey." However, in practice, amounts collected for 'contempt
of court' in the municipal courts are distributed to the municipality. The Contempt Report
also noted that Rule 1 :2-4 provides inadequate direction to the municipal courts in
imposing monetary sanctions on defendants, in that it provides no standards by which a
judge should determine the amount of the sanction, nor any limit on that sanction.
The Contempt Report acknowledged that municipal courts have an interest in
ensuring that defendants appear for their court dates and satisfy their monetary obligations
in a timely manner. The report noted that the majority of defendants attend their court
hearings and pay their fines as ordered; however, the municipal courts spend considerable
time and money tracking defendants who fail to appear or fail to pay. It was deemed
appropriate that municipal courts impose modest sanctions to encourage defendants to
appear when ordered and pay their fines and assessments when due, as part of the orderly
administration of the municipal courts. The Contempt Report asserted, however, that
excessive and unregulated sanctions disadvantage low-income defendants and can
create a cycle of court debt, from which low-income defendants may find it difficult to
extricate themselves. Such sanctions can also discourage defendants from appearing in
court, fearing the imposition of heavy penalties.
To rectify these concerns, the Contempt Report included recommendations for the
adoption of two new Part VII Court Rules: Rule 7:8-X (Sanctions; Failure to Appear); and
Page 3
Rule 7:8-Y (Failure to Pay). These draft rules authorized sanctions for failure to appear
and to pay, but regulated the amount that may be assessed. The maximum sanctions
recommended for failure to appear were: $25 for parking matters and $50 for all other
matters, except for consequence of magnitude cases, where the aggregate sanction
cannot exceed $100. The maximum sanction for failure to pay would be capped at $50.
The Contempt Report also included a recommended conforming amendment to Rule 1 :2-
4 (Sanctions: Failure to Appear; Motions and Briefs) which cross-referenced the proposed
new Part VII rules.
The Committee members engaged in an extensive discussion of the Contempt
Report and the draft rules proposed therein. The members acknowledged that statewide
variability in the application of contempt sanctions, conducted without proper procedural
protections for defendants, was a matter of significant concern and should be addressed.
However, several members advocated that the draft rule language in the Contempt Report
be modified to permit judges to retain discretion to impose higher contempt amounts for
failure to appear in serious cases such as DWI, rather than set a monetary limit. In
response, others explained that the overuse of contempt sanctions and the variability in
the amount of such sanctions imposed on defendants for failure to appear and failure to
pay were engendered by the use of unfettered discretion by municipal court judges in this
area. Consequently, clear limits were required.
After a thorough discussion, the Committee proposed two new rules to provide
limitations on the monetary sanctions which courts may impose on defendants who fail to
appear in court or fail to pay their obligations - Rule 7:8-12 (Sanctions: Failure to Appear)
and Rule 7:9-5 (Failure to Pay), and a conforming amendment to Rule 1 :2-4 (Sanctions:
Failure to Appear; Motions and Briefs). To great degree, these proposed rules tracked
Page4
those set forth in the Contempt Report. After the Court reviewed the rules at the June 27,
2017 Supreme Court Administrative Conference and chose to take no action, the
Committee was directed to undertake further review with the goal of providing greater
clarity.
B. Revisions
Several minor modifications have been included in the revised Rule 7:8-12, Failure
to Appear. These include the addition of indented, numbered subsections in Rule 7:8-
12(b). These highlight for the reader more clearly the factors a court should consider in
evaluating the amount of monetary sanction for failure to appear that a court may impose
upon a defendant (within the monetary limits set forth in the proposed rule). Additionally,
Rule 7:8-12(b)(3) was slightly revised to further emphasize that a judge may only impose
a sanction for contempt in an amount higher than that the limits set forth in the rule if the
procedures and legal standards of Rule 1:10 are met. Finally, Rule 7:8-12(a) and (b)(5)
were slightly modified to clarify that a payment made to a court for a sanction for failure to
appear by an attorney or a defendant "shall be submitted to the municipal court to be
disbursed to the municipality where the offense occurred" rather than (as originally drafted)
"submitted to the municipal court administrator made payable to the municipality in which
the offense occurred." This minor change more accurately reflects the established
procedure for payment of all other municipal penalties in that the person paying money
conveys it to the court, not directly to the ultimate recipient of the payment.
These two new, proposed rules are provided below.
Page 5
Rule 7:8-12 Sanctions; Failure to Appear (new rule)
(a) Failure to Appear--Attorneys. If without just cause or excuse or because of
failure to give reasonable attention to the matter, an attorney fails to appear on
behalf of a party at a trial, hearing or other scheduled municipal court proceeding,
or if the attorney fails to make a timely application for adjournment, the municipal
court judge may order any one or more of the following:
(1) the attorney to pay a monetary sanction in such an amount as the court
shall fix, submitted to the municipal court to be disbursed to the municipality
where the offense occurred:
(2) the attorney to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees, to
the aggrieved party:
(3) the dismissal of the complaint, cross-claim, counter-claim or motion or the
granting of the motion: or
(4) such other action as it deems appropriate.
(b) Failure to Appear --Defendants.
(1) In General. If without just cause or excuse, a defendant, who is required to
appear at a trial, hearing or other scheduled municipal court proceeding, fails to
appear, the municipal court judge may order defendant to pay a monetary
sanction based on the following factors:
(A) defendant's history of failure to appear
(B) defendant's criminal and offense history
(C) the seriousness of the offense
(D) the inconvenience to the defendant's adversary and to witnesses called
by the parties.
Page 6
The judge shall state the reasons for the sanction on the record.
(2) Maximum Sanction. For non-consequence of magnitude cases, the
aggregate sanction per case shall not exceed $25 for parking offenses and $50
for all other matters. For consequence of magnitude cases, the aggregate
sanction per case shall not exceed $100.
(3) Contempt of Court. The only means by which a judge may impose a higher
sanction on a defendant for failure to appear is by complying with the
procedures and legal standards set forth in R. 1:10.
(4) Calculation of Sanction. When a case includes multiple offenses. the
maximum sanction shall be calculated solely on the most serious offense
charged. Only one sanction may be imposed per case.
(5) Payment of Sanction. The sanction shall be submitted to the municipal court
to be disbursed to the municipality where the offense occurred.
Adopted ______ to be effective ____ ______:.
Rule 7:9-5. Failure to Pay (new rule)
Failure to Pay. If without just cause or excuse, a defendant defaults on payment
of a municipal court imposed financial obligation. the judge. on the record. may
order the defendant to pay an aggregate monetary sanction per time payment
order not to exceed $50. The sanction shall be submitted to the municipal court
administrator made payable to the municipal court. This sanction shall be in
addition to any other penalty imposed by statute or rule for failure to pay.
Adopted ______ to be effective----~
Page 7
Ill. CONCLUSION
The members of the Municipal Court Practice Committee appreciate the opportunity
to serve the Supreme Court in this capacity.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Speeding tickets 39:4-98

Defense by Certification with attorney to traffic ticket

Careless driving 39 4 97

State Trooper’s failure to follow rules could have thousands of DWI guilty pleas vacated.

State Trooper’s failure to follow rules could have thousands of DWI guilty pleas vacated. If the Supreme Court's requirements in State v Chun and State Police regulations were not followed, the convictions should be vacated. Why have laws and procedures if State Police are not required to follow them. 
20K N.J. residents busted for DWIs could have their cases appealed
Posted on October 20, 2017 at 7:30 AM

By S.P. Sullivan ssullivan@njadvancemedia.com,
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com   Star Ledger
 -- Prosecutors in New Jersey are notifying more than 20,000 people charged with drunken driving that their cases are under review after a State Police sergeant who oversaw breath-testing devices was accused of falsifying records, NJ Advance Media has learned.
County prosecutors have been sending letters to people charged with driving while intoxicated between 2008 and 2016 that a specially appointed judge would weigh "whether you are entitled to relief" based on the accusations against the sergeant.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys told NJ Advance Media the number of cases that could be thrown out as a result of the criminal inquiry is likely low. But the issue, which came amid a similar probe of the State Police drug lab, created a morass of legal challenges, which could take years to sort out.
Sgt. Marc Dennis, a coordinator in the State Police Alcohol Drug Testing Unit, was accused last year of lying on official documents about completing a legally required step in re-calibrating the machines, known as Alcotest devices, which are used to check the blood-alcohol level of accused drunken drivers.
The sergeant, who denies the charges against him, was allegedly observed skipping the step in calibrating just three machines. But the criminal accusations raised a cloud of doubt over every device touched by the trooper, who performed routine checks on devices used by local police across five counties.


"Sergeant Dennis' alleged false swearing and improper calibrations of these three instruments may call into question all of the calibrations performed by Sergeant Dennis over the course of his career as a coordinator," said one letter, a copy of which was obtained by NJ Advance Media.
The letters were sent in recent weeks to DWI defendants in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties.
Dennis was charged in September 2016 with second-degree official misconduct, third degree tampering with public records and fourth degree falsifying records. He was indicted on those same charges in December, but the misconduct charge was dropped in a second indictment in June, records show. 
His attorney, Robert Ebberup, said Dennis denied any wrongdoing.
"At the end of the day, I'm sure he is going to be exonerated," Ebberup said. 
In the meantime, a retired appellate judge, Joseph Lisa, is sorting through the thicket of as many as 20,667 cases affected by the claims against the sergeant. 
   According to an April Supreme Court order appointing him as "special master," Lisa will rule on whether Dennis' alleged failure to perform a preliminary temperature check required under Supreme Court rules would "undermine or call into question the scientific reliability of breath tests subsequently performed" on those devices. 

The state Division of Criminal Justice has maintained that the check, while legally required, was not scientifically necessary.
But under state law, a person is guilty of driving under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent. Tougher penalties kick in for those who blow a .10 or higher. 
Defense attorneys argue that because guilt or innocence or the level of punishment can hinge on a few decimal points, anything that suggests protocols weren't followed should bring test results into doubt. 
A spokesman for the state judiciary said a hearing date on the matter had not been set. 
The state also faces a potential class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of those defendants. That suit, filed in federal court, was dismissed in August but could be reinstated pending the state judge's decision
source: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/10/20k_dwi_cases_could_be_tossed_amid_state_police_pr.html. 


Alcotest Litigation
    The following is a letter that was sent to all potentially affected individuals who were arrested for or convicted of drunk driving between 2008 and 2016 in Somerset County. The State Police Sergeant mentioned below also calibrated Alcotest machines that were in use in Somerset County during the aforementioned relevant time frame. 
The next case management conference is on November 2, 2017. The Special Master has indicated that he would like to start the hearing on November 28, 2017. Defense counsel has requested a later start date, but as of now the Special Master wants to start on November 28th.

SAMPLE LETTER
Court records indicate that you were arrested for and/or convicted of drunk driving sometime between 2008 and 2016.  This letter is to inform you that it is possible there may have been an issue in the proceedings in your DWI case.   
            Specifically, it has been alleged that on or about October 6, 2015, and on or about October 7, 2015, New Jersey State Police Sergeant Marc Dennis, a former coordinator in the Alcohol Drug Testing Unit, calibrated the Alcotest 7110 MKIII-C (“Alcotest”) evidential breath testing instruments in the City of Asbury Park, the City of Long Branch, and the Township of Marlboro, without following the established protocol and then certified that the calibration was done in accordance with the required procedures.  Sergeant Dennis’s alleged false swearing and improper calibrations of these three instruments may call into question all of the calibrations performed by Sergeant Dennis over the course of his career as a coordinator (i.e. 2008 - 2016), and might possibly entitle you to future relief.  
            The New Jersey Supreme Court has assigned the Honorable Joseph Lisa, P.J.A.D. (retired and t/a on recall) to preside over a hearing to determine whether Sergeant Dennis’s failure to perform a specific step in the established protocol adversely affected the scientific reliability of the calibrations he performed, as well as any evidential breath tests conducted on those Alcotest instruments. The outcome of these legal proceedings, which are now underway, will determine whether you are entitled to future relief.
            If you believe that you are presently suffering any adverse consequences from your DWI conviction or pending DWI case, you should consult an attorney to determine if you are entitled to emergent, immediate relief.  When the above-noted hearing is completed, Judge Lisa will determine whether Sergeant Dennis’s failure to perform the specific step in the established protocol adversely affected the scientific reliability of the calibrations he performed. If the Judge decides that it did have such an affect, he will also determine whether you are entitled to relief therefrom. 
            Updates concerning the Alcotest litigation mentioned above will be available on the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office website at www.scpo.net under the heading Alcotest Litigation. Please check that website for the most current status of that litigation as you will not receive any additional letters about that litigation from this office.

           
Very truly yours,
                                                           
______________________
Thomas J. Chirichella
First Assistant Prosecutor

see also http://www.scpo.net/resources_alcotest.html

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review of the Major Municipal Court Cases 2016-2017 Middlesex County Bar Association Seminar MCBA Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 Municipal Court Practice CLE Seminar 
2:00 PM until 4:00 PM 
Where: MCBA Office 87 Bayard Street New Brunswick, New Jersey  08901
Kenneth A. Vercammen, Esq.

David Spevack, Esq.
Prosecutor - Carteret, Edison & Woodbridge




Edison
David Spevack, Esq.
Prosecutor - Carteret, Edison & Woodbridge




                                                                                               
Cost: $25-Law Clerks; $35-MCBA Young Lawyers; $40-MCBA Members; and $75-All Other   To  register
      or Call 732.828.3433, x. 102

Index to Major cases to be discussed by Ken Vercammen and David Spevack at seminar

 

1. DWI Refusal notice withstands challenge. State v Quintero

443 NJ Super. 620 (App. Div. 2016)

2. Sup Mt denied where police looking in house for missing dementia patient found pot plants State v Mordente

444 NJ Super. 393 (App. Div. 2016)

3. Police video is public record under OPRA 

Paff v Ocean County Prosecutors Office

446 NJ Super. 163 (App. Div. 2016)

5. No Jury trial for DWI. State v. Denelsbeck

223 NJ 103 (2016)

6. Police can stop for one broken taillight out of 4

State v. Sutherland

445 NJ Super. 358 (App. Div. 2016)

7. US Supreme Court permits DWI breath tests but rejects blood test without warrant.

Birchfield v. North Dakota  136 S. Ct. 2160 (2016)

8. Out of state DWI counts for criminal driving while suspended. State v. Luzhak 

445 NJ Super. 241 (App.Div. 2016)
9. Prosecutor must provide videotape and audiotape plus names of officers from other towns involved in stop State v. Stein 225 NJ 582 (2016)

10. Suppression granted where stop based only for high beam not affecting driving State v. Scriven

226 NJ 20 (2016) 

12. Driver with prior school zone DWI sentenced as 2nd Offender. State v. Wheatley

447 NJ Super. 532 (App. Div. 2016

13. Town outside surveillance camera not subject to OPRA but maybe subject to common law. Gilleran v. Township of Bloomfield

14. Twitter statement admissible in criminal trials. State v Hannah

448 NJ Super. 78 (App. Div. 2016)

15. No obstruction charge for failure to provide DL for parking ticket. State v Powers 448 NJ Super. 69 (App. Div. 2016)

16. School Zone map admissible if properly authenticated State v.  Wilson 227 NJ 34 (2017)

17 Municipal Court can stay DL suspension after DWI if appeal
 State v. Robertson 228 NJ 138 (2017)
18. DNA on towel not admissible without proper foundation and chain of custody
State v Mauti 208 NJ 519 (2017)
19. Defendant’s furtive movement after car stop justified removal of Passenger State v. Bacome __ NJ __ (2017) (A-9-15)

20. Plain feel search not permitted with strip search for DP State v Evans  449 NJ Super. 66 (App. Div. 2017)
21 Dash cam video in fatal shooting public record
North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst 
__ NJ __ 2017 a-35-15
21. Errors by police in warrant and search held ok by court
State v Hamlett
22. Dash cam video in fatal shooting public record
North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst
23. Police have duty to preserve video and evidence
State v Richardson
24. Mandatory DNA samples in serious Municipal court criminal
 Effective July 1, 2017 person who pleads guilty to cds and assault criminal disorderly criminal offenses must provide a DNA sample upon a guilty plea.

25. New Criminal rules effective Jan 1, 2017
26. New Court Rule: The Committee proposed two new rules to provide
limitations on the monetary sanctions
27  New Expungement Law
New law effective April 18, 2016 for dismissed cases

This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 2.0 hours of total CLE credit. Of these, 2.0 credits qualify for certification in municipal court law.

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