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Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio, P.C. Blog

Michael Orozco focuses his entire practice in complex commercial litigation, criminal defense, franchise law and personal injury claims at both the federal and state level.

Civil forfeiture in New Jersey

New Jersey is among the worst states in the country when it comes to civil forfeiture laws.  Many people incorrectly assume that civil forfeiture applies to only an accused or a criminal defendant's property.  However, civil forfeiture can occur with any type of property which is simply allegedly tied to criminal activity.  The owner does not have to be actually charged with a crime in order to have their property taken them.  Also, in a civil forfeiture proceeding where the state is represented by the county prosecutors, there is a lower standard of proof which does not require them to prove guilt 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'  New Jersey has consistently ranked as one of the least transparent states when it comes to disclosing how much they have actually confiscated, and has consistently been given poor marks by independent agencies which monitor forfeiture activity.  For example, in 2015, the highly respected Institute for Justice gave New Jersey a D-, the lowest grade possible, when it analyzed the laws and the growth of civil forfeiture proceedings around the United States.  

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491 Hits

Suing the State of New Jersey: A primer on the Tort Claims Act

           This article is meant to serve as a general summary of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (or “TCA”) and how one can sue municipalities and their employees under the requirements provided in the statute.  Under N.J.S.A. §59:4-2, a plaintiff is required to prove that public property owned and operated by the government is in a dangerous condition.  That dangerous condition, when used by a foreseeable person in a reasonable manner, must be the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.  Finally, the plaintiff must provide objective medical proof that they have sustained the permanent loss of a bodily function as a result of the injury.  Specifically, you must have the permanency just described as well as medical expenses in excess of $3,600.00. 

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3122 Hits

The Classic Slip And Fall Injury: Can You Sue And Who?

Generally speaking slip and fall cases fall under premises liability cases, where a plaintiff claims that the owner or possessor of property caused or failed to fix a dangerous condition that caused an injury. Slip and fall accidents can happen in a wide variety of places and involve various dangerous conditions. The first thing that is necessary to have a good case is negligence on the part of the defendant.

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1514 Hits

The Curious Case Of Punitive Damages

Clients and potential clients sometimes ask attorneys about punitive damages and whether they are entitled to them. Under the New Jersey Punitive Damages Act, punitive damages are defined as “exemplary damages and means damages awarded against a party in a civil action because of aggravating circumstances in order to penalize and to provide additional deterrence against a defendant to discourage similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages do not include compensatory damages or nominal damages.” In order to be eligible for punitive damages you must request them in the initial complaint against the defendants.

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Pre-Trial Taint Hearing In Sexual Assault Cases

Before the New Jersey Supreme Court determined the procedures and applicability of a pre trial taint hearing in State of N.J. v. Michaels, there was no real legal authority for a defendant to rely upon. This kind of pre trial hearing is limited in aggravated sexual assault cases, and normally deals with the methods, types of questions, and other tools used by an investigator during the course of interviewing the alleged victim.

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1783 Hits

Inadequate Security

Lets face it, the world is a violent place. Nobody asks for violence to occur while at their home or in a public place, but it will happen to you or someone you know. If there has been a history of violent activity in a location, the owner of a property will sometimes be required to take precautionary measures in order to prevent those kinds of incidents from happening. In certain locations, such as near ATM machines or the parking lots of malls and commercial stores, that have a history of criminal activity, it is incumbent upon the property owners and managers to take appropriate and necessary steps to ensure the safety of people lawfully invited onto the premises.

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1293 Hits

Bail In The Federal Courts

The Bail Reform Act of 1984, as amended (“the Act”), Title 18, United States Code, Section 3141 et seq., governs the release and detention of federal criminal defendants before trial. The Act “establishes standards and procedures governing both the pretrial phase of a case, the period between conviction and sentencing, and the period during the pendency of an appeal by either side.”

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1824 Hits

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