Capitol Report

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January 28, 2019

This is a status report provided by the New Jersey State Bar Association on recently passed and pending legislation, regulations, gubernatorial nominations and/or appointments of interest to lawyers, as well as the involvement of the NJSBA as amicus in appellate court matters.

NJSBA’s Cybersecurity Task Force urges uniformity, global approach to cybersecurity policies

The NJSBA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force offered comments in response to A-4640 (Vainieri Huttle)/S-3153 (Kean), a bill requiring certain businesses to notify customers and would-be customers of the collection of personally identifiable information. The bill was posted in the Assembly Homeland Security and Preparedness Committee for discussion only, without posting the bill for a vote. While the association has not yet taken a position on this particular bill, its review of other cybersecurity bills has led to recommendations to ensure a uniform application and create a more business-friendly atmosphere that makes compliance with these laws more achievable.

The task force was created to identify and compile resources to inform, education and bring awareness to cybersecurity and privacy issues within the legal community. Among its tasks is the review of proposed cybersecurity and data privacy legislation with the aim of creating a uniform application of cybersecurity legislation enacted federally and in other states to avoid creating a maze of compliance requirements that would impact the business community.

Among the recommendations is a universally accepted set of standard cybersecurity/data privacy definitions for key terms across all New Jersey legislative efforts. The task force recommended adopting a universally recognized source—the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. Another recommendation was the adoption of practices implemented in the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, which was created based on existing standards, guidelines, and practices in order to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. Finally, the task force urged the Assembly committee to consider enacting cybersecurity legislation that is consistent with existing state and federal policies and the most successful nationally recognized uniform standards with the ultimate goal of making compliance with these laws more manageable and less onerous for businesses conducting business across state lines.

Stale municipal court cases dismissed by order of the Court

The Supreme Court issued an order on Jan. 17 dismissing certain unresolved, minor municipal court cases that are more than 15 years old. The order was issued dismissing these cases following a recommendation by a panel of assignment judges who held public hearings on the issue of the dismissals. The NJSBA weighed in on the issue, recommending that non-moving violations that were 15 years or older should be dismissed, as well as minor moving violations.

The order delineates “minor outstanding matters including parking violations; motor vehicle offenses (such as going through a stop sign, improper passing, general motor vehicle equipment violations, certain speeding offenses, and running a red light); local ordinance violations; fish and game violations; and penalty enforcement actions.” The order specifically excludes serious matters such as indictable charges, disorderly and petty disorderly person charges, and more serious motor vehicle charges such as driving without a license and refusing to submit to a breath test.

The Administrative Office of the Courts identified 787,764 open municipal matters, all of which are dismissed as a result of the Jan. 17 order. Open warrants for failure to appear have been recalled and associated court-ordered driver’s license suspensions or revocations were rescinded. Finally, the Court ordered that the Supreme Court Municipal Court Practice Committee review the report to examine whether matters more than 10 years old should be dismissed, and to develop a process for the periodic review and dismissal of open, outdated municipal court matters.

To review the order, go to