Bill Text: NJ S3319 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Eliminates certain juvenile justice fines, fees, costs, and other monetary penalties.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-07 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Law and Public Safety Committee [S3319 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-S3319-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3319

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 7, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  NELLIE POU

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Eliminates certain juvenile justice fines, fees, costs, and other monetary penalties.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning certain juvenile justice costs, fees, and monetary penalties, amending various parts of the statutory law, and supplementing chapter 17B of Title 52 of the Revised Statutes. 

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 24 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-43) is amended to read as follows: 

     24.  Disposition of delinquency cases. a. In determining the appropriate disposition for a juvenile adjudicated delinquent the court shall weigh the following factors:

     (1)   The nature and circumstances of the offense;

     (2)   The degree of injury to persons or damage to property caused by the juvenile's offense;

     (3)   The juvenile's age, previous record, prior social service received, and out-of-home placement history;

     (4)   Whether the disposition supports family strength, responsibility, and unity and the well-being and physical safety of the juvenile;

     (5)   Whether the disposition provides for reasonable participation by the child's parent, guardian, or custodian, provided, however, that the failure of a parent or parents to cooperate in the disposition shall not be weighed against the juvenile in arriving at an appropriate disposition;

     (6)   Whether the disposition recognizes and treats the unique physical, psychological, and social characteristics and needs of the child;

     (7)   Whether the disposition contributes to the developmental needs of the child, including the academic and social needs of the child where the child has intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities;

     (8)   Any other circumstances related to the offense and the juvenile's social history as deemed appropriate by the court;

     (9)   The impact of the offense on the victim or victims;

     (10)  The impact of the offense on the community; and

     (11)  The threat to the safety of the public or any individual posed by the child.

     b.    If a juvenile is adjudged delinquent, and except to the extent that an additional specific disposition is required pursuant to this section, the court, in accordance with subsection i. of section 2 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-21), may order incarceration pursuant to section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44) or the court may order any one or more of the following dispositions:

     (1)   Adjourn formal entry of disposition of the case for a period not to exceed 12 months for the purpose of determining whether the juvenile makes a satisfactory adjustment, and if during the period of continuance the juvenile makes such an adjustment, dismiss the complaint[; provided that if the court adjourns formal entry of disposition of delinquency for a violation of an offense defined in chapter 35 or 36 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes the court shall assess the mandatory penalty set forth in N.J.S.2C:35-15 but may waive imposition of the penalty set forth in N.J.S.2C:35-16 for juveniles adjudicated delinquent];

     (2)   Release the juvenile to the supervision of the juvenile's parent or guardian;

     (3)   Place the juvenile on probation to the chief probation officer of the county or to any other suitable person who agrees to accept the duty of probation supervision for a period not to exceed three years upon such written conditions as the court deems will aid rehabilitation of the juvenile;

     (4)   Transfer custody of the juvenile to any relative or other person determined by the court to be qualified to care for the juvenile;

     (5)   Place the juvenile under the care and responsibility of the Department of Children and Families so that the commissioner may designate a division or organizational unit in the department pursuant to P.L.1951, c.138 (C.30:4C-1 et seq.) for the purpose of providing services in or out of the home.  Within 14 days, unless for good cause shown, but not later than 30 days, the Department of Children and Families shall submit to the court a service plan, which shall be presumed valid, detailing the specifics of any disposition order.  The plan shall be developed within the limits of fiscal and other resources available to the department.  If the court determines that the service plan is inappropriate, given existing resources, the department may request a hearing on that determination;

     (6)   Place the juvenile under the care and custody of the Commissioner of Children and Families for the purpose of receiving the services of the Division of Children's System of Care of that department, provided that the juvenile has been determined to be eligible for those services under P.L.1965, c.59, s.16 (C.30:4-25.4);

     (7)   Commit the juvenile, pursuant to applicable laws and the Rules of Court governing civil commitment, to the Department of Children and Families under the responsibility of the Division of Children's System of Care for the purpose of placement in a suitable public or private hospital or other residential facility for the treatment of persons who are mentally ill, on the ground that the juvenile is in need of involuntary commitment;

     (8)  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2019, c.363)

     (9)   Order the juvenile to make restitution to a person or entity who has suffered loss resulting from personal injuries or damage to property as a result of the offense for which the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent.  The court may determine the reasonable amount, terms, and conditions of restitution.  If the juvenile participated in the offense with other persons, the participants shall be jointly and severally responsible for the payment of restitution. The court shall not require a juvenile to make full or partial restitution if the juvenile reasonably satisfies the court that the juvenile does not have the means to make restitution and could not reasonably acquire the means to pay restitution;

     (10)  Order that the juvenile perform community services under the supervision of a probation division or other agency or individual deemed appropriate by the court.  Such services shall be compulsory and reasonable in terms of nature and duration.  Such services may be performed without compensation, provided that any money earned by the juvenile from the performance of community services may be applied towards any payment of restitution or fine which the court has ordered the juvenile to pay;

     (11)  Order that the juvenile participate in work programs which are designed to provide job skills and specific employment training to enhance the employability of job participants.  Such programs may be without compensation, provided that any money earned by the juvenile from participation in a work program may be applied towards any payment of restitution or fine which the court has ordered the juvenile to pay;

     (12)  Order that the juvenile participate in programs emphasizing self-reliance, such as intensive outdoor programs teaching survival skills, including but not limited to camping, hiking, and other appropriate activities;

     (13)  Order that the juvenile participate in a program of academic or vocational education or counseling, such as a youth service bureau, requiring attendance at sessions designed to afford access to opportunities for normal growth and development.  This may require attendance after school, evenings, and weekends;

     (14)  Place the juvenile in a suitable residential or nonresidential program for the treatment of alcohol or narcotic abuse, provided that the juvenile has been determined to be in need of such services;

     (15)  Order the parent or guardian of the juvenile to participate in appropriate programs or services when the court has found either that such person's omission or conduct was a significant contributing factor towards the commission of the delinquent act, or, under its authority to enforce litigant's rights, that such person's omission or conduct has been a significant contributing factor towards the ineffective implementation of a court order previously entered in relation to the juvenile;

     (16)  (a)  Place the juvenile in a nonresidential program operated by a public or private agency, providing intensive services to juveniles for specified hours, which may include education, counseling to the juvenile and the juvenile's family if appropriate, vocational training, employment counseling, work, or other services;

     (b)   Place the juvenile under the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.284 (C.52:17B-170) for placement with any private group home or private residential facility with which the commission has entered into a purchase of service contract;

     (17)  Instead of or in addition to any disposition made according to this section, the court may postpone, suspend, or revoke for a period not to exceed two years the driver's license, registration certificate, or both of any juvenile who used a motor vehicle in the course of committing an act for which the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent. In imposing this disposition and in deciding the duration of the postponement, suspension, or revocation, the court shall consider the circumstances of the act for which the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent and the potential effect of the loss of driving privileges on the juvenile's ability to be rehabilitated.  Any postponement, suspension, or revocation shall be imposed consecutively with any custodial commitment;

     (18) Order that the juvenile satisfy any other conditions reasonably related to the rehabilitation of the juvenile;

     (19)  Order a parent or guardian who has failed or neglected to exercise reasonable supervision or control of a juvenile who has been adjudicated delinquent to make restitution to any person or entity who has suffered a loss as a result of that offense.  The court may determine the reasonable amount, terms, and conditions of restitution; or

     (20)  Place the juvenile, if eligible, in an appropriate juvenile offender program established pursuant to P.L.1997, c.81 (C.30:8-61 et al.).

     c.  (1)  If the county in which the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent has a juvenile detention facility meeting the physical and program standards established pursuant to this subsection by the Juvenile Justice Commission, the court may, in addition to any of the dispositions not involving placement out of the home enumerated in this section, incarcerate the juvenile in the youth detention facility in that county for a term not to exceed 60 consecutive days.  The decision by the court to incarcerate a juvenile shall be made in accordance with subsection i. of section 2 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-21).  Counties which do not operate their own juvenile detention facilities may contract for the use of approved commitment programs with counties with which they have established agreements for the use of pre-disposition juvenile detention facilities.  The Juvenile Justice Commission shall promulgate such rules and regulations from time to time as deemed necessary to establish minimum physical facility and program standards for the use of juvenile detention facilities pursuant to this subsection.

     (2)   A juvenile shall not be incarcerated in any county detention facility unless the county has entered into an agreement with the Juvenile Justice Commission concerning the use of the facility for sentenced juveniles. Upon agreement with the county, the Juvenile Justice Commission shall certify detention facilities which may receive juveniles sentenced pursuant to this subsection and shall specify the capacity of the facility that may be made available to receive such juveniles; provided, however, that in no event shall the number of juveniles incarcerated pursuant to this subsection exceed 50% of the maximum capacity of the facility.

     (3)   The court may fix a term of incarceration under this subsection that is in accordance with subsection i. of section 2 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-21) and:

     (a)   The act for which the juvenile was adjudicated delinquent, if committed by an adult, would have constituted a crime or repetitive disorderly persons offense;

     (b)   Incarceration of the juvenile is consistent with the goals of public safety, accountability, and rehabilitation and the court is clearly convinced that the aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors as set forth in section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44); and

     (c)   The detention facility has been certified for admission of adjudicated juveniles pursuant to paragraph (2).

     (4)   If as a result of incarceration of adjudicated juveniles pursuant to this subsection, a county is required to transport a predisposition juvenile to a juvenile detention facility in another county, the costs of such transportation shall be borne by the Juvenile Justice Commission.

     d.    Whenever the court imposes a disposition upon an adjudicated delinquent which requires the juvenile to perform a community service, restitution, or to participate in any other program provided for in this section other than subsection c., the duration of the juvenile's mandatory participation in such alternative programs shall extend for a period consistent with the program goal for the juvenile and shall in no event exceed one year beyond the maximum duration permissible for the delinquent if the juvenile had been committed to a term of incarceration.

     e.     In addition to any disposition the court may impose pursuant to this section or section 25 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-44), the following orders shall be included in dispositions of the adjudications set forth below:

     (1)   An order to perform community service pursuant to paragraph (10) of subsection b. of this section for a period of at least 60 days, if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crime of theft of a motor vehicle, or the crime of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:20-10, or the third degree crime of eluding in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2; and

     (2)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2019, c.363)

     (3)   An order to perform community service pursuant to paragraph (10) of subsection b. of this section for a period of at least 30 days, if the juvenile has been adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the fourth degree crime of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:20-10.

     (4)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2019, c.363)

     f.     (1) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2019, c.363)

     (2)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2019, c.363

     (3)   Deleted by amendment, P.L.2019, c.363)

     g.    Whenever the court imposes a disposition upon an adjudicated delinquent which requires the juvenile to perform a community service, restitution, or to participate in any other program provided for in this section, the order shall include provisions which provide balanced attention to the protection of the community, accountability for offenses committed, fostering interaction and dialogue between the offender, victim, and community and the development of competencies to enable the child to become a responsible and productive member of the community.

(cf: P.L.2019, c.363, s.2)

 

     2.  Section 8 of P.L.1996, c.115 (C.2A:4A-43.4) is amended to read as follows: 

     8.  a.  In addition to any other disposition made pursuant to law, a court shall order a juvenile charged with delinquency or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult would constitute a crime, a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense, to submit to an approved serological test for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or any other related virus identified as a probable causative agent of AIDS if:

     (1)  in the course of the commission of the act, including the immediate flight thereafter or during any investigation or arrest related to that act, a law enforcement officer, the victim or other person suffered a prick from a hypodermic needle, provided there is probable cause to believe that the juvenile is an intravenous user of controlled dangerous substances; or

     (2)  in the course of the commission of the act, including the immediate flight thereafter or during any investigation or arrest related to that act, a law enforcement officer, the victim or other person had contact with the juvenile which involved or was likely to involve the transmission of bodily fluids.

     The court may order a juvenile to submit to an approved serological test for AIDS or infection with the HIV or any other related virus identified as a probable causative agent of AIDS if in the course of the performance of any other law enforcement duties, a law enforcement officer suffers a prick from a hypodermic needle, provided that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant is an intravenous user of controlled dangerous substances, or had contact with the defendant which involved or was likely to involve the transmission of bodily fluids.  The court shall issue such an order only upon the request of the law enforcement officer, victim of the offense or other affected person made at the time of indictment, charge or conviction.  If a county prosecutor declines to make such an application within 72 hours of being requested to do so by the law enforcement officer, the law enforcement officer may appeal to the Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Law and Public Safety for that officer to bring the application.  The juvenile shall be ordered by the court to submit to such repeat or confirmatory tests as may be medically necessary.

     b.  A court order issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall require testing to be performed as soon as practicable by the Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission pursuant to authority granted to the executive director by sections 6 and 10 of P.L.1976, c.98 (C.30:1B-6 and 30:1B-10) or by a provider of health care or at a health care facility licensed pursuant to section 12 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-12).  The order shall also require that the results of the test be reported to the offender, the appropriate Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy if a victim of an offense is tested , and the affected law enforcement officer.  Upon receipt of the result of a test ordered pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy shall provide the victim with appropriate counseling, referral for counseling and if appropriate, referral for health care.  The office shall notify the victim or make appropriate arrangements for the victim to be notified of the test result.

     c.  [In addition to any other disposition authorized, a court may order a juvenile at the time of sentencing to reimburse the State for the costs of the tests ordered by subsection a. of this section.] (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    , c.   )

     d.  The result of a test ordered pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be confidential and health care providers and employees of the Juvenile Justice Commission, the Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy, a health care facility or counseling service shall not disclose the result of a test performed pursuant to this section except as authorized herein or as otherwise authorized by law or court order.  The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to prohibit disclosure of a test result to the person tested.

     e.  Persons who perform tests ordered pursuant to subsection a. of this section in accordance with accepted medical standards for the performance of such tests shall be immune from civil and criminal liability arising from their conduct.

     f.  This section shall not be construed to preclude or limit any other testing for AIDS or infection with the HIV or any other related virus identified as a probable causative agent of AIDS which is otherwise permitted by statute, court rule or common law.

(cf:  P.L.1996, c.115, s.8)

 

     3.  Section 2 of P.L.2011, c.128 (C.2A:4A-71.1) is amended to read as follows: 

     2.  a.  Where a complaint against a juvenile pursuant to section 11 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-30) alleges that the juvenile has committed an eligible offense as defined in subsection c. of this section and the court has approved diversion of the complaint pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1982, c.81 (C.2A:4A-73), the resolution of the complaint shall include the juvenile's participation in a remedial education or counseling program.  The [parents or guardian of the juvenile shall bear the cost of participation in the program, except that the] court shall take into consideration the [ability of the juvenile's parents or guardian to pay and the] availability of such a program in the area in which the juvenile resides and, where appropriate, may permit the juvenile to participate in a self-guided awareness program in lieu of a remedial education or counseling program provided that it satisfies the requirements of subsection b. of this section.

     b.    A remedial education or counseling program satisfies the requirements of [this act] P.L.2011, c.128 if the program is designed to increase the juvenile's awareness of:

     (1)   the legal consequences and penalties for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials, including applicable federal and State statutes;

     (2)   the non-legal consequences of sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials including, but not limited to, the effect on relationships, loss of educational and employment opportunities, and being barred or removed from school programs and extracurricular activities;

     (3)   the potential, based upon the unique characteristics of cyberspace and the Internet, of long-term and unforeseen consequences for sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials; and

     (4)   the possible connection between bullying and cyber-bullying and juveniles sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials.

     c.     As used in [this act] P.L.2011, c.128, "eligible offense" means an offense in which:

     (1)   the facts of the case involve the creation, exhibition, or distribution of a photograph depicting nudity or portraying a child in a sexually suggestive manner, as defined in N.J.S.2C:24-4, through the use of an electronic communication device, an interactive wireless communications device, or a computer; and

     (2)   the creator and subject of the photograph are juveniles or were juveniles at the time of its making.

(cf:  P.L.2017, c.141, s.2)

 

     4.  Section 3 of P.L.1999, c.195 (C.2C:33-3.2) is amended to read as follows:

     3.  a.  Any person who violates the provisions of N.J.S.2C:33-3 shall be liable for a civil penalty of not less than $2,000 or actual costs incurred by or resulting from the law enforcement and emergency services response to the false alarm, whichever is higher. 

     b.  Any monies collected pursuant to this section shall be made payable to the municipality or other entity providing the law enforcement or emergency services response to the false alarm. 

     c.  For the purposes of this section:

     "Emergency services" includes, but is not limited to, paid or volunteer fire fighters, paramedics, members of an ambulance team, rescue squad or mobile intensive care unit. 

     "Person" excludes a juvenile as defined in section 3 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-22).

(cf:  P.L.2002, c.26, s.17)

 

     5.  Section 1 of P.L.1987, c.106 (C.2C:35-20) is amended to read as follows:   

     2C:35-20.  Forensic Laboratory Fees. a.  In addition to any disposition made pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:43-2, any person convicted of an offense under this chapter shall be assessed a criminal laboratory analysis fee of [$50.00] $50 for each offense for which [he] the person was convicted.  Any person who is placed in supervisory treatment pursuant to N.J.S.2C:36A-1 or N.J.S.2 C:43-12 shall be assessed a criminal laboratory analysis fee of [$50.00] $50 for each [such] offense for which [he] the person was charged. 

     b.  [In addition to any other disposition made pursuant to the provisions of section 24 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-43) or any other statute indicating the dispositions that can be ordered for adjudications of delinquency, any juvenile adjudicated delinquent for a violation of this chapter shall be assessed a laboratory analysis fee of $25.00 for each adjudication.]  (Deleted by amendment, P.L.    , c.   )

     c.     All criminal laboratory analysis fees provided for in this section shall be collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4), and shall be forwarded to the appropriate forensic laboratory fund as provided in subsection d. of this section. 

     d.    Forensic laboratory funds shall be established as follows: 

     (1)   Any county or municipality which maintains a publicly funded forensic laboratory that regularly employs at least one forensic chemist or scientist engaged in the analysis of controlled dangerous substances may establish a forensic laboratory fund within the office of the county or municipal treasurer. 

     (2)   Any other county or municipality which has agreed by contract to pay or reimburse the entire salary of at least one forensic chemist or scientist employed by a laboratory designated as a State Forensic Laboratory pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-19, may establish a forensic laboratory fund within the office of the county or municipal treasurer. 

     (3)   A separate account shall be established in the State Treasury and shall be designated the "State Forensic Laboratory Fund." 

     e.     The analysis fee provided for in subsections a. and b. of this section shall be forwarded to the office of the treasurer of the county or municipality that performed the laboratory analysis if that county or municipality has established a forensic laboratory fund or, to the State forensic laboratory fund if the analysis was performed by a laboratory operated by the State.  If the county or municipality has not established a forensic laboratory fund, then the analysis fee shall be forwarded to the State forensic laboratory fund within the State Treasury.  If the analysis was performed by a forensic chemist or scientist whose salary was paid or reimbursed by a county or municipality pursuant to a contract, the analysis fee shall be forwarded to the appropriate forensic laboratory fund established pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection d. of this section unless the contract provides for a different means of allocating and distributing forensic laboratory fees, in which event the terms of the contract may determine the amounts to be forwarded to each forensic laboratory fund.  The county or municipal treasurer and State Treasurer may retain an amount of the total of all collected analysis fees equal to the administrative costs incurred pursuant to carrying out their respective responsibilities under this section.

     f.     Moneys deposited in the county or municipal forensic laboratory fund created pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection d. of this section shall be in addition to any allocations pursuant to existing law and shall be designated for the exclusive use of the county or municipal forensic laboratory.   These uses may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

     (1)   costs incurred in providing analyses for controlled substances in connection with criminal investigations conducted within this State; 

     (2)   purchase and maintenance of equipment for use in performing analyses; and 

     (3)   continuing education, training, and scientific development of forensic scientists regularly employed by these laboratories. 

     g.    Moneys deposited in the State forensic laboratory fund created pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection d. of this section shall be used by State forensic laboratories that the Attorney General designates pursuant to N. J.S. 2C:35-19, and the Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety.  These moneys shall be in addition to any allocations pursuant to existing law and shall be designated for the exclusive use of State forensic facilities. These uses may include those enumerated in subsection f. of this section.

     h.    For the purposes of this section, "person" excludes a juvenile as defined in section 3 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-22).

(cf: P.L.1988, c.44, s.10)

 

     6.    Section 9 of P.L.1996, c.115 (C.2C:43-3.3) is amended to read as follows: 

     9.    a. In addition to any disposition made pursuant to the provisions of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, any person convicted of a crime shall be assessed a penalty of $30.

     b.    [In addition to any other disposition made pursuant to the provisions of section 24 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-43) or any other statute indicating the dispositions that may be ordered for adjudications of delinquency, a juvenile adjudicated delinquent for an offense which if committed by an adult would be a crime shall be assessed a penalty of $15.] Deleted by amendment, P.L.     c.     (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)

     c.  The penalties assessed under subsections a. and b. of this section shall be collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitution in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4) and forwarded to the State Treasury for deposit in a separate account to be known as the "Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund."  The penalty assessed in this section shall be collected only after a penalty assessed in section 2 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:43-3.1) and any restitution ordered is collected.

     The fund shall be used to support the development and provision of basic and in-service training courses for law enforcement officers by police training schools approved pursuant to P.L.1961, c.56 (C.52:17B-66 et seq.).  In addition, the fund shall also be used to enable police training schools to purchase equipment needed for the training of law enforcement officers.  Distributions from the fund shall only be made directly to such approved schools.

     d.  The Police Training Commission in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall be responsible for the administration and distribution of the fund pursuant to its authority under section 6 of P.L.1961, c.56 (C.52:17B-71).

     e.  An adult prisoner of a State correctional institution who does not pay the penalty imposed pursuant to this section shall have the penalty deducted from any income the inmate receives as a result of labor performed at the institution or any type of work release program.  If any person, including an inmate, fails to pay the penalty imposed pursuant to this section, the court may order the suspension of the person's driver's license or nonresident reciprocity privilege, or prohibit the person from receiving or obtaining a license until the assessment is paid.  The court shall notify the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles of such an action.  Prior to any action being taken pursuant to this subsection, the person shall be given notice and a hearing before the court to contest the charge of the failure to pay the assessment. 

     f.  For the purposes of this section, "person" excludes a juvenile as defined in section 3 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-22).

(cf:  P. L.1996, c.115, s.9)

 

     7.  Section 7 of P.L.2013, c.214 (C.30:4-123.97) is amended to read as follows: 

     7.    a.  In addition to any fine, fee, assessment, or penalty authorized under the provisions of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, a person convicted of [or adjudicated delinquent for] a sex offense, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-2), shall be assessed a penalty of $30 per month.

     b.    All penalties provided for in this section, collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4), shall be forwarded to the Department of the Treasury to be deposited in the "Sex Offender Supervision Fund" established pursuant to section 8 of P.L.2013, c.214 (C.30:4-123.98).

     A person shall not be assessed the penalty established in subsection a. of this section if the person's income does not exceed 149 percent of the federal poverty level. 

     c.  For the purposes of this section, "person" excludes a juvenile as defined in section 3 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-22).

(cf:  P.L.2013, c.214, s.7)

 

     8.  (New section) On the effective date of P.L.     c.     (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     a.  any unpaid outstanding balance of any statutory or court-ordered fines, fees, costs, or other monetary penalties previously assessed or imposed upon a juvenile or the juvenile's parent or guardian in relation to a juvenile delinquency complaint shall be unenforceable and uncollectable and the portion of any judgment that imposed those fines, fees, costs, or monetary penalties shall be vacated;

     b.  all unsatisfied civil judgments based on statutory or court-ordered fines, fees, costs, or other monetary penalties previously assessed or imposed upon a juvenile or the juvenile's parent or guardian in relation to a juvenile delinquency complaint are deemed to be null and void and, for all legal purposes, shall be vacated and discharged; and

     c.  all warrants issued solely based on the alleged failure of a juvenile or a juvenile's parent or guardian to pay or to appear on a court date set for the sole purpose of payment of statutory or court-ordered fines, fees, costs, or other monetary penalties previously assessed or imposed in relation to a juvenile delinquency complaint shall be deemed null and void.

 

     9.  This act shall take effect immediately. 

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill eliminates certain statutory costs, fees, and penalties imposed on juveniles involved in the juvenile justice system. 

     The bill specifically eliminates the following fees, fines, costs, and other monetary penalties:

     (1)   The Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction (DEDR) penalty required pursuant to N.J.S.2C:35-15 when the court dismisses a complaint against a juvenile who has made satisfactory adjustment during a period of continuance of up to 12 months. 

     (2)   The costs of the juvenile's serological test for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or other related virus identified as a probable causative agent of AIDS when a law enforcement officer, victim, or other person suffered a prick from a hypodermic needle or had contact with the juvenile which involved or was likely to involve the transmission of bodily fluids. 

     (3)   The costs of an approved remedial education or counseling program to which a juvenile is diverted by the court. 

     (4)   The civil penalty of at least $2,000 or actual costs, whichever is higher, incurred by law enforcement and emergency services in responding to a false public alarm.

     (5)   The $25 forensic laboratory fee imposed on juveniles adjudicated delinquent.

     (6)   The $15 Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund fee  imposed on juveniles adjudicated delinquent. 

     (7)   The $30 monthly penalty imposed on juvenile sex offenders

deposited in the "Sex Offender Supervision Fund."

     As of the effective date of the bill, any unpaid outstanding balances of statutory or court-ordered fines, fees, costs, or other monetary penalties previously assessed or imposed upon a juvenile or the juvenile's parent or guardian are vacated, as are any unsatisfied civil judgements based on these monetary penalties.  Further, all  warrants based on the alleged failure of the juvenile or parent or guardian to pay or to appear in court to pay these monetary penalties are deemed to be null and void. 

     Numerous costs and fees in the form of criminal penalties or administrative fees are imposed on juveniles involved in the juvenile justice system.  These costs and fees can be significant.  Juveniles often are unable to earn enough money to pay these costs and fines, particularly if they are too young to be employed.  The juveniles' families also often lack the means to pay these costs and fines,  sometimes forcing them to choose between paying for necessities, such as food, housing, and utilities and paying off this debt.  In addition to the emotional toll on these families, minority and low income families are disproportionately affected.  While the revenue collected is minimal, the burden on families can be substantial.  This State has responded to this issue by eliminating some of these costs and fees in prior legislative enactments.  Further, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued an order to dismiss hundreds of juvenile warrants for unpaid discretionary and non-mandatory assessments.  This bill would eliminate additional statutorily mandated assessments which are not within the discretion of the court to dismiss.

feedback