Courts

Lawsuit targeting disputed ballot design as unconstitutional can proceed, judge says

BY: - May 31, 2022

A federal lawsuit targeting the county line — the ballot system used in most New Jersey counties that gives a boost to party-backed candidates facing primary challenges — as unconstitutional may proceed, a judge ruled Tuesday. The order by Judge Zahid Quraishi was hailed by progressives who have long argued the ballot design in question gives […]

Non-disparagement agreements in discrimination suits not barred by state law, judges rule

BY: - May 31, 2022

Though New Jersey in 2019 banned the use of non-disclosure agreements in cases involving workplace issues like harassment and retaliation, non-disparagement agreements remain on the table, an appellate panel ruled Tuesday. The decision stems from an interview former Neptune Township police sergeant Christine Savage gave to NBC New York in 2020, after she and the town […]

N.J. to bar cops from jailing people who skip court, don’t pay fines on minor offenses

BY: - May 26, 2022

Police in New Jersey can no longer jail people who fail to appear in municipal courts or pay fines for minor offenses, under a new directive issued Wednesday by acting Attorney General Matt Platkin. The move is intended to reduce both pretrial incarceration and potentially volatile police encounters, Platkin said. It will also save cops […]

N.J. Supreme Court among country’s most diverse. That’s not saying much

BY: - May 24, 2022

Even with multiple seats vacant, New Jersey’s Supreme Court is among the most diverse in the nation, but its diversity still lags behind that of its citizenry, according to a new report. A study released Friday by the Brennan Center for Justice found nine states have more diverse supreme courts than New Jersey. That figure […]

Woman fired for posting anti-Black Lives Matter comments loses appeal

BY: - May 20, 2022

A company that fired an employee after she criticized the Black Lives Matter movement online did not break the law, an appellate panel ruled Friday. Heather McVey sued the AtlantiCare and Geisinger health systems, alleging the First Amendment did not allow them to fire her because of her Facebook posts. But the appellate judges’ Friday […]

Chief justice raises alarm as court vacancies reach ‘highest level in the history’

BY: - May 20, 2022

New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner urged lawmakers and the governor to speed the approval of new judges Friday, warning the broad swath of vacant seats had stopped some counties from scheduling certain types of trials altogether. Seventy-five of the 433 seats on the Superior Court bench are vacant as of Friday, Rabner […]

Drivers fleeing a crash with multiple victims can only be charged once, court rules

BY: - May 16, 2022

Drivers who flee crashes that leave multiple people dead can only be charged once with fleeing the scene, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday in an opinion that upholds the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition of multiple punishments for the same offense. Judge Jose Fuentes, writing for the court, said justices based their decision in […]

N.J.’s top court orders ex-Black Panther freed after 49 years behind bars

BY: - May 10, 2022

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the state to free Sundiata Acoli, rejecting the state Parole Board’s claims that the 85-year-old should stay in prison for the 1973 slaying of a state trooper. The ruling, split 3-2 along party lines, brings to a close a decades-long battle by Acoli’s supporters to release him […]

Governor Murphy wants new language in anti-bribery bill before he’ll sign it

BY: - May 9, 2022

Gov. Phil Murphy conditionally vetoed a bill that is intended to make clear New Jersey’s bribery laws apply to candidates seeking office, with his proposed changes explicitly stating a person’s position is no defense against bribery charges. The bill that reached the governor’s desk in March after nearly a decade in legislative limbo would have […]

New lawsuits over nursing home COVID deaths claim ‘state-created danger’

BY: - May 6, 2022

The families of two women who died after catching COVID in the private nursing homes where they lived have sued state officials, saying the state ignored repeated warnings in the pandemic’s first weeks that its controversial approach to containing COVID in long-term care facilities would be deadly. The lawsuits come nearly five months after the […]

Biden on leaked draft opinion on abortion: The ‘right to choose is fundamental’

BY: - May 3, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Tuesday that his administration “will be ready when any ruling is issued” on abortion rights, after the nation was rocked by the leak of a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that confirmed the court is planning to overturn access to abortion.   “I believe that a woman’s right […]

Cops can’t contradict or diminish Miranda warnings to coax suspects to talk, court rules

BY: - May 2, 2022

Police who read suspects their rights before interrogations cannot then lie or contradict the Miranda warning to entice them to talk or confess, the New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, who wrote the opinion, upheld an appellate ruling that suppressed statements a man made in 2013 to a Hackensack detective […]