ASSEMBLY, No. 3767

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 19, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblywoman  MARLENE CARIDE

District 36 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Concerns arrest warrants for failing to pay parking tickets.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning 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: 

     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.  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[;], and the amount of fines, penalties, and costs due; of [his] the defendant’s right to have a hearing; that a civil judgment may be entered against [him] the defendant for failure to appear or pay the amount due; [and] that [his] the defendant’s driver's license may be suspended; that [his] the defendant’s driving privileges may be revoked; and that a warrant may be issued for his arrest. 

     [The procedures set forth in R.7:6-3(c) of the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey shall be followed in the case of a nonresident.]

     The court shall not issue a warrant for the arrest of a defendant who has failed to respond unless the defendant has more than 10 pending parking tickets within the jurisdiction.

 (cf:  P.L.1985, c.14, s.5)

 

     2.  Section 12 of P.L.1985, c.14 (C.39:4-139.13) is amended to read as follows: 

     a.  The governing body of every municipality may make, amend, repeal, and enforce an ordinance authorizing the impoundment or immobilization of a vehicle found within the jurisdiction of that municipality if there are any outstanding warrants against the vehicle.

     b.  Except for vehicles owned by lessors who have complied with paragraphs  (1) and (2) of subsection b. of section 4 of [this act] P.L.1985, c.14 (C.39:4-139.5), if the outstanding warrants are not paid by midnight on the 30th day following the day on which the vehicle was impounded or immobilized, the vehicle may be sold at a public auction.  The municipality shall give notice of the sale by certified mail to the owner, if [his] the owner’s name and address are known, and to the holder of any security interest filed with the [director] chief administrator, and by publication in a form to be prescribed by the [director] chief administrator by one insertion, at least five days before the date of the sale, in one or more newspapers published in this State and circulating in the municipality in which the motor vehicle has been impounded or immobilized. 

     c.  At any time prior to the sale, the owner of the motor vehicle or other person entitled to the motor vehicle may reclaim possession of the motor vehicle upon payment of , or entering into a payment plan for, the reasonable costs of removal and storage of the motor vehicle, any fine or penalty and court costs assessed against [him] the owner for a violation that gave rise to the impoundment or immobilization of the motor vehicle, and any outstanding warrants against the vehicle; however, the owner-lessor of a motor vehicle who has complied with paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection b. of section 4 of [this act] P.L.1985, c.14 (C.39:4-139.5) shall be entitled to reclaim possession without payment and the lessee shall be liable for any fine, penalty, court costs, and outstanding warrants against the vehicle. 

     d.  Any proceeds obtained from the sale of a vehicle at public auction pursuant to subsection b. of this section in excess of the amount owed to the municipality for the reasonable costs of removal and storage of the motor vehicle, any fine or penalty and court costs assessed against [him] the owner for a violation that gave rise to the impoundment or immobilization of the motor vehicle, and any outstanding warrants against the vehicle, shall be returned to the owner of the vehicle, if [his] the owner’s name and address are known.

(cf:  P.L.1985, c.14, s.12)

 

     3.  This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month following enactment. 

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Under this bill, the court is authorized to issue a warrant for a person’s arrest for failure to pay parking tickets only if the person has more than 10 pending parking tickets within the municipality. 

     Under the “Parking Offenses Adjudication Act,” a parking ticket issued to the owner or operator of a motor vehicle contains information on how to respond to the alleged parking offense.  If the defendant does not pay the ticket or appear at the scheduled court date, the court issues a failure to appear notice which includes a new court date.  If the defendant does not appear at that court date and the court is informed that the defendant has two or more outstanding parking tickets, the court has the discretion to issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest. This bill authorizes an arrest warrant only if the defendant has more than 10 outstanding parking tickets. 

     The bill also authorizes a defendant to enter into a payment plan to satisfy parking fines, court costs, and costs of removal and storage of a motor vehicle that was impounded or immobilized due to outstanding parking tickets. 

     According to the sponsor, this bill would prevent wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars and use of law enforcement resources that could be better dedicated to more serious crimes than parking offenses.