Defendants have the right to be released two years after a judge orders them detained, excluding delays attributable to the defendant, if the prosecutor is not ready to proceed to trial. N.J.S.A. 2A:162-22(a)(2)(a). The statute is silent about what happens if the parties are ready but there are not enough courtrooms or judges to try the case. In addressing that dilemma, the Court attempts to balance the relevant interests in a way that comports with defendants’ rights under the CJRA.
In light of all the defendants’ conduct regarding KDS and KPS to strip Robert of his rightful interests, equity cannot abide imposing a marketability discount to the benefit of defendants. The trial court’s acceptance of Robert’s expert’s valuation of the company fell within its broad discretion and was fully supported by the record. Defendants were given the opportunity to present an expert valuation of the companies on remand but made the strategic decision not to do so. The Court declines to provide defendants with another bite of this thoroughly chewed apple and reinstates the judgment of the trial court.
Once Rivas invoked his right to counsel on March 18, however ambiguously, the detectives were required to clarify the ambiguity or cease questioning. The detectives did neither. Instead, the detectives interrogated Rivas for nearly six hours, eliciting a confession. After the improper interrogation and Rivas’s tainted confession -- a confession Rivas had reason to believe was lawful -- Rivas asked to see the detectives again. Those remarks cannot be fairly characterized as Rivas voluntarily initiating further communications with the detectives because the questioning never truly ceased. The interrogation and the request to speak again with the detectives were inextricably intertwined.
The crime-fraud exception cannot be properly applied to marital communications that preceded the Legislature’s amendment of N.J.R.E. 509. The Court finds no evidence that the Legislature intended that amendment to retroactively apply to otherwise privileged marital communications that occurred prior to that amendment. The trial court’s admission of the text messages therefore constituted error. However, that error was harmless given the extensive evidence presented by the State in support of defendant’s official misconduct convictions.
After reviewing the noble principles that infuse the public policy underpinning this cause of action, the Court declines to consider property, in whatever form, to be equally entitled to the unique value and protection bestowed on a human life. The Court nevertheless expands the rescue doctrine to include acts that appear to be intended to protect property but are in fact reasonable measures ultimately intended to protect a human life.
A residential real estate sale by absolute auction is distinct from a traditional real estate transaction in which a buyer and seller negotiate the contract price and other terms and memorialize their agreement in a contract. In an absolute auction or an auction without reserve, as is the issue here, the owner unconditionally offers the property for sale and the highest bid creates a final and enforceable contract at the auction’s conclusion, subject to applicable contract defenses. Imposing the three-day attorney review prescribed in State Bar Ass’n on residential real estate sales conducted by absolute auction would fundamentally interfere with the method by which buyers and sellers choose to conduct such sales.
Based on the differences between the federal and state proceedings, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendants’ motion to dismiss the indictment. Like the Appellate Division, the Court finds that Special Agent Kopp’s interpretations were expert rather than lay opinions, but that the error in admitting them as lay opinion testimony was harmless. The Court bases its finding of harmless error, however, upon the overwhelming evidence of defendants’ guilt presented at trial, rather than on the hypothetical qualifications of the agent.
In the four decades since Wilson, the Court has consistently disbarred attorneys who knowingly misappropriated client funds regardless of their motives or other mitigating factors. The rule has remained inviolate because of the critical aims it seeks to serve: to protect the public and maintain confidence in the legal profession and the Judiciary. 81 N.J. at 461. If a lawyer knowingly misappropriates client funds, both the attorney and the public should know that the person will be disbarred.
A plain reading of N.J.S.A. 2C:1-6(c) reveals that the Legislature intended the statute of limitations to begin to run once the State was in possession of both the physical evidence from the crime and the suspect’s DNA. To hold otherwise would contradict the language of the statute which directs the statute of limitations to begin when the State is in possession of both items needed to generate a match. To find that the statute of limitations begins when a match is confirmed would render the second half of the provision superfluous. Here, the statute of limitations began to run in 2010, when the FBI’s updated scientific guidance rendered the Lab capable of generating a match based on the DNA samples in its possession.
N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5.1 applies to the act of fleeing from the scene of an accident. The number of fatalities that may result from the accident is not an element of the offense and thus only one count of the offense may be charged per accident, regardless of the number of victims. Although the Appellate Division correctly reversed the trial court’s judgment with regard to the number of counts that could be charged, the appellate court should have remanded the case to the trial court to permit the parties to negotiate a new plea agreement or go to trial rather than amend the sentence in a manner not contemplated by the plea agreement.
Under N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.53 (1979), at the time of Acoli’s parole hearing, he was presumptively entitled to release; to overcome that presumption, the Parole Board had the burden of demonstrating that there was a substantial likelihood that, if released, Acoli would commit another crime. The Parole Board did not meet that burden. The record does not contain substantial credible evidence to support the Parole Board’s decision to deny parole to Acoli. Accordingly, the Court is compelled to overturn the judgment of the Appellate Division and grant Acoli parole, consistent with his established release plan.
Because a detective here repeatedly contradicted and minimized the significance of the Miranda warnings -- starting at the outset of the interrogation and continuing throughout -- the State cannot shoulder its heavy burden of proving defendant’s waiver was voluntary. The Appellate Division majority correctly concluded defendant’s statement had to be suppressed.
The Court affirms the judgment of the Appellate Division substantially for the reasons expressed in Judge Messano’s published opinion. The Court requires that, going forward, a plaintiff claiming taxpayer standing in an action challenging the process used to award a public contract for goods or services must file a certification with the complaint. As to the merits of this appeal, the Court departs from the Appellate Division’s decision in only one respect: the Court does not rely on the leasing and financing arrangements contemplated by the BCIA and defendant County of Bergen.
Appellants should have included Tennessee as an "interested party" pursuant to Rule 2:5-1(d) when they filed their initial Notice of Appeal and Case Information Statement in the Appellate Division. Accordingly, the Court declines to reach the arguments advanced under Rules 4:33-1 and -2. The matter is remanded to the Appellate Division to permit appellants to file an amended Notice of Appeal and Case Information Statement that names Tennessee as an interested party pursuant to Rule 2:5-1(d).
Laurick relief and the principles underlying the prohibition against the use of uncounseled DWI convictions extend to the enhanced sentencing scheme in Section 26(b), and prior uncounseled convictions cannot be used as predicates to increase a loss of liberty for DWS. Furthermore, if a defendant obtains traditional PCR on a prior DWI or Refusal conviction and the State does not pursue a second prosecution, that vacated conviction cannot be used as a predicate in a Section 26(b) prosecution. In the present case, however, defendant was not entitled to Laurick relief in the first instance because he had counsel during his prior proceedings. Laurick is available only to defendants who were without counsel and not advised of their right to counsel during their DWI-related prosecutions.
The trial court’s order in this case was a decision premised on factual findings as well as legal conclusions, not an exclusively legal determination. A trial court’s order rejecting as a matter of law a claim of qualified immunity should not be designated as a final order appealable as of right under Rule 2:2-3(a), and federal law does not require the contrary result. In an NJCRA action, a defendant seeking to challenge a trial court’s order denying qualified immunity prior to final judgment must proceed by motion for leave to file an interlocutory appeal in accordance with Rules 2:2-4 and 2:5-6.
The mode of operation rule does not apply to the sale of grapes in closed clamshell containers. Selling grapes in this manner does not create a reasonably foreseeable risk that grapes will fall to the ground in the process of ordinary customer handling. The Court stresses that dispositive motions should not be made or decided on the eve of trial, without providing the parties with a reasonable opportunity to present their cases through testimony and argument.
The Court declines to adopt the new rule prescribed by the Appellate Division and finds no plain error in the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress his statement to police. The Court also concurs with the trial court that the victim’s testimony at the pretrial hearing was admissible under N.J.R.E. 804(b)(1)(A)’s exception to the hearsay rule for the prior testimony of a witness unavailable at trial, and that the admission of that testimony did not violate defendant’s confrontation rights.