§§1-4 - C.40A:12A-22.1 to


§5 - Note to §§1-4

P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 265, approved December 22, 1997

Senate No. 51 (Third Reprint)








An Act concerning criminal history record background checks for prospective employees of certain housing authorities, 3and3 supplementing Chapter 1[14A of Title 55] 12A of Title 40A1 3[and Chapter 1 of Title 53 of the Revised Statutes and making an appropriation therefor] of the New Jersey Statutes3.


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


    1. As used in this act:

    1["Authority" means a local housing authority under the supervision of the Commissioner of Community Affairs.

    "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Community Affairs.]1

    "Applicant" means a person 18 years of age or older who is being considered for employment for at least seven hours a week by an authority.

    1"Authority" means a local housing authority 2created pursuant to the Local Redevelopement and Housing Law," P.L.1992, c.79 (40A:12A-1 et seq.)2.

    "Superintendent" means the Superintendent of State Police.1


    2. a. An authority may perform criminal history background checks on applicants for employment, according to the provisions of this act. An authority which elects to comply with this act shall not hire an applicant unless it determines that no criminal record information exists on file in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, or in the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police which would disqualify the individual from being employed pursuant to the provisions of this act. An applicant shall be disqualified from employment if the criminal history record check reveals his conviction:

    (1) In New Jersey, of any crime or disorderly persons offense:

    (a) Involving danger to the person pursuant to

N.J.S.2C:11-1 et seq., N.J.S.2C:12-1 et seq., N.J.S.2C:13-1 et seq., N.J.S.2C:14-1 et seq. or N.J.S.2C:15-1 et seq.; or

    (b) Against the family, children or incompetents, pursuant to N.J.S.2C:24-1 et seq.; or

    (2) In any other state or jurisdiction, for conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes or offenses included in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

    b. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section to the contrary, an applicant shall not be disqualified from consideration for employment under this act on the basis of any conviction disclosed by a criminal history record check if the individual has affirmatively demonstrated to the authority clear and convincing evidence of his rehabilitation. In determining whether an individual has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation, an authority shall consider:

    (1) The nature and responsibility of the applicant's prospective position;

    (2) The nature and seriousness of the offense;

    (3) The circumstances under which the offense occurred;

    (4) The date of the offense;

    (5) The age of the applicant when the offense was committed;

    (6) Whether the offense was repeated;

    (7) Social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and

    (8) Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational education, successful participation in correctional work-release programs, or the recommendation of persons who have supervised the applicant.


    3. An applicant shall submit to the authority his 2or her2 name, address, 2and2 fingerprints 2[, and his written consent for the background check to be performed] taken on standard fingerprint cards by a State or municipal law enforcement agency2. 2[The authority shall submit this documentation to the 1[commissioner] superintendent1, who shall coordinate the criminal history background check.]2 An applicant who refuses to consent to, or cooperate in, the securing of a criminal history record background check shall not be considered for employment by the authority. The 1[commissioner] 2[superintendent1] authority2 is authorized to exchange fingerprint data with and receive criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Section 1[and the Division of State Police, Bureau of Identification]1 2and the Division of State Police, Bureau of Identification2 for use in making the determinations provided for in section 2 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill). 2No criminal history record check shall be performed pursuant to this act unless the applicant shall have furnished his or her written consent to such check. The applicant shall bear the cost for the criminal history record check.2

    2[4. The 1[Department of Community Affairs]Division of State Police1 shall act as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information obtained as a result of conducting a criminal history record background check pursuant to this act. The 1[department] division1 shall promptly advise an authority of the information received concerning an applicant.]2


    2[5. The 1[department] division1 shall assume the cost of all criminal history record background checks conducted on authority applicants.]2


    2[6.]4.2 a. Upon receipt of an applicant's criminal history record information, an authority shall notify the applicant, in writing, as to whether he is qualified or disqualified for employment pursuant to this act. If the applicant is disqualified for employment, the conviction or convictions which constitute the basis for the disqualification shall be identified in the written notice.

    b. 1[The] An1 applicant 2[1 of] to2 a housing authority which is subject to the provisions of Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes1 shall have 2[30]202 days from the date of written notice of disqualification to 1[petition the commissioner] file an appeal with the Department of Personnel1 for a 2[hearing] review2 on the accuracy of the criminal history record information or to establish his 2or her2 rehabilitation under subsection b. of section 2 of P.L. , c. (C.       ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill) 1[. The commissioner shall by regulation establish a process for the hearing and adjudication of applicant appeals. The commissioner may refer any case arising hereunder to the Office of Administrative Law for administrative proceedings pursuant to P.L.1978, c.67 (C.52:14F-1 et seq.).] pursuant to regulations promulgated by the 2[Commissioner of Personnel] Merit System Board2 .1

    c. The 1[commissioner] Department of Personnel1 or an authority shall not maintain an applicant's criminal history record information or evidence of rehabilitation submitted under this section for more than six months from the date the applicant is hired or the date of the final disposition of the applicant's disqualification, as the case may be.

    2This section shall not prohibit the Department of Personnel from

maintaining a copy of the decision on the applicant's appeal, or the entire record in the case of a judicial appeal.2


    1[7. The commissioner, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this act.]1


    1[8.] 2[7. 1 The Division of State Police in the Department of Law and Public Safety, upon the request of 1[the commissioner] an authority1, shall conduct a criminal history record background check which includes a name and fingerprint identification check of an applicant in order to ascertain whether the person has a record of criminal history, pursuant to P.L.    , c. (C. ) (now pending before the Legislature as this bill). The division shall conduct the background check only upon receipt of the applicant's written consent to conduct the background check.

    For the purpose of conducting the criminal history record background check, the division shall examine its own files and arrange for a similar examination by federal authorities. The division shall forward the information obtained as a result of conducting the check to the 1[ commissioner] authority1.]2


    1[9.] 2[8. 1 There is appropriated $95,000 from the General Fund to the 1[Department of Community Affairs] Division of State Police1 to effectuate the purposes of this act.2]


    1[10.] 2[9.1] 5.2 This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month after enactment 1[, except that section 7 shall take effect immediately]1.




Allows criminal history record background checks for prospective employees of certain public housing authorities.