Note To §§1-13
P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 357, approved January 15, 1998
Assembly Committee Substitute (First Reprint) for
Assembly, No. 2231
An Act concerning use of rail passenger service and supplementing P.L.1979, c.150 (C.27:25-1 et seq.) and amending N.J.S.2B:12-16.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. (New section) As used in this act:
"Authorized employee" means an employee of a provider of rail passenger service authorized by the provider of rail passenger service to request and inspect proof of payment of the prescribed fare from persons using rail passenger service.
"Fare enforcement officer" means an employee of the corporation, appointed pursuant to section 7 of this act, authorized to enforce the provisions of this act by requesting and inspecting proof of payment of the prescribed fare from persons using rail passenger services where proof of payment is required, and by signing and issuing a complaint and summons to any person for a violation of the provisions of this act or the regulations adopted pursuant thereto, regardless of whether the rail passenger service is operated by the corporation or by a public or private entity under contract to the corporation. A fare enforcement officer shall include a transit or other police officer, or a conductor or trainman so authorized.
"Pre-paid fare area" means an area designated by a provider of rail passenger service where payment of the prescribed fare is required before entering the area.
"Proof of payment" means a ticket, pass, receipt or other article designated by a provider of rail passenger service to indicate that a passenger has paid for the use of rail passenger service.
"Provider of rail passenger service" means the corporation or a public or private entity under contract to the corporation to provide rail passenger service.
"Use of rail passenger service" means the boarding, occupying, riding in, or otherwise utilizing rail passenger service for conveyance.
2. (New section) The use of a rail passenger service by a person shall constitute an agreement by the person to pay the prescribed fare for the service. A person who has paid the prescribed fare for a rail passenger service and who has been issued proof of payment therefor shall retain that proof of payment while in a pre-paid fare area or on designated rail passenger facilities or vehicles.
3. (New section) It shall be a violation of this act for any person to use or attempt to use a rail passenger service or enter a pre-paid fare area and to: fail or refuse to pay the prescribed fare; evade or attempt to evade payment of the prescribed fare; or fail to display proof of fare payment immediately upon request of an authorized employee or fare enforcement officer.
4. (New section) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or regulation to the contrary, this act shall apply to users of rail passenger services who are juveniles as defined in subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-22a).
5. (New section) A person subject to the issuance of a complaint and summons under this act shall cooperate in the issuance of the complaint and summons by providing the person's name and address. It shall be a violation of this act for a person to fail to cooperate in the issuance of a summons including failure to provide the person's name and address, or by providing a false name or address and shall subject the person to all other provisions and remedies provided by law or regulation, in addition to the penalties provided in this act.
6. (New section) A complaint and summons issued for a violation of the provisions of this act or any of the rules or regulations adopted by the corporation shall be in a form prescribed and approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts and served pursuant to the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey.
7. (New section) a. The executive director of the corporation shall have the power and authority to appoint such number of fare enforcement officers as the director deems necessary and to administer to the fare enforcement officers an oath or affirmation faithfully to perform the duties of their offices.
b. Fare enforcement officers are authorized to request and inspect proof of payment of the prescribed fare from persons using rail passenger services where proof of payment is required, to sign and issue a complaint and summons to any person for a violation of the provisions of this act or the regulations adopted by the corporation pursuant to this act, regardless of whether the rail passenger service is operated by the corporation or by a public or private entity under contract to the corporation and to perform such other duties as the corporation may deem appropriate. A fare enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that a person has willfully evaded paying the required fare, may, for the purpose of obtaining and verifying identification, issuing a summons and complaint or otherwise detaining an individual for further action by any law enforcement officer, take the individual into custody and detain that person in a reasonable manner for not more than a reasonable time. The taking into custody by a fare enforcement officer shall not render the fare enforcement officer criminally or civilly liable unless such action is unreasonable under all of the circumstances.
c. Fare enforcement officers appointed pursuant to this section shall complete a course of training approved by the executive director appropriate to the duties required by this act.
d. Fare enforcement officers shall work under the direction of the chief of the transit police, but shall not be police officers.
e. Nothing in this section shall be construed as derogating any of the powers provided by law or regulation for police officers, conductors, trainmen and other employees of a provider of rail passenger services but the provisions of this act shall be in addition to any such powers.
8. (New section) An authorized employee or fare enforcement officer carrying out his duties pursuant to this act shall not be criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, slander or unlawful detention unless such action is unreasonable under all of the circumstances.
9. (New section) The corporation shall adopt rules and regulations, in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act. In any prosecution for violating any rule or regulation adopted by the corporation, copies of that regulation when authenticated under the seal of the corporation by its secretary or assistant secretary shall be evidence in like manner and equal effect as the original.
10. (New section) A complaint for a violation of any of the provisions of this act may be filed with a court having jurisdiction, at any time within one year after the commission of the violation. When a person has been charged with a violation of this act and summoned to appear, upon failure to appear, in addition to any other provisions of law or the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey, a warrant for the arrest of the person may issue. All proceedings shall be brought before a municipal or central municipal court having jurisdiction in the municipality in which it is alleged that the violation occurred, but when a violation occurs on a moving conveyance operated by the corporation through two or more municipalities, then the proceeding may be brought before the court having jurisdiction in any one of the municipalities through which the conveyance has traversed.
11. (New section) A violation of the provisions of this act or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to this act by the corporation shall be punishable by a civil penalty not exceeding 1[$500]$1001, in addition to court costs, enforced in a summary proceeding pursuant to "the penalty enforcement law," N.J.S.2A:58- 1 et seq. The Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey shall govern the practice and procedure in such proceedings. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the court shall remit 50% of any civil penalty imposed to the corporation for use in furtherance of any of the purposes of this act and 50% shall be forwarded to the proper financial officer of the local government entity in which the municipal or central municipal court has been established to be used for the local government entity to defray the cost of operating the court and for general government use.
12. (New section) The provisions of this act shall not affect certificates issued pursuant to R.S.48:12-109 through R.S.48:12-116, inclusive, or any certificate or pass issued by the corporation providing for transportation of current or retired employees, notwithstanding that payment for such certificate or pass may not have been tendered.
13. N.J.S.2B:12-16 is amended to read as follows:
2B:12-16. Territorial jurisdiction. a. A municipal court of a single municipality shall have jurisdiction over cases arising within the territory of that municipality except as provided in section 10 of P.L. , c. (C. )(now before the Legislature as this bill. A joint municipal court shall have jurisdiction over cases arising within the territory of any of the municipalities which the court serves. The territory of a municipality includes any premises or property located partly in and partly outside of the municipality. A central municipal court shall have jurisdiction over cases arising within the territorial boundaries of the county.
b. A municipal court judge, serving as an acting judge in any other municipal court in the county, may also hear matters arising out of that other court, while sitting in the court where the acting judge holds a regular appointment.
(cf: P.L.1996, c.95, s.11)
14. This act shall take effect 180 days after its enactment, except that section 9 shall take effect immediately.
Provides statutory framework for dealing with NJT rail passenger service fare evasion and proof of fare payment; provides penalties not exceeding $100 for violation of act.