ASSEMBLY, No. 3496

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 15, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  CHARLOTTE VANDERVALK

District 39 (Bergen)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits application of foreign laws when application violates constitutional rights.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning application of foreign laws and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    The Legislature finds and declares that it shall be the public policy of this State to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of a foreign law will result in the violation of any right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States, including but not limited to due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy.

 

     2.    A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, arbitration, or enforcement authority shall not enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate any right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States.

 

     3.    a. If any contractual provision or agreement provides for the choice of a foreign law to govern its interpretation or the resolution of any dispute between the parties, and if the enforcement or interpretation of the contractual provision or agreement would result in a violation of a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States, the agreement or contractual provision shall be modified or amended to the extent necessary to preserve the constitutional rights of the parties.

     b.    If any contractual provision or agreement provides for the choice of venue or forum outside of the states or territories of the United States, and if the enforcement or interpretation of the contract or agreement applying that choice of venue or forum provision would result in a violation of any right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States, that contractual provision or agreement shall be interpreted or construed to preserve the constitutional rights of the party against whom enforcement is sought.  Similarly, if an individual subject to personal jurisdiction in this State seeks to maintain litigation, arbitration, agency, or similarly binding proceedings in this State, and if a court of this State finds that granting a claim of forum non conveniens or a related claim violates or would likely lead to the violation of any right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States of either party in a foreign forum with respect to the matter in dispute, the claim shall be denied.

     c.     Any contractual provision or agreement incapable of being modified or amended in order to preserve the rights of the parties pursuant to the provisions of this article shall be null and void.


     4.    The provisions of this section shall not apply when a firm, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity is a party to the contract or agreement.

 

     5.    The public policies expressed in the provisions of this section shall apply only to actual or foreseeable violations of the constitutional rights of a party caused by the application of the foreign law.

 

     6.    As used in this section “foreign law” means any law, rule, or legal code or system established and used or applied in a jurisdiction outside of the States or territories of the United States.

 

     7.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that a foreign law may only be recognized by a court in New Jersey if it does not violate any right guaranteed by the Constitution of this State or of the United States of America. Any foreign law to be applied in New Jersey must provide at least as much protection for rights including, but not limited to due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy.

     The bill also addresses contractual agreements relating to choice of foreign law or forum:

     (1)   If a contractual provision or agreement allows for the choice of a foreign law to govern its interpretation or to resolve any dispute and that choice of law would result in a violation of a constitutional right, the agreement or provision shall be modified to preserve the rights of the parties.

     (2)   If contractual provision or agreement allows for a choice of venue or forum outside of the United States, and that choice would result in a violation of any constitutional right, the provision or agreement shall be interpreted to preserve the constitutional rights of the person against whom enforcement is sought.

     (3)   If an individual subject to personal jurisdiction in this State seeks to maintain litigation or similarly binding proceedings in this State, and if a court of this State finds that granting a claim of forum non conveniens violates the constitutional rights of the nonclaimant in the foreign forum, the claim shall be denied.

     (4)   Any contractual provision or agreement which cannot be modified to preserve the constitutional rights of the parties shall be null and void.

     The provisions of this bill shall not apply when a firm, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity is a party to the contract or agreement.