ASSEMBLY, No. 756

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† PETER J. BARNES, III

District 18 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman† PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.

District 18 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman† PAUL D. MORIARTY

District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblywoman† BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Ramos

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Limits forum of consumer contract disputes to New Jersey.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

††


An Act concerning the forum of certain consumer contracts and supplementing P.L.1980, c.125 (C.56:12-1 et seq.).

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† A term or condition in a consumer contract concerning venue, forum, or jurisdiction involving a resident of this State is valid only if that term or condition requires that the dispute is resolved within the State of New Jersey. This requirement may only be waived upon the advice of counsel as evidenced by counselís signature on the contract.

 

†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect on the 90th day following enactment and apply to consumer contracts executed on or after that date.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill prohibits terms and conditions in a consumer contract that require the dispute be resolved in a venue, forum, or jurisdiction outside of the State of New Jersey.

†††† This bill will assure that consumers are not forced by businesses to resolve their disputes in distant and costly forums. Consumer contracts increasingly contain forum-selection clauses that require litigation or arbitration to take place outside of New Jersey, making dispute resolution costly and difficult for consumers. These contracts are typically standardized forms drafted with no input from the consumer, and are offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. The consumer is often the less sophisticated party, who is agreeing to the contract without the benefit of an attorney, and may not be able to afford to travel to resolve a dispute.