PASSAIC COUNTY, N.J. – The Board of Chosen Freeholders has unanimously passed a resolution urging Gov. Chris Christie to support Assembly Bill A3491 (Wimberly-D-LD35), which, among other things, would establish a county criminal court justice reform administration fund, according to a Freeholders statement.
Though the Assembly bill has not yet come to a vote, the Freeholders join the New Jersey Association of Counties in supporting the initiative , according to the Freeholders.
“New Jersey has one of the busiest court systems in the country.” Freeholder Director TJ Best said. “In order to resolve these cases quicker, we need more judges, which costs more money. This legislation would help offset any additional burden on taxpayers.”
According to the Freeholders, the bill, if passed, would:
- Establish a new $2 court cost assessment for any violation of any statute or ordinance which would be used to offset the cost of implementing and administering criminal justice reform.
- Impose a $30 criminal justice reform fee on any defendant found guilty of contempt in a domestic violence matter.
- Add a $5 criminal justice reform fee to any court filing fees in the Supreme Court, Superior Court (which includes the Appellate Division) and the Tax Court for each first paper filed and for each first paper filed by any person other than the plaintiff. This bill also provides for a $5 criminal justice reform fee for each motion filed.
- Provide for a $25 criminal justice reform assessment which would be imposed in addition to any other fine, fee or assessment imposed on a person convicted of a crime, disorderly persons or petty disorderly person offenses, or any juvenile adjudicated delinquent for an offense which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a crime, disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense.
- Require participants in any supervisory treatment program (PTI), conditional discharge program or conditional dismissal program to pay a $25 criminal justice reform assessment. The legislation allows for a waiver of the fine. The bill would allow a person to apply for a waiver of the newly created criminal justice reform fees or assessments by reason of poverty.
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