SENATE, No. 2372

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED APRIL 13, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Requires violators of certain executive orders, rules, and regulations to be charged with offense.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning violations of certain executive orders, rules, and regulations 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.† App.A:9-49.† Violations as disorderly conduct;† penalty;† prosecution

†††† 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;† 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] six 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.

†††† j.†††† If an order, rule, or regulation adopted by the Governor and promulgated pursuant to this section requires individuals to practice social distancing or prohibits gatherings of individuals or a specific number of individuals including, but not limited to, parties, celebrations, and other social events, the following individuals shall be charged with a violation of this section:

†††† (1)†† a person who fails to engage in social distancing as required pursuant to the order, rule, or regulation;

†††† 2.††† a person who hosts or organizes a social gathering in violation of the order, rule, or regulation; and

†††† 3.††† a person who attends or otherwise participates in a social gathering in violation of the order, rule, or regulation.

†††† 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.

(cf: P.L.1982, c.108, s.1)†

 

†††† 2.††† This act shall take effect immediately.†

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill requires violators of certain executive orders, rules, and regulations to be charged with violations.†

†††† Under current law, a person who violates an order, rule, or regulation promulgated by the Governor during a threat or imminence of danger or any emergency is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.† The person is to be subject to a term of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.†

†††† This bill requires that if an order, rule, or regulation adopted by the Governor during a threat of imminence of danger or any emergency requires individuals to practice social distancing or prohibits gatherings of individuals, the following individuals are to be charged with a† disorderly persons offense and subject to the penalties provided under the bill: (1) a person who fails to engage in social distancing as required pursuant to the order, rule, or regulation; (2) a person who hosts or organizes a social gathering in violation of the order, rule, or regulation; and (3) a person who attends or otherwise participates in a social gathering in violation of the order, rule, or regulation.†

†††† The Governor issued Executive Order No. 107, in part, to require individuals to engage in social distancing and prohibit social gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.† It is the sponsorís understanding that when certain individuals are found to be in violation of this executive order, it is often the hosts of the gathering, and not those who attend the gatherings, who are charged with a violation.† This bill requires the hosts of the gatherings, as well as those who participate in the gatherings, to be charged with a violation.