Assemblyman† MICHAEL PATRICK CARROLL
District 25 (Morris and Somerset)
Assemblywoman† SHEILA Y. OLIVER
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Assemblywoman† NANCY F. MUNOZ
District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)
†††† Requires personal service of notice of unpaid parking ticket before issuing arrest warrant or suspending license.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
†††† As introduced.
An Act concerning warrants for outstanding parking tickets and amending P.L.1985, c.14.
†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
†††† 1.††† Section 5 of P.L.1985, c.14 (C.39:4-139.6) is amended to read as follows:†
†††† 5.††† [The municipal court shall immediately upon expiration of time to answer or appear, with respect to residents of New Jersey, follow the procedures set forth in R. 7:6-3(a) of the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey.† These procedures include the mailing of a notice of offense or a failure to appear notice to defendant.]† a. †If a resident of New Jersey fails to answer or appear for any parking ticket, a reasonable and good faith attempt shall be made to personally serve notice of the parking offense or failure to appear notice to the defendant.† If personal notice is not effected, the municipal court shall mail the notice, via certified mail, return receipt requested, with delivery restricted to the defendant. Service shall not be made by ordinary mail.† That notice shall be on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts and shall inform the defendant of the parking offense charged; the time and date of the parking offense; the amount of fines, penalties and costs due; of his right to have a hearing;† that a civil judgment may be entered against him for failure to appear or pay the amount due; and that his driver's license may be suspended; that his driving privileges may be revoked; and that a warrant may be issued for his arrest.
†††† An arrest warrant against the defendant shall not be issued and the defendantís driverís license shall not be suspended absent †service upon the defendant in a manner consistent with this section and the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey.
†††† The costs of service shall be assessed against a defendant when the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant received actual notice of the offense or of the hearing on the offense.
†††† Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the governing body of a municipality from applying a method of collection against the vehicle as authorized pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1985, c.14 (C.39:4-139.13) or any other applicable law.
†††† b.††† The procedures set forth in [R.7:6-3(c) of] the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey for service of process on an absent defendant shall be followed in the case of a nonresident, except that service by publication shall not be permitted.
†††† c.†††† The chief administrator shall not impose a fine, fee, driverís license suspension, or any other penalty in the absence of proof of compliance with the provisions of this section.
(cf:† P.L.1985, c.14, s.5)
†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month after enactment.†
†††† This bill requires notice of an unpaid parking ticket or required court appearance for the unpaid parking ticket by personal service before a warrant may be issued for a personís arrest or the personís driverís license is suspended.†
†††† Under the Stateís ďParking Offenses Adjudication Act,Ē a parking ticket issued to the owner or operator of a motor vehicle contains information on how to respond to the alleged parking offense.† The court may issue an arrest warrant for a defendant who fails to answer or appear for two or more pending parking tickets within a jurisdiction.††
†††† Specifically, this bill requires New Jersey residents who fail to answer or appear for a parking ticket to receive personal service of the unpaid parking ticket or required court appearance.† If personal notice is not effected, the municipal court is required to mail the notice, via certified mail, return receipt requested, with delivery restricted to the defendant. The bill prohibits service by ordinary mail.† Absent service, an arrest warrant may not be issued against the defendant and the defendantís driverís license is not to be suspended.† The costs of service are to be assessed against a defendant if the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant received actual notice of the parking offense or of the hearing on the offense.
†††† The bill does not affect a municipalityís ability to collect against the vehicle as authorized under current law.†
†††† The Motor Vehicle Commission is prohibited by the bill from imposing a fine, fee, driverís license suspension, or any other penalty unless there is proof of compliance with the billís provisions.