NEWS Notes green

Virtual Notarizations

April 16, 2020

Barry Kozyra and Michael Rankin report that New Jersey has now legalized Virtual Notarization of certain legal documents during the public health emergency under the Governor's Executive Order 103. The law allows for remote signatures to be applied and notarized as to Wills, Codicils, Deeds, Mortgages and other legal instruments. There are strict legal requirements to be followed as to preserving a record of the signing of the document and preparation of the documents. Mr. Kozyra said, "This is welcome relief for our many clients who need to proceed with important legal affairs during this unprecedented crisis and cannot travel to or meet with counsel or others. It does so with safeguards to prevent fraud or other mischief in the execution of personal and business documents." Mr.(...)

Covid 19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019)

March 10, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) has now been identified as being present in the United States. Everyone should be aware of what you can do now to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The following are recommended steps from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) : (1) Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Do this often. (2) Do not touch your face, nose, hands or mouth, as that will spread the virus. (3) Use your folded arm or a tissue if you cough or sneeze and discard the tissue immediately afterward. (4) Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you are sick. (5) Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. For current information on COVID-19, as well as signs and symptoms,(...)

Kozyra & Hartz, LLC Congratulates Its Partner Michael J. Rankin For Being Sworn In As The Township Of West Caldwell's Planning Board Attorney On January 13, 2020

February 4, 2020

On January 13, 2020, Michael J. Rankin was sworn in as the Planning Board Attorney for the Township of West Caldwell for the 2020 term. Mr. Rankin's practice includes, amongst other things, all aspects of real estate law including, but not limited to, real estate litigation, commercial and residential transactions and land use. Congratulations Michael!

Law Enforcement Officials Cannot Make False Promises And Representations To A Suspect In Custody In Order To Elicit A Confession

July 25, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS reports on a recent decision from the Supreme Court of New Jersey concerning the standard the State has to meet regarding the elicitation of a defendant's incriminating statement. The Defendant, in this case, was brought into custody under suspicion of sexual assault. The interrogation lasted for three hours. Throughout the interrogation, two detectives repeatedly promised the suspect that if he would cooperate, he would not go to jail, they would help him seek counseling and he would be able to live freely and raise his daughter. Ultimately, the suspect believed the detectives and confessed to the allegations. He was arrested and criminally charged. At pre-trial hearings, the trial court determined that the Defendant's confession was voluntary, and as such,(...)

A Police Officer Intentionally Prolonging A Routine Traffic Stop For The Purpose Of Conducting A “Canine Sniff” Test Requires Reasonable Suspicion That The Driver Was Engaged In Drug Activity

June 13, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, concerning the suppression of evidence when a police officer intentionally prolonged a routine traffic stop to enable a "canine sniff" test which resulted in damaging evidence against the driver. Specifically, the Appellate Division effectively secured a driver's rights during a routine traffic stop and tightened a police officer's broad authority over a driver. A police officer is authorized to conduct several unrelated checks during a lawful traffic stop; however, the police officer cannot do so in efforts to prolong a stop without reasonable suspicion that would justify detaining an individual. The Defendant, in this case, was charged with second-degree(...)