ASSEMBLY, No. 4255

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 15, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JAY WEBBER

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblywoman  HOLLY T. SCHEPISI

District 39 (Bergen and Passaic)

Assemblyman  GERARD SCHARFENBERGER

District 13 (Monmouth)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblymen Rooney, DiMaio, Space, Wirths and Thomson

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Murphy’s Law”; nullifies Governor’s order, rule, or regulation to address declared emergency, or relevant portion thereof, when Governor violates same; creates affirmative defense to prosecution for same violation committed by Governor.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the Governor’s own violation of any order, rule or regulation adopted by the Governor to address a declared state of emergency in accordance with P.L.1942, c.251, designated as “Murphy’s Law,” and amending P.L.1942, c.251.

 

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

 

     1.    Section 17 of P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A:9-49) is amended to read as follows:

     17.  Any person who shall:

     a.     Commit any unauthorized or otherwise unlawful act during the threat or imminence of danger in any emergency that jeopardizes the health, welfare and safety of the people;  or

     b.    Commit any unauthorized or otherwise unlawful act during the threat or imminence of danger during any emergency that contributes to the loss of or destruction to property;  or

     c.     Hamper, impede, or in any way interfere with any person who is performing any function authorized under this act;  or

     d.    Drive any motor vehicle in a prohibited area during a black-out or while  an air raid alert is in progress or in any other manner contrary to the rules  and regulations covering any period of danger or any emergency; or

     e.     Go within a prohibited area contrary to rules and regulations;  or

     f.     Refuse to obey the lawful orders of any air raid warden, civilian protection worker, or other person who is duly authorized to perform any act or  function during the threat or imminence of danger or any emergency;  or

     g.    Refuse to cooperate with any air raid warden, civilian protection worker, or other person who is duly authorized to perform any act or function in connection with activities during the threat or imminence of danger or any emergency;  or

     h.    Violate any order, rule or regulation adopted by the Governor and promulgated as [provider] provided by this act.  If the Governor violates any order, rule or regulation, or portion thereof, adopted by that Governor, then the Governor’s own violation shall render the order, rule or regulation, or portion thereof, that was violated null and void and of no force and effect;  or

     i.     Violate any other provision of this act declared herein to be unlawful--shall be adjudged a disorderly person and shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 6 months or shall pay a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or to both a fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

     Prosecution for the imposition of a penalty pursuant to this section shall be commenced in the municipal court of the municipality wherein the offense is alleged to have occurred.  The State shall be required to prove all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction.  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution if the violation relates to any order, rule or regulation adopted by the Governor, as described in subsection h. of this section, and the Governor committed the same violation, whether or not the Governor is prosecuted for that same violation.

(cf: P.L.1982, c.108, s.1)

 

     2.    Section 18 of P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A:9-50) is amended to read as follows:               

     18.  Any person who shall knowingly aid or abet another in the violation of any provision of this act shall also be adjudged a disorderly person and punishable in the same manner as the violation aided or abetted.  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on aiding or abetting another if the violation aided or abetted relates to any order, rule or regulation adopted by the Governor, as described in subsection h. of section 17 of P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A:9-49), and the Governor committed the same violation, whether or not the Governor is prosecuted for that same violation.

(cf: P.L.1942, c.251, s.18)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately, and apply to any prosecution initiated prior to the effective date for which a final judgment has not been rendered, and any prosecution initiated on and after that date.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill, designated “Murphy’s Law,” would nullify any order, rule, or regulation, or relevant portion thereof, adopted by the Governor to address a declared state of emergency in accordance with P.L.1942, c.251 (C.App.A:9-33 et seq.), if the Governor violates the Governor’s own order, rule, or regulation.  Additionally, it would create an affirmative defense to prosecution for violating any such order, rule, or regulation, or aiding and abetting a violation, when the Governor committed the same violation (a violation is a disorderly persons offense, punishable by imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both).  The bill would take effect immediately, and apply to any prosecution initiated prior to the effective date for which a final judgment has not been rendered, and any prosecution initiated on and after that date.