[First Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 3591







Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)


District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)






     Concerns certain limitations on claims for victim compensation.



     As reported by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on February 3, 2011, with amendments.


An Act concerning claims for victim compensation and amending P.L.1971, c.317.


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


     1.    Section 18 of P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-18) is amended as follows: 

     18. No order for the payment of compensation shall be made under section 10 of P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-10) unless the application has been made within [two] three years after the date of the personal injury or death or after that date upon determination by the agency that good cause exists for the delayed filing, and the personal injury or death was the result of an offense listed in section 11 of P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-11) which had been reported to the police or other appropriate law enforcement agency within [three] nine months after its occurrence or reasonable discovery.  If the victim is under 18 years of age, the three-year limit on filing shall commence on the day the victim turns 18 years old.  For the purposes of this section, “good cause” shall include, but not be limited to, failure of a law enforcement officer, a prosecuting agency, or any other member of the criminal justice system to inform the victim or victim’s 1[dependants] dependents1 of the benefits offered by the office.  The agency will make its determination regarding the application within six months of acknowledgment by the agency of receipt of the completed application and any and all necessary supplemental information.

     In determining the amount of an award, the agency shall determine whether, because of his conduct, the victim of such crime contributed to the infliction of his injury, and the agency shall reduce the amount of the award or reject the application altogether, in accordance with such determination; provided, however, that the agency shall not consider any conduct of the victim contributory toward his injury, if the record indicates such conduct occurred during efforts by the victim to prevent a crime or apprehend a person who had committed a crime in his presence or had in fact committed a crime.

     The agency may deny or reduce an award where the victim has not paid in full any payments owed on assessments imposed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:43-3.1) or restitution ordered following conviction for a crime.

     No compensation shall be awarded if:

     a.     Compensation to the victim proves to be substantial unjust
enrichment to the offender or if the victim did not cooperate with the reasonable requests of law enforcement authorities unless the victim demonstrates a compelling health or safety reason for not cooperating; or

     b.    (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1990, c.64.)

     c.     The victim was guilty of a violation of subtitle 10 or 12 of Title 2A or subtitle 2 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, which caused or contributed to his injuries; or

     d.    The victim was injured as a result of the operation of a motor vehicle, except as provided in subsection c. or d. of section 11 of P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-11), boat or airplane unless the same was used as a weapon in a deliberate attempt to run the victim down; or

     e.     The victim suffered personal injury or death while an occupant of a motor vehicle or vessel where the victim knew or reasonably should have known that the driver was operating the vehicle or vessel in violation of R.S.39:4-50, section 5 of P.L.1990, c.103 (C.39:3-10.13), section 19 of P.L.1954, c.236 (C.12:7-34.19), section 3 of P.L.1952, c.157 (C.12:7-46), subparagraph (b) of paragraph (2) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:20-2, subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2 or subsection b., c. or d. of N.J.S.2C:20-10; or

     f.     The victim has been convicted of a crime and is still incarcerated; or

     g.     The victim sustained the injury during the period of incarceration immediately following conviction for a crime.

     Except as provided herein, no compensation shall be awarded under P.L.1971, c.317 in an amount in excess of $25,000, and all payments shall be made in a lump sum, except that in the case of death or protracted disability the award may provide for periodic payments to compensate for loss of earnings or support.  [Five years after the entry of an initial determination order, a claim for compensation expires and no further order is to be entered with regard to the claim except:

     (1)   for requests for payment of specific out-of-pocket expenses received by the Victims of Crime Compensation Office prior to the expiration of the five-year period except in those cases determined by the office to be catastrophic in nature; or

     (2)   when the office determines that compelling circumstances exist justifying the payment of a claim beyond the five-year limit.]

     No award made pursuant to P.L.1971, c.317 shall be subject to execution or attachment other than for expenses resulting from the injury which is the basis of the claim.

     Compensation may be awarded in an amount not exceeding the actual cost of a rehabilitative service of the type enumerated in section 2 of P.L.1999, c.166 (C.52:4B-18.2).

     The award may provide for periodic payments in the case of protracted care or rehabilitative assistance.

(cf: P.L.2010, c.92, s.1)

     2.    Section 19 of P.L.1971, c.317 (C.52:4B-19) is amended to read as follows: 

     19.  In determining the amount of compensation to be allowed by order, the [agency shall] office may take into consideration amounts received or receivable from any other source or sources by the victim or his dependents as a result of the offense or occurrence giving rise to the application.  In cases involving homicide, life insurance payments and private donations received by the dependents of the victim shall not be considered as other sources.

     Each order for compensation made by the agency shall be filed with the Director of the Division of Budget and Accounting and shall constitute authority for payment by the State Treasurer to the person or persons named therein of the amounts specified in such order. 

(cf:  P.L.2007, c.95, s.21) 


     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.