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Supreme Court Vacates Weapons Convictions Based On Unlawful Search

February 7, 2019

William H. Mone reports on a recent decision from the Supreme Court of New Jersey, overturning the weapons possession convictions of two men based upon the arresting officers' lack of "reasonable suspicion" of criminal activity necessary to temporarily detain and search them. One night in February 2014, two police officers responded to a noise complaint at a motel. The motel had a reputation for criminal activity, including narcotics distribution. As the officers entered the hallway of the motel, they heard loud music and multiple voices coming from one of the rooms. The police officers made contact with the occupants of the room and indicated that they were there in response to a noise complaint. The police observed about ten people in the room. After a brief conversation, the(...)

Appellate Division Affirms Trial Court’s Decision Denying Recovery Of Interest On Student Loan Notes

January 21, 2019

ROBERT B. SPAWN reports on a recent unpublished decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. In a recent New Jersey case, a Plaintiff-borrowing institution brought suit against a Defendant-borrower to recover the balance due on two outstanding student loans. The first loan, issued in 2007, was for $16,700, and the second loan, issued in 2008, was for $7,609. While in school, Defendant's loan payments were deferred. Then, upon the completion of her coursework in January 2010, Defendant's payments became due. Because Defendant had not made any payments on either loan after her deferment period had ended, Plaintiff deemed the loans in default in September 2010. Upon default, Defendant became "liable for the entire balance of the loan" per N.J.A.C.(...)

New Jersey Supreme Court Expands Expungement Opportunities

January 17, 2019

STELIOS STOUPAKIS and ROBERT SPAWN report on a recent decision from the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The Supreme Court of New Jersey reversed the Appellate Division's ruling on three consolidated appeals, and, in doing so, established greater expungement opportunities for drug court graduates involved with third and fourth degree drug sale offenses. Three individuals applied for expungement under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14 (m) upon their completion of drug court rehabilitation. Each had criminal records with various prior convictions and arrests, and all had successfully graduated the drug court program on May 17, 2016. Additionally, each was employed full-time and was current on payment of all fines, costs, etc. While a trial court granted the applications, on appeal the Appellate(...)

Barry A. Kozyra Mentored Students At The Nutley High School For The 2019 Mock Trial Competition Held At The Essex County Courthouse

January 17, 2019

Barry A. Kozyra acted as lawyer-coach with Chris Bradley as teacher-coach and mentors to students at Nutley High School for the 2019 New Jersey State Bar Foundation's Mock Trial Competition. Mr. Kozyra met with the student teams regularly to instruct on trial procedures such as opening and closing statements, preparing fact or expert witnesses for direct and cross-examination and introducing documents as evidence for use at trial. "I have been involved with the NJSBA Mock Trial program through the Essex County Bar Association since my days as a young lawyer. It is an opportunity for the students to have a hands-on involvement in what it is like to be a lawyer or witness in a trial in a real courtroom. The Nutley High School team exhibited the best traits to be good lawyers as they(...)

K9 Search Of Suspect’s Vehicle Upheld By Appellate Division

January 16, 2019

WILLIAM H. MONE reports on a recent published decision from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. A New Jersey man was stopped by police after he was observed traveling with a cracked windshield and tinted front windows. While interacting with the police, the man volunteered that his driver's license was suspended, and the police determined that there was also an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The man was then placed under arrest, and the police performed a lawful search of his person indecent to the arrest. The search of the man revealed that he had over $2,000 in cash in separate rubber bands in his pockets. Suspecting that both the amount of cash and the manner in which it was bundled were related to the sale of narcotics, the police asked the man for(...)