ASSEMBLY, No. 2987

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 24, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ANGEL FUENTES

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Assemblyman  ALBERT COUTINHO

District 29 (Essex)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Prieto and Assemblywoman Lampitt

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Places certain limitations on attorney solicitation letters.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning certain solicitations by attorneys and supplementing Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    a. In addition to any other requirements of the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey, an attorney shall not send any written communication soliciting professional employment on the attorney’s own behalf to a person whose name, address, or other personal information was obtained from a public record such as a police report, accident report, or court record unless the outside envelope contains no text other than:

     (1)   the names and addresses of the sender and recipient; and

     (2)   the word “ADVERTISEMENT” prominently displayed in capital letters.

     b.    This act shall not apply to any solicitation through advertising which is not directed to a specific person.

     c.     Violation of this act is a crime of the third degree.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     Accident victims, drivers who are issued traffic tickets, and other persons who have minor involvements with the court system may receive numerous solicitations in the mail from attorneys seeking clients.  The attorneys obtain these people’s names, addresses, and other personal information through public information sources such as police reports and court records.

     Many New Jersey residents who have received such letters have complained that they are intrusive and unnecessarily alarming. Residents have taken particular offense with certain statements written on the outside envelopes, such as “Important information about your upcoming court case!”

     This bill would limit the text that could appear on these envelopes. The bill provides that, in addition to any other requirements of the Court Rules, an attorney could not send any written communication soliciting professional employment on the attorney’s own behalf to a person whose name, address, or other personal information was obtained from a public record such as a police report, accident report, or court record unless the outside envelope contains no text other than:

     (1)   the names and addresses of the sender and recipient; and

     (2)   the word “ADVERTISEMENT” prominently displayed in capital letters.

     The bill would not apply to any solicitation through advertising which is not directed to a specific person.

     Violation of the provisions of the bill would be a crime of the third degree (punishable by a term of imprisonment of three to five years, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.)