Friday, December 22, 2023
Monday, August 21, 2023
Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey.
TRAFFIC REPRESENTATION AND NO POINTS
TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS 4 POINTS OR LESS N.J.S.A. 39:4-1- WE GO TO COURT TO TRY TO NEGOTIATE FOR NEW NO POINT TICKET
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 or in court for almost all traffic tickets, you will have to pay fines in court and 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.
Under the New Jersey Court Rules, a New Jersey Attorney can negotiate with the Municipal Court Prosecutor to attempt to reduce points.
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.
|27:23-29 Moving against traffic-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway
|27:23-29 Improper passing-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway
|27:23-29 Unlawful use of median strip-NJ Tpke., Garden State Pkwy. and Atlantic City Expressway
|39:3-20 Operating constructor vehicle in excess of 45 mph
|39:4-14.3 Operating motorized bicycle on restricted highway
|39:4-14.3d More than 1 person on a motorized bicycle.
|39:4-35 Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk,
|39:4-36 Failure to yield to pedestrian or passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in crosswalk
|39:4-41 Driving through safety zone.
|39:4-52 Racing on Highway
|39:4-55 Improper action or omission on grades and curves
|39:4-57 Failure to observe directions of officer.
|39:4-66 Failure to stop before crossing sidewalk
|39:4-66.1 Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or leaving highway
|39:4-66.2 Driving on private property to avoid traffic signal or stop sign
|39:4-71 Improper driving on sidewalk
|39:4-81 Failure to observe traffic signal
|39:4-82 Failure to keep right
|39:4-83 Failure to keep right at intersection
|39:4-84 Failure to pass right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction
|39:4-85 Improper passing on right or off roadway or shoulder
|39:4-85.1 Wrong way on one-way street
|39:4-86 Improper passing, in No Passing zone
|39:4-87 Failure to yield to overtake vehicle
|39:4-88 Failure to observe traffic lanes
|39:4-90 Failure to yield at intersection
|39:4-90.1 Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highway
|39:4-91, Failure to yield to emergency vehicle
|39:4-96 Reckless driving
|39:4-97 Careless driving
|39:4-98 or Speeding up to 14 mph above limit
|39:4-99 Speeding 15-29 mph above limit
|39:4-99 Speeding 30 mph or more above limit
|39:4-105 Failure to stop at traffic light
|39:4-115 Improper turn at traffic light
|39:4-123 Improper right or left turn
|39:4-124 Improper turn: from approved turning course
|39:4-125 Improper u-turn
|39:4-126 Failure to give proper signal
|39:4-127 Improper backing or turn in street
|39:4-128.1 Improper passing of school bus
|39:4-128.4 Improper passing of frozen dessert truck
|39:4-129 Leaving scene of accident - No injuries
|39:4-144 Failure to observe stop or yield signs
|39:5D-4 Moving violation out-of-state
Please call us immediately if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter. We also provide representation in DWI, Criminal and other serious court matters. Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. Former Prosecutor for the Cranbury Municipal Court from 1991-1999, and Author Municipal Court Winning Strategies.
The new no point statute reads as follows:39:4-97.2 Driving, operating a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner, offense created; fines; surcharge.
1. a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner likely to endanger a person or property.
b.A person convicted of a first offense under subsection a. shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50.00 or more than $150.00 and shall not be assessed any motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c.43 (C.39:5-30.5).
c.A person convicted of a second offense under subsection a. shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 or more than $250.00 and shall not be assessed any motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c.43 (C.39:5-30.5).
d.A person convicted of a third or subsequent offense under subsection a. shall be subject to a fine of not less than $200.00 or more than $500.00 and shall be assessed motor vehicle penalty points pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1982, c.43 (C.39:5-30.5).
e.An offense committed under this section that occurs more than five years after the prior offense shall not be considered a subsequent offense for the purpose of assessing motor vehicle penalty points under subsection d. of this section.
f.In addition to any fine, fee or other charge imposed pursuant to law, the court shall assess a person convicted of an offense under subsection a. of this section a surcharge of $250 which shall be collected by the court and distributed to the Division of Revenue in the Department of the Treasury as a New Jersey Merit Rating Plan surcharge pursuant to subparagraph (a) of paragraph (2) of subsection b. of section 6 of P.L.1983, c.65 (C.17:29A-35).
The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen and Associates will 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. You also need to bring in, or 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.
Representation/ What We will do for you. 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 www.KennethVercammen.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
11. Determine defense and mitigating factors;
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. You and the Law Firm may make additional agreements to provide for legal services not covered by the Agreement. 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, August 15, 2023
A Municipal Court Symposium at the NJSBA Convention in Atlantic City
Friday, May 20
Richard M. Keil, Esq., Robert E. Ramsey, Esq. , John Menzel, Esq., Kenneth A. Vercammen, Esq., Jeffrey E. Gold.
Including these hot topics and more
… Alcotest 7110 Implementation Statewide in DWI
… Interlocking Devices proposed new legislation
… Proposed Amendment of Plea Bargain Guidelines
… Driving While Suspended Developments
… Review of new AG Guidelines on DWI
… Collateral Consequences of Municipal Court Convictions
… Ethics in the Municipal Court criminal, DWI and drug cases today
Monday, July 31, 2023
Trip and Fall in Supermarket and Stores
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates Law Office helps people injured due to the negligence of others. We provide representation throughout New Jersey. The insurance companies will not help. Don't give up! Our Law Office can provide experienced attorney representation if you are injured in an accident and suffer a Serious Injury.
Sometimes, store customers are injured in fall downs caused by wet and slippery floors or failure by stores to clean up broken or fallen items. No one plans on being injured in an accident, whether it is a car accident, fall down or other situation. Speak with a personal injury attorney immediately to retain all your rights. The stores are responsible for the maintenance of their premises which are used by the public. It is the duty of the store to inspect and keep said premises in a safe condition and free from any and all pitfalls, obstacles or traps that would likely cause injury to persons lawfully thereon.
It is further the duty of the store to properly and adequately inspect, maintain and keep the library premises free from danger to life, limb and property of persons lawfully and rightfully using same and to warn of any such dangers or hazards thereon. You may be lawfully upon the premises as a business invitee in the exercise of due care on your part, and solely by reason of the omission, failure and default of the store, be caused to fall down If the store did not perform their duty to plaintiff to maintain the premises in a safe, suitable and proper condition, you may be entitled to make a claim. If severely injured, you can file a claim for damages, together with interest and costs of suit. Injured people can demand trial by jury.
The following information is taken from the old model jury charges dealing with fall downs by store customers:
INVITEE - DEFINED AND GENERAL DUTY OWED
An invitee is one who is permitted to enter or remain on land (or premises) for a purpose of the owner (or occupier). He/She enters by invitation, expressed or implied. The owner (or occupier) of the land (or premises) who by invitation, expressed or implied, induced persons to come upon his/her premises, is under a duty to exercise ordinary care to render the premises reasonably safe for the purposes embraced in the invitation. Thus, he/she must exercise reasonable care for the invitees safety. He/She must take such steps as are reasonable and prudent to correct or give warning of hazardous conditions or defects actually known to him/her (or his/her employees), and of hazardous conditions or defects which he/she (or his/her employees) by the exercise of reasonable care, could discover.
BUSINESS INVITEE FALL DOWNS:
The basic duty of a proprietor of premises to which the public is invited for business purposes of the proprietor is to exercise reasonable care to see that one who enters his/her premises upon that invitation has a reasonably safe place to do that which is within the scope of the invitation.
(1) Business Invitee: The duty owed to a business invitee is no different than the duty owed to other invitees.
(2) Construction Defects, Intrinsic and Foreign Substances: The rules dealt with in this section and subsequent sections apply mainly to those cases where injury is caused by transitory conditions, such as falls due to foreign substances or defects resulting from wear and tear or other deterioration of premises which were originally constructed properly.
Where a hazardous condition is due to defective construction or construction not in accord with applicable standards it is not necessary to prove that the owner or occupier had actual knowledge of the defect or would have become aware of the defect had he/she personally made an inspection. In such cases the owner is liable for failing to provide a safe place for the use of the invitee.
Thus, in Brody v. Albert Lipson & Sons, 17 N.J. 383 (1955), the court distinguished between a risk due to the intrinsic quality of the material used (calling it an intrinsic substance case) and a risk due to a foreign substance or extra-normal condition of the premises. There the case was submitted to the jury on the theory that the terrazzo floor was peculiarly liable to become slipper when wet by water and that defendant should have taken precautions against said risk. The court appears to reject defendants contention that there be notice, direct or mputed by proof of adequate opportunity to discover the defective condition. 17 N.J. at 389.
It may be possible to reconcile this position with the requirement of constructive notice of an unsafe condition by saying that an owner of premises is chargeable with knowledge of such hazards in construction as a reasonable inspection by an appropriate expert would reveal. See: Restatement to Torts 2d, Â§343, Comment f, pp. 217-218 (1965), saying that a proprietor is required to have superior knowledge of the dangers incident to facilities furnished to invitees.
Alternatively, one can view these cases as within the category of defective or hazardous conditions created by defendant or by an independent contractor for which defendant would be liable (see introductory note above).
Bozza v. Vornado, Inc., 42 N.J. 355, 359 (1954) (slip and fall on sticky, slimy substance in self-service cafeteria which inferably fell to the floor as an incident of defendants mode of operation).
Buchner v. Erie Railroad Co., 17 N.J. 283, 285-286 (1955) (trip over curbstone improperly illuminated).
Brody v. Albert Lifson & Sons, 17 N.J. 383, 389 (1955) (slip and fall on wet composition floor in store).
Bohn v. Hudson & Manhattan R. Co., 16 N.J. 180, 185 (1954) (slip on smooth stairway in railroad station).
Williams v. Morristown Memorial Hospital, 59 N.J. Super. 384, 389 (App. Div. 1960) (fall over low wire fence separating grass plot from sidewalk).
Nary v. Dover Parking Authority, 58 N.J. super. 222, 226-227 (App. Div.
1959) (fall over bumper block in parking lot).
Parmenter v. Jarvis Drug Store, Inc., 48 N.J. Super. 507, 510 (App. Div. 1957) (slip and fall on wet linoleum near entrance of store on rainy day).
Nelson v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., 48 N.J. Super. 300 (App. Div. 1958) (inadequate lighting of parking lot of supermarket, fall over unknown object).
Barnard v. Trenton-New Brunswick Theatre Co., 32 N.J. Super. 551, 557 (App. Div. 1954) (fall over ladder placed in theatre lobby by workmen of independent contractor).
Ratering v. Mele, 11 N.J. Super. 211, 213 (App. Div. 1951) (slip and fall on littered stairway at entrance to restaurant).
DUTY TO INSPECT OWED TO INVITEE The duty of an owner (or occupier) of land (or premises) to make the place reasonably safe for the proper use of an invitee requires the owner or occupier to make reasonable inspection of the land (or premises) to discover hazardous conditions.
Handelman v. Cox, 39 N.J. 95, 111 (1963) (salesman showing merchandise to employees of defendant fell down cellar stairway partially obscured by carton)
NOTICE OF PARTICULAR DANGER AS CONDITION OF LIABILITY If the jury members find that the land (or premises) was not in a reasonably safe condition, then, in order to recover, plaintiff must show either that the owner (or occupier) knew of the unsafe condition for a period of time prior to plaintiffs injury sufficient to permit him/her in the exercise of reasonable care to have corrected it, or that the condition had existed for a sufficient length of time prior to plaintiffs injury that in the exercise of reasonable care the owner (or occupier) should have discovered its existence and corrected it.
Tua v. Modern Homes, Inc., 64 N.J. Super. 211 (App. Div. 1960), affirmed, 33 N.J. 476 (1960) (slip and fall on small area of slipper waxlike substance in store); Parmenter v. Jarvis Drug Store, Inc., 48 N.J. Super. 507, 510 (App. Div. 1957) (slip and fall on wet linoleum near entrance of store on rainy day); Ratering v. Mele, 11 N.J. Super. 211, 213 (App. Div. 1951) (slip and fall on littered stairway at entrance to restaurant).
(1) The above charge is applicable to those cases where the defendant is not at fault for the creation of the hazard of where the hazard is not to be reasonably anticipated as an incident of defendants mode of operation. See: Maugeri v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, 357 F.2d 202 (3rd Cir. 1966) (dictum).
(2) An employees knowledge of the danger is imputed to his/her employer, the owner of premises. Handelman v. Cox, 39 N.J. 95, 104 (1963).
NOTICE NOT REQUIRED WHEN CONDITION IS CAUSED BY DEFENDANT
If the jury members find that the land (or premises) was not in a reasonably safe condition and that the owner (or occupier) or his/her agent, servant or employee created that condition through his/her own act or omission, then, in order for plaintiff to recover, it is not necessary for the jury members also to find that the owner (or occupier) had actual or constructive notice of the particular unsafe condition.
Smith v. First National Stores, 94 N.J. Super. 462 (App. Div. 1967)(slip and fall on greasy stairway caused by sawdust tracked onto the steps by defendants employees); Plaga v. Foltis, 88 N.J. Super. 209 (App. Div. 1965) (slip and fall on fat in restaurant area traversed by bus boy); Torda v. Grand Union Co., 59 N.J. Super. 41 (App. Div. 1959) (slip and fall in self-service market on wet floor near vegetable bin). Also see: Thompson v. Giant Tiger Corp., 118 N.J.L. 10 (E. & A. 1937); Wollerman v. Grand Union Stores, Inc., 47 N.J. 426 (1956); Lewin v. Orbachs, Inc., 14 N.J. Super. 193 (App. Div. 1951); Maugeri v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, 357 F.2d 202 (3rd Cir. 1966).
BURDEN OF GOING FORWARD
In Wollerman v. Grand Union Stores, Inc., 47 N.J. 426, 429-430 (1966), the court held that where string beans are sold from bins on a self-service basis there is a probability that some will fall or be dropped on the floor either by defendants employees or by customers. Since plaintiff would not be in a position to prove whether a particular string bean was dropped by an employee or another customer (or how long it was on the floor) a showing of this type of operation is sufficient to put the burden on the defendant to come forward with proof that defendant did what was reasonably necessary (made periodic inspections and clean-up) in order to protect a customer against the risk of injury likely to be generated by defendants mode of operation. Presumably, however, the burden of proof remains on plaintiff to prove lack of reasonable care on defendants part. If defendant fails to produce evidence of reasonable care, the jury may infer that the fault was probably his. See also: Bozza, supra, 42 N.J. at 359.
Whether or not defendant has furnished an invitee with a reasonably safe place for his/her use may depend upon the obviousness of the condition claimed to be hazardous and the likelihood that the invitee would realize the hazard and protect himself/herself against it. Even though an unsafe condition may be observable by an invitee the jury members may find that an owner (or occupier) of premises is negligent, nevertheless, in maintaining said condition when the condition presents an unreasonable hazard to invitees in the circumstances of a particular case. If the jury members find that defendant was negligent in maintaining an unsafe condition, even though the condition would be obvious to an invitee, the fact that the condition was obvious should be considered by the jury members in determining whether the invitee was contributorily negligent (a) in proceeding in the face of a known hazard or (b) in the manner in which the invitee proceeded in the face of a known hazard.
DISTRACTION OR FORGETFULNESS OF INVITEE
Even if the jury members find that plaintiff knew of the existence of the unsafe or defective condition, or that the unsafe or defective condition was so obvious that defendant had a reasonable basis to expect that an invitee would realize its existence, plaintiff may still recover if the circumstances or conditions are such that plaintiffs attention would be distracted so that he/she would not realize or would forget the location or existence of the hazard or would fail to protect himself/herself against it.
Thus, even where a hazardous condition is obvious the jury members must first determine whether in the circumstances the defendant was negligent in permitting the condition to exist. Even if defendant was negligent, however, if plaintiff knew that a hazardous condition existed, plaintiff could not recover if he/she was contributorily negligent, that is to say, plaintiff could not recover if he/she did not act as a reasonably prudent person either by proceeding in the face of a known danger or by not using reasonable care in the manner in which he/she proceeded in the face of the danger. In considering whether plaintiff was contributorily negligent the jury members may consider that even persons of reasonable prudence in certain circumstances may have their attention distracted so that they would not realize or remember the existence of a hazardous condition and would fail to protect themselves against it. Mere lapse of memory or inattention or mental abstraction at the critical moment is not an adequate excuse. One who is inattentive or forgetful of a known and obvious danger is contributorily negligent unless there is some condition or circumstance which would distract or divert the mind or attention of a reasonably prudent person.
In McGrath v. American Cyanamid Co., 41 N.J. 272 (1963), the employee of a subcontractor was killed when a plank comprising a catwalk over a deep trench up-ended causing him to fall. The court held that even if the decedent had appreciated the danger that fact by itself would not have barred recovery. The court said if the danger was one which due care would not have avoided, due care might, nevertheless, require notice of warning unless the danger was known or obvious. If the danger was created by a breach of defendants duty of care, that negligence would not be dissipated merely because the decedent knew of the danger.Negligence would remain, but decedents knowledge would affect the issue of contributory negligence. The issue would remain whether decedent acted as a reasonably prudent person in view of the known risk, either by incurring the known risk (by staying on the job), or by the manner in which he proceeded in the face of that risk.
In Zentz v. Toop, 92 N.J. Super. 105, 114-115 (App. Div. 1966), affirmed o.b., 50 N.J. 250 (1967), the employee of a roofing contractor, while carrying hot tar, tripped over a guide wire supporting an air conditioning tower on a roof. The court held that even if plaintiff had observed the wires or if they were so obvious that he/she should have observed them, the question remained whether, considering the hazard and the work of the employee, he/she was entitled to more than mere knowledge of the existence of the wires or whether he/she was entitled to a warning by having the wires flagged or painted in a contrasting color. This was a fact for the jury to determine. The jury must also determine whether defendant had reason to expect that the employees attention would have been distracted as he/she worked or that he/she would forget the location of a known hazard or fail to protect himself against it. The court also held the plaintiffs knowledge of the danger would not alone bar his/her recovery, but this knowledge goes to the issue of contributory negligence.
In Ferrie v. DArc, 31 N.J. 92, 95 (1959), the court held that there was no reasonable excuse for plaintiffs forgetfulness or inattention to the fact that a railing was temporarily absent from her porch, as she undertook to throw bones to her dog, and fell to the ground because of the absence of a railing she customarily leaned upon. The court held: When an injury results from forgetfulness or inattention to a known danger, the obvious contributory negligence is not excusable in the absence of some condition or circumstance which would divert the mind or attention of an ordinarily prudent man. Mere lapse of memory, or inattention or mental abstraction at the critical moment cannot be considered an adequate diversion. One who is inattentive to or forgetful of a known and obvious condition which contains a risk of injury is obvious condition which contains a risk of injury to guilty of contributory negligence as a matter of law, unless some diversion of the type referred to above is shown to have existed at the time.
The following discussion in 2 Harper & James, Torts, Â§27.13, pp. 1489 et seq., (1956), cited with approval in Zentz v. Toop, supra, 92 N.J. Super. at 112, may be helpful in understanding the principles involved in the above charges:
Once an occupier has learned of dangerous conditions on his/her premises, a serious question arises as to whether he/she may--as a matter of law under all circumstances--discharge all further duty to his/her invitees by simply giving them a warning adequate to enable them to avoid the harm. A good many authorities, including the Restatement, take the position that he/she may. But this proposition is a highly doubtful one both on principle and authority. The alternative would be a requirement of due care to make the conditions reasonably safe--a requirement which might well be satisfied by warning or obviousness in any given case, but which would not be so satisfied invariably.
* * *
1. Defendants duty. People can hurt themselves on almost any condition of the premises. That is certainly true of an ordinary flight of stairs. But it takes more than this to make a condition unreasonably dangerous. If people who are likely to encounter a condition may be expected to take perfectly good care themselves without further precautions, then the condition is not unreasonably dangerous because the likelihood of harm is slight. This is true of the flight of ordinary stairs in a usual place in the daylight. It is also true of ordinary curbing along a sidewalk, doors or windows in a house, counters in a store, stones and slopes in a New England field, and countless other things which are common in our everyday experience. It may also be true of less common and obvious conditions which lurk in a place where visitors would expect to find such dangers. The ordinary person can use or encounter all of these things safely if he/she is fully aware of their presence at the time. And if they have no unusual features and are in a place where he/she would naturally look for them, he/she may be expected to take care of himself if they are plainly visible. In such cases it is enough if the condition is obvious, or is made obvious (e.g., by illumination). * * *
On the other hand, the fact that a condition is obvious--i.e., it would be clearly visible to one whose attention was directed to it--does not always remove all unreasonable danger. It may fail to do so in two lines of cases. In one line of cases, people would not in fact expect to find the condition where it is, or they are likely to have their attention distracted as they approach it, or, for some other reason, they are in fact not likely to see it, though it could be readily and safely avoided if they did. There may be negligence in creating or maintaining such a condition even though it is physically obvious; slight obstructions to travel on a sidewalk an unexpected step in a store aisle or between a passenger elevator and the landing furnish examples. Under the circumstances of any particular case, an additional warning may, as a matter of fact, suffice to remove the danger, as where a customer, not hurried by crowds or some emergency, and in possession of his/her facilities, is told to watch his/her step or step up at the appropriate time. When this is the case, the warning satisfies the requirement of due care and is incompatible with defendants negligence. Here again, plaintiffs recovery would be prevented by thatfact no matter how careful he/she was. But under ordinary negligence principles the question is properly one of fact for the jury except in the clearest situations.
In the second line of cases the condition of danger is suchthat it cannot be encountered with reasonable safety even if the danger is known and appreciated. An icy flight of stairs or sidewalk, a slippery floor, a defective crosswalk, or a walkway near an exposed high tension wire may furnish examples. So may the less dangerous kind of condition if surrounding circumstances are likely to force plaintiff upon it, or if, for any other reason, his/her knowledge is not likely to be a protection against danger. It is in these situations that the bit of the Restatements adequate warning rule is felt. Here, if people are in fact likely to encounter the danger, the duty of reasonable care to make conditions reasonably safe is not satisfied by a simple warning; the probability of harm in spite of such precaution is still unreasonably great. And the books are full of cases in which defendants, owing such a duty, are held liable for creating or maintaining a perfectly obvious danger of which plaintiffs are fully aware. The Restatement, however, would deny liability here because the occupier need not invite visitors, and if he/she does, he/she may condition the invitation on any terms he/she chooses, so long as there is full disclosure of them. If the invitee wishes to come on those terms, he/she assumes the risk.
The Restatement view is wrong in policy. The law has never freed landownership or possession from all restrictions or obligations imposed in the social interest. The possessors duty to use care towards those outside the land is of long standing. And many obligations are imposed for the benefit of people who voluntarily come upon the land. For the invitee, the occupier must make reasonable inspection and give warning of hidden perils. . . But this should not be conclusive. Reasonable expectations may raise duties, but they should not always limit them. The gist of the matter is unreasonable probability of harm in fact. And when that is great enough in spite of full disclosure, it is carrying the quasi-sovereignty of the landowner pretty far to let him ignore it to the risk of life and limb.
So far as authority goes, the orthodox theory is getting to be a pretty feeble reed for defendants to lean on. It is still frequently stated, though often by way of dictum. On the other hand, some cases have simply--though unostentatiously--broken with tradition and held defendant liable to an invitee in spite of his/her knowledge of the danger, when the danger was great enough and could have been feasibly remedied. Other cases stress either the reasonable assumption of safety which the invitee may make or the likelihood that his/her attention will be distracted, in order to cut down the notion of what is obvious or the adequacy of warning. And the latter is often a jury question even under the Restatement rule. It is not surprising, then, that relatively few decisions have depended on the Restatement rule alone for denying liability.
2. Contributory Negligence. . . But there are several situations in which a plaintiff will not be barred by contributory negligence although he/she encountered a known danger. . . For another, it is not necessarily negligent for a plaintiff knowingly and deliberately to encounter a danger which it is negligent for defendant to maintain. Thus a traveler may knowingly use a defective sidewalk, or a tenant a defective common stairway, without being negligent if the use was reasonable under all the circumstances.
CONCLUSION These situations show that the invitee will not always be barred by his/her self-exposure to known dangers on the premises.
Meet with an experienced Attorney to handle your important legal needs.
Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney, working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went into each of these prior cases.
In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients. I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other way.
Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we are here to help you.
If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always to do what we believe is best for you and your case. Helping you is our job. In fact, it is our only job -- guiding injury victims like you through one of the most difficult times of your lives, with care and concern -- while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation and justice for each of you!
Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and Fax back, so we can determine if we can help you obtain an injury settlement. We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to thousands of injured clients -- that you can feel comfortable and secure in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.
When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you dont protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim.
Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money as possible under the law.
You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you deserve and getting nothing.
Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover from the other side.
I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt. I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.
Reduce the stress of making a claim.
Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.
p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only -- program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no obligation.
We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.
This means: YOU DONT OWE ME A LEGAL FEE UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU.
Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500
Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.
Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.
Admitted In NJ, US Supreme Court and Federal District Court.
Trial of a Criminal Case in New Jersey
Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents people charged with criminal offenses and disorderly offenses. We provide representation throughout New Jersey. Criminal charges can cost you. If convicted, you can face high fines, jail, probation and other penalties. Don't give up! Our Law Office can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal violations. Our website KennethVercammen.com provides information on criminal offenses. We can be retained to represent people.
The following are the Criminal Rules of Court regarding criminal trials in New Jersey in the Superior Courts:
RULE 3:14. PLACE OF TRIAL 3:14-1. Venue
An offense shall be prosecuted in the county in which it was committed, except that (a) If it is uncertain in which one of 2 or more counties the offense has been committed or if an offense is committed in several counties prosecution may be had in any of such counties. (b) If a person dies in one county as a result of an offense committed in any other county or counties, the prosecution may be had in any of such counties. (c) Whenever the body of any person who died as a result of an offense is found in any county, prosecution may be had in such county, regardless of where the offense was committed. (d) Whenever a person dies within the jurisdiction of this State as a result of an offense committed outside the jurisdiction of this State, or dies outside the jurisdiction of this State as a result of an offense committed within the jurisdiction of this State, the prosecution shall be had in the county in which the death occurred or the offense was committed. (e) Prosecution for acts of treason against this State which were committed outside the jurisdiction of this State shall be had in any county designated by the Chief Justice. (f) Prosecutions for libel shall be had either in the county in which the publication was made or the county in which the libeled person resided at the time of the publication. (g) An accessory may be prosecuted as such either in the county in which the offense to which he or she is an accessory is triable or the county in which he or she became such accessory. (h) Any person who steals the property of another, outside this State, or receives such property knowing it to have been stolen, and brings it into this State, may be prosecuted in any county into or through which the stolen property is brought. (i) Prosecutions for acts of forgery, embezzlement, conversion or misappropriation may be had either in the county in which such offense was committed or in the county in which the offender last resided. (j) Prosecutions for desertion may be had either in the county in which the wife or any child resided at the time of the desertion or in the county in which the wife resides when the prosecution is begun. (k) The county of venue for purposes of trial of indictments returned by a State Grand Jury shall be designated by the Assignment Judge appointed to impanel and supervise the State Grand Jury or Grand Juries pursuant to R. 3:6-11(b).
3:14-2. Motion for Change of Venue or Foreign Jury
A motion for change of venue may be made only by a defendant. A motion for trial by a foreign jury may be made by any party. Such motions shall be made to the judge assigned to try the case or to the Assignment Judge of the county in which the indictment was found or the accusation filed on notice to the other party or parties on such proofs as the court directs and shall be granted if the court finds that a fair and impartial trial cannot otherwise be had.
3:14-3. Foreign Juries; Order and Selection
If a foreign jury is ordered, the order shall specify the number of jurors to be returned and a venire directed to the sheriff of the county from which such jury shall be taken, which shall be returnable to the court in the county in which the matter is to be tried. The jurors shall be selected in the same manner as the general panel of jurors is selected in the county from which they are taken.
3:14-4. Order for Change of Venue; Costs
If a change of venue is ordered, the criminal division manager's office in which the indictment or accusation is pending shall transmit to the criminal division manager's office to which the matter is transferred all papers filed therein or duplicates thereof, and the prosecution shall continue in that county. The costs of trial shall be certified to the Assignment Judge of the county in which the indictment was found or the accusation was filed.
RULE 3:15. JOINDER AND SEVERANCE 3:15-1. Trial of Indictments or Accusations Together
(a) Permissible Joinder. The court may order 2 or more indictments or accusations tried together if the offenses and the defendants, if there are 2 or more, could have been joined in a single indictment or accusation. The procedure shall be the same as if the prosecution were under such single indictment or accusation. (b) Mandatory Joinder. Except as provided by R. 3:15-2(b), a defendant shall not be subject to separate trials for multiple criminal offenses based on the same conduct or arising from the same episode, if such offenses are known to the appropriate prosecuting officer at the time of the commencement of the first trial and are within the jurisdiction and venue of a single court.
3:15-2. Relief From Prejudicial Joinder
(a) Motion by State Before Trial. If two or more defendants are to be jointly tried and the prosecuting attorney intends to introduce at trial a statement, confession or admission of one defendant involving any other defendant, the prosecuting attorney shall move before trial on notice to all defendants for a determination by the court as to whether such portion of the statement, confession, or admission involving such other defendant can be effectively deleted therefrom. The court shall direct the specific deletions to be made, or, if it finds that effective deletions cannot practically be made, it shall order separate trials of the defendants. Upon failure of the prosecuting attorney to so move before trial, the court may refuse to admit such statement, confession or admission into evidence at trial, or take such other action as the interest of justice requires. (b) Motion by Defendant and State. If for any other reason it appears that a defendant or the State is prejudiced by a permissible or mandatory joinder of offenses or of defendants in an indictment or accusation the court may order an election or separate trials of counts, grant a severance of defendants, or direct other appropriate relief. (c) Time. A motion for separate trial of counts of an indictment or accusation must be made pursuant to R. 3:10-2, unless the court, for good cause shown, enlarges the time.
3:15-3. Trial of Criminal Offenses and Lesser, Related Infractions
(a) Joinder of Criminal Offense and Lesser Related Infraction. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b), the court shall join any pending non-indictable complaint for trial with a criminal offense based on the same conduct or arising from the same episode. (2) Regardless of whether a jury sits as the finder of facts with respect to the criminal offense, and unless the complaint charges a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense that must be submitted to the jury in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2C:1-8(e), the Superior Court judge shall sit as a municipal court judge on the complaint and shall render the verdict with respect to the complaint on the proofs adduced in the course of trial. (3) If evidence is held to be admissible with respect to the trial of the complaint but inadmissible with respect to the trial of the criminal offense, the court shall hear that evidence outside of the jury's presence and may, in its discretion, postpone such hearing until the jury has retired to deliberate. The court shall not render its verdict on the complaint until the jury has rendered its verdict or until the jury has been dismissed. (b) Relief From Joinder. If for any reason it appears that a defendant or the State is prejudiced by the joinder required by paragraph (a), the court may decline to join or may grant other appropriate relief. A defendant's request to avoid joinder shall constitute a waiver of any claim against twice being placed in jeopardy that would not have arisen had the defendant's request been denied. (c) Consequence of Failure to Join. In no event shall failure to join as required in paragraph (a) be deemed to constitute grounds for barring a subsequent prosecution of the complaint except as required by statute or by the Federal or State Constitutions.
RULE 3:16. PRESENCE OF THE DEFENDANT
(a) Pretrial. The defendant must be present for every scheduled event unless excused by the court for good cause shown. (b) At Trial or Post-conviction Proceedings. The defendant shall be present at every stage of the trial, including the impaneling of the jury and the return of the verdict, and at the imposition of sentence, unless otherwise provided by Rule. Nothing in this Rule, however, shall prevent a defendant from waiving the right to be present at trial. A waiver may be found either from (a) the defendant's express written or oral waiver placed on the record, or (b) the defendant's conduct evidencing a knowing, voluntary, and unjustified absence after (1) the defendant has received actual notice in court or has signed a written acknowledgment of the trial date, or (2) trial has commenced in defendant's presence. A corporation shall appear by its attorney for all purposes. The defendant's presence is not required at a reduction of sentence under R. 3:21-10 or, except as provided in R. 3:22-10, at a hearing on a petition for post conviction relief.
RULE 3:18. MOTION FOR JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL 3:18-1. Motion Before Submission to Jury
At the close of the State's case or after the evidence of all parties has been closed, the court shall, on defendant's motion or its own initiative, order the entry of a judgment of acquittal of one or more offenses charged in the indictment or accusation if the evidence is insufficient to warrant a conviction. A defendant may offer evidence after denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal made at the close of the State's case without having reserved the right.
3:18-2. Motion After Discharge of Jury
If the jury returns a verdict of guilty or is discharged without having returned a verdict, a motion for judgment of acquittal may be made, even if not earlier made pursuant to R. 3:18-1 or it may be renewed within 10 days after the jury is discharged or within such further time as the court fixes during the 10-day period. The court on such motion may set aside a verdict of guilty and order the entry of a judgment of acquittal and may so order if no verdict has been returned.
RULE 3:19. VERDICT 3:19-1. Several Defendants or Counts; Written Verdict Sheets
(a) Several Defendants or Counts. If there are 2 or more counts of an indictment or 2 or more defendants tried together, the jury may return a verdict or verdicts with respect to a defendant or defendants as to whom it has agreed, specifying the counts on which it has agreed; the defendant or defendants may be tried again on the count or counts as to which it has not agreed. (b) Written Verdict Sheets. In the discretion of the court, a written verdict sheet may be submitted to the jury in conjunction with a general verdict to facilitate the determination of the grade of the offense under the Code of Criminal Justice or otherwise simplify the determination of a verdict when multiple charges are submitted to the jury. The verdict sheet shall be marked as a court exhibit and retained by the court pursuant to Rule 1:2-3.
3:19-2. Acquittal by Reason of Insanity
If a defendant interposes the defense of insanity and is acquitted after trial on that ground, the verdict and judgment shall so state. The procedure for disposition of the defendant shall be as provided by N.J.S.A. 2C:4-8 and 2C:4-9 and by R. 4:74-7, except that in the case of defendants acquitted of murder by reason of insanity all hearings pursuant to R. 4:74-7(e) shall be in open court unless good cause is shown for a hearing in camera.
RULE 3:20. NEW TRIAL 3:20-1. Trial by Court or Jury
The trial judge on defendant's motion may grant the defendant a new trial if required in the interest of justice. If trial was by the judge without a jury, the judge may, on defendant's motion for a new trial, vacate the judgment if entered, take additional testimony and direct the entry of a new judgment. The trial judge shall not, however, set aside the verdict of the jury as against the weight of the evidence unless, having given due regard to the opportunity of the jury to pass upon the credibility of the witnesses, it clearly and convincingly appears that there was a manifest denial of justice under the law.
3:20-2. Time for Making Motion
A motion for a new trial based on the ground of newly-discovered evidence may be made at any time, but if an appeal is pending, the court may grant the motion only on remand of the case. A motion for a new trial based on a claim that the defendant did not waive his or her appearance for trial shall be made prior to sentencing. A motion for a new trial based on any other ground shall be made within 10 days after the verdict or finding of guilty, or within such further time as the court fixes during the 10-day period.
If charged with any criminal offense, immediately schedule an appointment with a criminal trial attorney. Don't rely on a real estate attorney, public defender or a family member who simply attended law school. When your life and job is on the line, hire the best attorney available.
Kenneth Vercammen, Attorney at Law 2053 Woodbridge Ave. Edison, NJ 08817 (Phone) 732-572-0500 (Fax) 732-572-0030
TRIAL AND LITIGATION EXPERIENCE In his private practice, he has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He appears in Courts throughout New Jersey several times each week on many personal injury matters, Criminal and Municipal/ traffic Court trials, Probate hearings, and contested administrative law hearings.
Mr. Vercammen served as the Prosecutor for the Township of Cranbury, Middlesex County and was involved in trials on a weekly basis. He also argued all pre-trial motions and post-trial applications on behalf of the State of New Jersey.
He has also served as a Special Acting Prosecutor in Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, Hightstown, Carteret, East Brunswick, Jamesburg, South Brunswick, South River and South Plainfield for conflict cases. Since 1989, he has personally handled hundreds of criminal and motor vehicle matters as a Prosecutor and now as defense counsel and has had substantial success.
Previously, Mr. Vercammen was Public Defender for the Township of Edison and Borough of Metuchen and a Designated Counsel for the Middlesex County Public Defender's Office. He represented indigent individuals facing consequences of magnitude. He was in Court trying cases and making motions in difficult criminal and DWI matters. Every case he personally handled and prepared.
His resume sets forth the numerous bar associations and activities which demonstrate his commitment to the legal profession and providing quality representation to clients.
Since 1985, his primary concentration has been on litigation matters. Mr. Vercammen gained other legal experiences as the Confidential Law Clerk to the Court of Appeals of Maryland (Supreme Court) with the Delaware County, PA District Attorney Office handling Probable Cause Hearings, Middlesex County Probation Department as a Probation Officer, and an Executive Assistant to Scranton District Magistrate, Thomas Hart, in Scranton, PA.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates Law Office helps people injured due to the negligence of others. We provide representation throughout New Jersey. The insurance companies will not help. Don't give up! Our Law Office can provide experienced attorney representation if you are injured in an accident and suffer a Brain Injury.