[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 1531

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 22, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† RONALD L. RICE

District 28 (Essex)

Assemblywoman† L. GRACE SPENCER

District 29 (Essex and Union)

Assemblyman† ALBERT COUTINHO

District 29 (Essex and Union)

Assemblywoman† CLEOPATRA G. TUCKER

District 28 (Essex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Scutari

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Authorizes waiver of license revocation process for certain child support obligors.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 19, 2011, with amendments.

††


An Act concerning child support and amending 1[of]1 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††P.L.1996, c.7.

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† Section 3 of P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.41) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 3.††† a.† If the child support arrearage equals or exceeds the amount of child support payable for six months or court-ordered health care coverage for the child is not provided for six months, or the obligor fails to respond to a subpoena relating to a paternity or child support action, or a child support-related warrant exists, and the obligor is found to possess a license in the State and all appropriate enforcement methods to collect the child support arrearage have been exhausted, the Probation Division shall send a written notice to the obligor, by certified and regular mail, return receipt requested, at the obligor's last-known address or place of business or employment, advising the obligor that the obligor's license may be revoked or suspended unless, within 30 days of the postmark date of the notice, the obligor pays the full amount of the child support arrearage, 1or makes arrangements with the Probation Division to pay the arrearage on an accelerated schedule including a significant initial payment commensurate with the amount of the arrearage,1 or provides proof that health care coverage for the child has been obtained, or responds to a subpoena, or makes a written request for a court hearing to the Probation Division.† The obligor's driver's license shall be suspended by operation of law upon the issuance of a child support-related warrant. If a child support- related warrant for the obligor exists, the professional, occupational, recreational or sporting license revocation or suspension shall be terminated if the obligor pays the full amount of the child support arrearage 1, or makes arrangements with the Probation Division to pay the arrearage on an accelerated schedule including a significant initial payment commensurate with the amount of the arrearage by a date as specified by the Probation Division1 , 1or1 †provides proof that health care coverage for the child has been obtained as required by the court order, or surrenders to the county sheriff or the Probation Division.

†††† b.††† If the obligor fails to take one of the actions in subsection a. of this section within 30 days of the postmark date of the notice and there is proof that service on the obligor was effective, the Probation Division shall file a certification with the court setting forth the obligor's non-compliance with the support order and the obligor's failure to respond to the written notice of the potential license suspension or revocation.† If, based on the papers filed by the Probation Division, the court is satisfied that service on the obligor was effective as set forth in this section, it shall without need for further due process or hearing, enter a court order suspending or revoking all licenses held by the obligor.† Upon the entry of the order, the Probation Division shall forward a copy to the obligor and all appropriate licensing authorities.

†††† For the purposes of this section, the court may deem procedural due process requirements for notice and service of process to be met with respect to a party thereto upon delivery of written notice to the most recent residential or employer address filed with the Probation Division for that party.† If a party fails to respond to a notice and no proof is available that the party received the notice, the Probation Division shall document to the court that it has made a diligent effort to locate the party by making inquiries that may include, but are not limited to: the United States Postal Service, the [Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Transportation] New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury and the Departments of Labor 1and Workforce Development1 and Corrections.† The Probation Division shall provide an affidavit to the court presenting such documentation of its diligent effort, which certifies its inability to locate the party, before any adverse action is taken based upon the party's failure to respond to the notice.

†††† c.† If 1the noncompliance or payment of arrearages is not resolved through an agreement with the Probation Division and1 the obligor requests a hearing, the Probation Division shall file a petition for a judicial hearing in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.43).† The hearing shall occur within 45 days of the obligor's request.† If, at or prior to the hearing, the obligor pays the full amount of the child support arrearage 1, or makes arrangements with the Probation Division to pay the arrearage on an accelerated schedule including a significant initial payment commensurate with the amount of the arrearage by a specified date,1 or provides health care coverage as ordered, or responds to the subpoena or surrenders to the county sheriff or the Probation Division, the license revocation process shall be terminated.† No license revocation action shall be initiated if the Probation Division has received notice that the obligor has pending a motion to modify the child support order if that motion was filed prior to the date that the notice of the license suspension or revocation was sent by the Probation Division.† The court shall consider the Probation Division's petition to revoke or suspend a license in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.43).

†††† 1[d. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections a., b., or c. of this section or any other law to the contrary, for any obligor whose child support arrearage equals or exceeds the amount of child support payable for six months, the court may waive the license revocation process upon a satisfactory showing that the obligor is currently employed and is making child support payments; provided, however, if the obligor fails to make support payments, the obligors license shall be suspended in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.43).]1

(cf: P.L.1998, c.1, s.28)

 

†††† 12.†† Section 5 of P.L.1996, c. 7 (C.2A:17-56.43) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 5.††† The court shall suspend or revoke a license if it finds that: a. all appropriate enforcement methods have been exhausted, b. the obligor is the holder of a license, c. the requisite child support arrearage amount exists, health care coverage has not been provided as ordered pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.41), or there has been no response to a subpoena, d. no motion to modify the child support order, filed prior to the date that the notice of the license suspension or revocation was sent by the Probation Division, is pending before the court, and e. there is no equitable reason, such as involuntary unemployment, disability, or compliance with a court-ordered plan for the periodic payment of the child support arrearage amount, for the obligor's non-compliance with the child support order.

†††† If the court is satisfied that these conditions exist, it shall suspend any or all of the obligorís licenses, but shall first consider suspending or revoking a driver's license prior to a professional or occupationallicense.† If the obligor fails to appear at the hearing after being properly served with notice, the court shall order the suspension or revocation of all licenses held by the obligor.† [In the case of a driver's license, if the court finds that the license revocation or suspension will result in a significant hardship to the obligor, to the obligor's legal dependents under 18 years of age living in the obligor's household, to the obligor's employees, or to persons, businesses or entities to whom the obligor provides goods or services, the court may allow the obligor to pay 25% of the past-due child support amount within three working days of the hearing, establish a payment schedule to satisfy the remainder of the arrearages within one year, and require that the obligor comply with any current child support obligation.† If the obligor agrees to this arrangement, no suspension or revocation of any licenses shall be ordered.† Compliance with the payment agreement shall be monitored by the Probation Division.] Where the application for license suspension was made due to a child support arrearage that equals or exceeds the amount of child support payable for six months, the court may defer a license suspension if the obligor is making current support payments and agrees to pay the arrearage on an accelerated schedule including a significant initial payment† commensurate with the amount of the† arrearage by a date specified by the court. If the obligor has good cause for not complying with the payment agreement within the time permitted, the obligor shall immediately file a motion with the court and the Probation Division requesting an extension of the payment plan.† The court may extend the payment plan if it is satisfied that the obligor has made a good faith effort to comply with the plan and is unable to satisfy the full amount of past-due support within the time permitted due to circumstances beyond the obligor's control.† [In no case shall a payment plan extend beyond the date the dependent child reaches the age of 18.] If the obligor fails to make current support payments or comply with the court-ordered payment schedule, the court shall, upon receipt of a certification of non-compliance from the obligee or Probation Division, and without further hearing, order the immediate revocation or suspension of any or all licenses held by the obligor.† If required by existing law or regulation, the court shall order that the obligor surrender the license to the issuing authority within 30 days of the date of the order.1

(cf: P.L.1998, c.1, s.29)

 

†††† 13.†† Section 6 of P.L.1996, c. 7 (C.2A:17-56.44) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 6.† a. The Probation Division shall provide the licensing authority with a copy of the order requiring the suspension or revocation of a license.† Upon receipt of an order requiring the suspension or revocation of a license, the licensing authority shall immediately notify the licensee of the effective date of the suspension or revocation, which shall be 20 days after the postmark of the notice, direct the licensee to refrain from engaging in the activity associated with the license, surrender any license as required by law, and inform the licensee that the license shall not be reinstated until the court or Probation Division certifies that the conditions which resulted in the suspension or revocation are satisfied.† The Probation Division and the State IV-D agency in association with the affected licensing authorities may develop electronic or magnetic tape data transfers to notify licensing authorities of restrictions, suspensions, revocations and reinstatements.† No liability shall be imposed on a licensing authority for suspending or revoking a license if the action is in response to a court order issued in accordance with P.L.1996, c.7(C.2A:17-56.41 et seq.).† Licensing authorities shall not have jurisdiction to modify, remand, reverse, vacate or stay a court order to restrict, suspend or revoke a license for non-payment of child support.

†††† b.††† If a licensee, upon receipt of the notice of suspension or revocation from the licensing authority, disputes that he is an obligor, the licensee shall notify the licensing authority and the Probation Division by registered mail within 20 days of the postmark of the notice and request a hearing.† Upon receipt of the licensee's request for a hearing, the Probation Division shall determine if the licensee is an obligor.† If the Probation Division determines that the licensee is an obligor, the Probation Division shall file a petition for a judicial hearing on the issue of whether the licensee is an obligor.† The hearing shall occur within 30 days.† If the Probation Division determines that the licensee is not an obligor, the Probation Division shall so notify the licensee and the licensing authority.† The licensing authority shall not suspend or revoke a person's license, if the licensing authority received proper notice of the licensee's request for a hearing pursuant to this subsection, until the court finds that the licensee is an obligor. The Probation Division shall notify the licensing authority of the court's finding.† Upon receipt of the court's finding that the licensee is an obligor, the licensing authority shall immediately suspend or revoke the obligor's license without additional review or hearing.

†††† c.†††† The revocation or suspension of a license ordered by the court in accordance with P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.41 et seq.) shall continue until the Probation Division or the obligor files with the licensing authority a certified court order restoring the license.

†††† d.††† Each licensing authority shall require license applicants to certify on the license application form, under penalty of perjury, that the applicant does not have a child support obligation, the applicant does have such an obligation but the arrearage amount does not equal or exceed the amount of child support payable for six months and any court-ordered health care coverage has been provided for the past six months, the applicant has not failed to respond to a subpoena relating to a paternity or child support proceeding, or the applicant is not the subject of a child-support related warrant.† The State IV-D agency may develop automated interfaces with licensing authorities to facilitate the determination as to whether these conditions exist in lieu of the licensee certification process. A license shall not be granted to an obligor who applies for a license if there is an arrearage equal to or exceeding the amount of child support payable for six months, the applicant has not provided court-ordered health care coverage during the past six months or the applicant has failed to respond to a subpoena relating to a paternity or child support proceeding or is the subject of a child support-related warrant.† The application form shall state that making a false statement may subject the applicant to contempt of court.† It shall also state that if the applicant's certification is found to be false, the licensing authority shall take disciplinary action including, but not limited to, immediate revocation or suspension of the license.

†††† Where an obligor has been denied a license pursuant to this subsection, a licensing authority may grant the license if the obligor provides documentation from the Probation Division certifying that the obligor is eligible to be considered for a license because he is paying current support and is complying with arrangements to pay arrearages on an accelerated schedule, has provided court-ordered health care coverage, has responded to all subpoenas relating to paternity or child support proceedings, or is no longer the subject of a child support related warrant.† An obligor may also apply to the court seeking an order to authorize a licensing agency to issue a license for employment purposes where such employment is necessary to comply with the terms of a child support order.† If an obligor is granted a license pursuant to a certification issued by the Probation Division stating that the obligor is complying with an arrearage payment plan and the obligor subsequently fails to comply with the arrearage payment plan, the licensing authority shall immediately suspend the obligorís license upon notification from the Probation Division of the default.† ††††††

†††† e.† For all licenses issued or renewed in the State after the effective date of P.L.1996, c.7(C.2A:17-56.41 et seq.), the licensing authority shall record the full name, mailing address, Social Security number and date of birth of the applicant or licensee.† All affected licensing authorities shall cooperate and enter into agreements with the Probation Division and the State IV-D agency to exchange information to effectuate the purposes of P.L.1996, c.7(C.2A:17-56.41 et seq.).† The Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Transportation and other appropriate licensing agencies shall amend their regulations and public notices to permit Social Security numbers collected by those agencies to be used for child support enforcement purposes.† License information obtained through data matches with licensing authorities shall be maintained on the State case registry in the Department of Human Services for future use.1

(cf: P.L.1998, c.1, s.30)

 

†††† 1[2.] 4.1†††† This act shall take effect immediately.