Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County Trial Attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law, Probate, Estate and litigation topics.

He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year.

He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters.

To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends via contact box www.njlaws.com.

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,

2053 Woodbridge Avenue,

Edison, NJ 08817,

(732) 572-0500

Friday, July 22, 2011

Estate Tax Considerations - New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Tax Considerations

In addition to the income tax issues described above, the value of the assets in the Plan on Ps death will be included in Ps estate when determining estate tax liability. Unless Ps beneficiary is Ps spouse or charity (and the marital or charitable deduction applies), the Plan assets could be subject to estate tax of up to 49% in 2003 (due to decrease to 45% by 2007), depending upon the value of Ps estate. If assets are withdrawn from the Plan to pay this tax, that withdrawal will generate an income tax liability on top of the estate tax liability.


Estate Tax Saving Attorney - New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Tax Saving Attorney

Wills & Estate Administration

SAVE MONEY AND PROVIDE FOR YOUR LOVED ONES

As average Americans, we work 80,000 hours in a lifetime, or 45 to 55 years. In spite of all the resources and assets we earn, the vast majority of us do not take the time to create a will.

National statistics indicate that 80% of Americans die without leaving a will. There are several reasons for this: fear of death; procrastination; and misinformation (people presume that only the rich need to have wills). Whatever the excuse, it is clear that people would benefit from having a will.

In the absence of a will or other legal arrangement to distribute property at death, the state must step in to administer the estate. The result can be lengthy delays before the rightful heirs receive their property. And because the state has no instructions from the deceased, no charitable gifts will be made.

IF YOU HAVE NO WILL:

If you leave no Will or your Will is declared invalid because it was improperly prepared or is not admissible to probate:

* State law determines who gets assets, not you * Additional expenses will be incurred and extra work will be required to qualify an administrator * Judge determines who gets custody of your children * Possible additional State inheritance taxes and Federal estate taxes * If you have no spouse or close relatives the State may take your property * The procedure to distribute assets becomes more complicated-and the law makes no exceptions for persons in unusual need or for your own wishes. * It may also cause fights and lawsuits within your family When loved ones are grieving and dealing with death, they shouldn’t be overwhelmed with Financial concerns. Careful estate planning helps take care of that.

THE FOLLOWING IS A SAMPLE OF A VARIETY OF CLAUSES AND ITEMS WHICH SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A WILL:

1ST: DEBTS AND TAXES 2ND: SPECIFIC BEQUESTS 3RD: DISPOSITION TO SPOUSE 4TH: DISPOSITION OF REMAINDER OF ESTATE 5TH: CREATION OF TRUSTS FOR SPOUSE 6TH: CREATION OF TRUST FOR CHILDREN 7TH: OTHER BENEFICIARIES UNDER 21 8TH: EXECUTORS 9TH: TRUSTEES 10TH: GUARDIANS 11TH: SURETY OR BOND 12TH: POWERS 13TH: AFTERBORN CHILDREN 14TH: PRINCIPAL AND INCOME 15TH: NO ASSIGNMENT OF BEQUESTS 16TH: GENDER 17TH: CONSTRUCTION OF WILL 18TH: NO CONTEST CLAUSE

A will must not only be prepared within the legal requirements of the New Jersey Statutes but should also be prepared so it leaves no questions regarding your intentions.

WHY PERIODIC REVIEW IS ESSENTIAL

Even if you have an existing Will, there are many events that occur which may necessitate changes in your Will. Some of these are:

* Marriage, death, birth, divorce or separation affecting either you or anyone named in your Will

*Significant changes in the value of your total assets or in any particular assets which you own

* A change in your domicile

* Death or incapacity of a beneficiary, or death, incapacity or change in residence of a named executor, trustee or guardian of infants, or of one of the witnesses to the execution of the Will

*Annual changes in tax law

MAY I CHANGE MY WILL?

Yes. A Will may be modified, added to, or entirely changed at any time before your death provided you are mentally and physically competent and desire to change your Will. You should consider revising your Will whenever there are changes in the size of your estate. For example, when your children are young, you may think it best to have a trust for them so they do not come into absolute ownership of property until they are mature. Beware, if you draw lines through items, erase or write over, or add notations to the original Will, it can be destroyed as a legal document. Either a new Will should be legally prepared or a codicil signed to legally change portions of the Will.

SAVE MONEY

Your estate will be subject to probate whether or not you have a Will and in most cases, a Will reduces the cost by eliminating the requirements of a bond. With a well-drawn Will, you may also reduce death taxes and other expenses. Dont pinch pennies now to the detriment of your beneficiaries. We have attempted to briefly explain in this article some of the issues, techniques, and decisions involved in Wills, Estate Planning, and Administration of an Estate. Because the matters covered are complicated and the Federal and New Jersey laws frequently change, this article can only outline some of the many legal issues you should consider.

The proper preparation of a Will should involve a careful analysis of the clients assets, family and his/her desires. Estate Planning is the process of examining what will happen to your property when you die and arranging for its distribution in such a manner as will accomplish your objectives. The cost of a Will depends on the size and the complexity of the estate and the plans of the person who makes the Will.

A properly drawn Simple Will without Trust costs approximately $100.00 to $500.00. It is one of the most important documents you will ever sign, and may be one of the best bargains you will ever have. Be sure your Will takes into account the 1997 Federal Tax changes and all New Jersey Inheritance Tax changes. Also, ascertain if your Will is “self-proving”, which would dispense with having to find the WillĂ­s witnesses after death.

WHAT IS A WILL?

“A Will is a Legal written document which, after your death, directs how your individually owned property will be distributed, who will be in charge of your property until it is distributed and who will take care of your minor children if the other parent should die . You should remember that the term “property” under the law includes real estate as well as other possessions and rights to receive money or items of value.” Everyone who has at least $3,000 in assets should have a Will. You do not have to be wealthy, married, or near death to do some serious thinking about your Will.

ADMINISTRATION OF AN ESTATE

If you are named the executor or executrix, you must visit the County Surrogate to probate the Will. You will need the following items: 1. The Death Certificate 2. The Original Will 3. Names and Addresses of decedents, next of kin and will beneficiaries 4. Minimum of $80.00 for Surrogate fees

A state inheritance tax return must be filed and the tax paid on the transfer of real or personal property within eight months after death.

OTHER ITEMS OF CONCERN TO BE PREPARED BY YOUR ATTORNEY -Trusts (and Medicare Trusts) -Power of Attorney- to allow a trusted person to administer your assets during your lifetime, either upon disability or now -Living Wills- to state your wishes concerning medical care in the event of your serious illness.

Estate Planning to Protect Kids - New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Planning to Protect Kids

GOT KIDS? ESTATE PLANNING IS RECOMMENDED

If you have minor children and do not have a will, one author wrote you are doing them a great disservice bordering on child neglect. If you do not name a guardian for your minor children think of the worst relative you have and thats who will get the kids. Makes you shudder, doesnt it?

Weve finished the graduation season and kids have started college. Do you have a recent high school grad? Is your son or daughter over 18 and heading off to college? Did you remember that your child is now an adult and your control over them is limited? For example, if your daughter becomes ill while at school and is admitted to the hospital or student health center, you are NOT legally entitled to know about it-or about her condition; even if you are paying for everything.

So, heres the plan. Have your college son or daughter prepare a HIPAA authorization form. This allows your child to name the parents as the persons to discuss health care matters with medical personnel. Without it, you cannot legally learn anything. Its something that most parents never think about.

It may also be prudent for your child to execute the basic documents listed above, including the Durable Power or Attorney and Advance Directives. Once a child turns 18, your legal connection is irrevocably changed.

REAL ESTATE

Do you own real estate? How is it titled? Is it a survivorship deed? Have you considered a transfer on death deed? Some states permit those and they work very well. Do you have a second home? Is it outside your home state? What are the laws in that state regarding the inheritance of property? Schedule an appointment with your attorney.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Estate Planning Ideas for Single, Unmarried Parents-New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Planning Ideas for Single, Unmarried Parents

There may come a time when a parent is unable, due to physical or mental incapacity, to take care of his/her minor children. If a parent dies, the minor children will need a guardian. In these circumstances, those caring for the children, as well as the courts will need direction. By writing and executing a Will, which includes instructions on guardianship one may select someone, either individually or jointly, with the legal authority to act for minor children and assume control over the assets of the children. Estate planning, which includes the execution of a Will, is just as important for young families with minor children as they are for senior citizens.

As average Americans, we work 80,000 hours in a lifetime, or 45 to 55 years. In spite of all our resources and the assets we earn during our lifetime, the vast majority of Americans do not take the time to create the legal instructions to guide the court or a guardian upon their death. National statistics indicate that more than 50% of Americans die without leaving a will. In the absence of a will or other legal arrangement to distribute property at death, the State must step in to administer the estate and decide who gets custody of your children and handles your money. This process is called the law of intestacy. The result can be lengthy delays in the distribution of your estate, court battles between relatives and your children being raised by someone you do not favor. Without a Will, your family will have to pay substantial costs for accountants, attorneys, bonding companies and probate fees.
In planning, make sure your assets go to your loved ones or favorite charity, not an ex. Therefore, you may wish to do the following:

1) Have an Elder Law attorney prepare a Will to distribute your assets to the people you care about the most. If you already have a Will, prepare a new Will and have the old Will revoked. (Your estate planning attorney will explain this to you.)
2) Prepare a power of attorney to select someone to handle your finances if you become disabled. Have your old power of attorney revoked.
3) Select the correct beneficiary on assets you may own, such as stocks, bank accounts, IRA, and other financial assets.
4) Change your beneficiary under your own life insurance, whether whole life insurance or term insurance.
5) Contact your employer's human resources and change the beneficiary on life insurance, pension, stock options or other employee benefits. Note that if you are not yet divorced, your spouse may have to sign a written waiver permitting you to change beneficiaries.
6) If you are not yet divorced, keep your personal papers at a location where an ex-spouse or the child's parent can't destroy them.
7) If you have minor children, nominate someone under a Will to serve as guardian to the children. Although the surviving parent obviously has first right of custody of children, they may not even want custody.
8) Make sure the trustee for any funds designated for your children is the right trustee.
9) Have your attorney prepare a prenuptial agreement, if you decide to get married.
10) In New Jersey, if you are married and living with a spouse, under certain instances the surviving spouse has a right to elect against the will. The disinherited spouse may like to elect against the Will and try to obtain one third of the estate. Your attorney can explain how you can protect yourself and your children.

ESTATE PLANNING TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN

IF YOU HAVE NO WILL (LEGALLY REFERRED TO AS INTESTATE SECESSION):

If you leave no Will or your Will is declared invalid, because it was improperly prepared or is not admissible to probate:
* State law determines who gets assets, not you
* Additional expenses will be incurred by your heirs and extra work will be required by the heirs of their attorney to qualify an administrator
* The Judge determines who gets custody of your children
* Possible additional State inheritance taxes and Federal estate taxes
* If you have no spouse or relatives, the State may take your property
* The procedure to distribute assets becomes more complicated, and the law makes no exceptions for persons in unusual need or for your own wishes.
* It may also cause fights and lawsuits within your family

When loved ones are grieving and dealing with death, they shouldn't be overwhelmed with financial concerns. Careful estate planning helps take care of that.

Guardians
Most individuals appoint their spouse to act as Guardian of the person and property of their minor children. It is suggested that your Will include a clause which provides that in the event your spouse predeceases you, or is unsuitable or ceases to act as Guardian of the person and property of your minor children, you appoint a trusted family member or close friend to act as successor Guardian of the person and property of your minor children.

Trustee
Select a trusted person, a close relative or friends, who will invest and hold your children's money. In your Will you can instruct the Trustee to apply amounts of income and principal as they, in their sole discretion, deem proper for the health, maintenance, education, welfare, or support of your children or other minors. Direct that the trustee shall accumulate any income not needed for the above purposes, paying and transferring the portion held in trust to the beneficiary upon his or her attaining the age of majority or whichever age you select.

Children born after you sign the Will
Many people direct that the provisions of their Will also applies to afterborn children. Accordingly, if you have any additional children subsequent to the execution of this Will, then wherever you have designated only your named children, you intend that all of your children shall share equally in the relevant provisions of your Will.
In addition to having a formal Last Will and Testament individuals are encouraged to have a Power of Attorney and also Living Will. Moreover, we also recommend they plan ahead and write messages to their family and anticipated executor detailing their specific desires regarding funeral and burial. Written instructions to your family and executor containing information and guidance will minimize uncertainty, confusion, and possible oversights following your death.

Conclusion
While the preceding article contains possible items to be discussed with your family, attorney and executor, the article is by no means exhaustive. A number of these items may not be applicable in your situation, and probably there are many others that are applicable. The essential element is to spend some time now considering what you should tell those most closely associated with you to facilitate their handling of your affairs upon your death.

Estate Planning for Stroke Victims and Guardianship of Disabled Adults-New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Planning for Stroke Victims and Guardianship of Disabled Adults

If someone suffers a stroke, but is competent, it is recommended that a Power of Attorney be prepared by an attorney to permit a family member to help the stroke patient by paying bills and handling finances. Generally, many attorneys will require: 1. A note from the Doctor indicating the person is competent to sign a Power of Attorney [and Will if the Will has not yet been prepared]. 2. The client [stroke victim, not a family member] to specifically advise the attorney the specific person they want to appoint to handle their financial affairs. [The attorney cannot rely on a family member saying what the client/ patient wants.]

Prior to an individual being unable to manage his or her life as a result of a mental or physical disability, legal planning should be done. If a legally prepared Power of Attorney was signed, a trusted family member, friend or professional can legally act on that persons affairs. If a Power of Attorney was not signed, we will only prepare a Power of Attorney for a "competent person". If, after a stroke, the person is not competent, an attorney may be retained to file a formal complaint and other legal pleadings in the Superior Court to permit the trusted family member, friend, or professional to handle financial affairs. This is called a Guardianship.

ANNOUNCING HOME & HOSPITAL VISITS IN ELDER LAW CASES

A new service from our office is the availability of Home and Hospital visits. Timely advice and planning is important. Often people cannot travel to our office to sign Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, and other legal documents. We can help by traveling to homes, hospitals, senior centers, retirement villages, and nursing homes. For people under doctors care, we require a note from the doctor be obtained indicating that the person is competent to sign these documents, to ensure that the persons wishes are less likely to be contested in the future. The minimum fee for a hospital or home visit is $500 in Middlesex County.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a written document in which a competent adult individual (the "principal") appoints another competent adult individual (the "attorney-in-fact") to act on the principals behalf. In general, an attorney-in-fact may perform any legal function or task which the principal has a legal right to do for him/herself. Therefore, the doctor often must determine if the stroke patient is competent to sign a Power of Attorney. The term "durable" in reference to a Power of Attorney means that the power remains in force for the lifetime of the principal, even if he/she becomes mentally incapacitated. A principal may cancel a Power of Attorney at any time for any reason. Powers granted on a Power of Attorney document can be very broad or very narrow in accordance with the needs of the principal.

Why is Power of Attorney so important? Every adult has day-to-day affairs to manage, such as paying the bills. Many people are under the impression that in the event of catastrophic illness or injury, a spouse or child can automatically act for them. Unfortunately, this is often wrong, even when joint ownership situations exist.

The lack of a properly prepared and executed Power of Attorney can cause extreme difficulties when an individual is stricken with severe illness or injury rendering him/her unable to make decisions or manage financial and medical affairs. New Jersey has legal procedures, guardianships, or conservatorships, to provide for appointment of a Guardian. These require formal proceedings and are expensive in court. This means the requirement of lawyers to prepare and file the necessary papers and doctors to provide medical certifications or testimony regarding the mental incapacity of the subject of the action. The procedures also require the involvement of a temporary guardian to investigate, and even intercede, in surrogate proceedings. This can be slow, costly, and very frustrating. Advance preparation of the Power of Attorney can avoid the inconvenience and expense of legal Guardianship proceedings. This needs to be done while the principal is competent, alert, and aware of the consequences of his/her decision. Once a serious problem occurs, it is too late.

Powers of Attorney are generally given by one person to another so that if the granter of the power becomes ill or incapacitated, the Power of Attorney will permit the holder to pay the grantors bills and to handle the grantors affairs during the inability of the grantor to do the same.

Without a legal Power of Attorney or court ordered guardianship, even a spouse does not have the legal authority to sign their spouses signature. If a valid Power of Attorney is not legally prepared, signed and acknowledged in front of an attorney or notary, it is invalid. Without a Power of Attorney, a Guardianship Order and Judgment must be obtained from the Superior Court to permit complete legal decision making.

According to Disability Law, A Legal Primer published by the New Jersey State Bar Association, "A guardian is a person appointed by a court to make financial and personal decisions for a person proven to be a legally incompetent/ incapacitated person." p11

1. When is a guardian needed? A guardian is needed when an individual can not manage his or her life as a result of a mental or physical disability, alcohol or drug addiction. The person for whom a guardian is appointed is called a "ward". Disability Law at p11.

Legislation (P.L. 1997, c 379) changed the designation of "mental incompetent" to "incapacitated person" in all laws, rules, regulations and documents. New Jersey Lawyer March 23, 1998

2. What rights does a incompetent/ incapacitated person lose? Unless a Court orders otherwise, a ward/ incompetent/ incapacitated person does not have the right to decide where to live, spend money, use property, appear in Court, or undergo medical treatment without the approval of his or her guardian. An unmarried incompetent/ incapacitated person also loses the right to marry.

3. How does somebody become the guardian of another?

Guardians are appointed by Courts after the person in need of guardianship is proven incompetent. Guardianship actions can be brought under the general incompetency statute (N.J.S.A. 3B:12-25 et seq.) or under the statute dealing with people who receive services from the State Division of Developmental Disabilities. N.J.S.A.. 30:4-165.4 et seq. Guardians who are married to the incompetent/incapacitated person or are parents of an unmarried incompetent/incapacitated person can choose who will become the guardian after the guardians die and include a clause designating their successor in their Wills. Disability Laws p12. Under the general incompetency statute, a Complaint requesting Guardianship must be filed in the Superior Court, along with a detailed Affidavit by the person requesting to be Guardian detailing the assets of the incompetent/ incapacitated person, and the reasons why the incompetent/incapacitated person is no longer able to manage their affairs. Affidavits of two doctors are also needed. The Court will appoint a temporary attorney to interview the incompetent/incapacitated person and prepare a report to the Court. The court costs and legal fees often exceeds $4,000.

4. Who can be a guardian?

Generally, a close relative or a person with a close relationship to the proposed incompetent/incapacitated person who will act to protect the incompetent/incapacitated persons best interests can be guardian. When a close friend or relative is not available, the Court may appoint the Public Guardian (for persons over 60) or an Attorney to serve as guardian.

5. What are the rights of the proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person prior to hearing?

The proposed incompetent/incapacitated person is entitled to receive advance notice of the guardianship hearing, to be represented by a lawyer, and to present a defense at the hearing.

6. Is court approval required to sell real estate if someone is declared incompetent/incapacitated?

Yes. Your attorney can discuss transferring certain assets to qualify for Medicaid. Elder law articles are available on the website www.kennethvercammen.com



Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples-New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples

Estate Planning for Multiple Sclerosis Patients and Guardianship of Disabled Adults-New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Planning for Multiple Sclerosis Patients and Guardianship of Disabled Adults

If a person has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), it is important to immediately conduct Estate Planning with the assistance of an attorney.

Many Americans are thought to have Multiple Sclerosis - yet half of them remain undiagnosed.

It's all too easy to mistake many early Multiple Sclerosis symptoms for natural signs of aging. Symptoms can also vary widely among individuals.

Recognizing and treating Multiple Sclerosis early is vital. Early diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis is important because that is when the most can be done to slow the progression of symptoms. Early treatment can have a significant effect on maintaining a patient's current level of ability.

Find help for yourself. Many people concerned about Multiple Sclerosis discover that they need additional answers. Your doctor is your primary source of information about Multiple Sclerosis.

If a person has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and is still mentally competent, a formal Power of Attorney, Will and Living Will should be prepared immediately. Generally, many attorneys will require: 1. A note from the Doctor indicating the person is competent to sign a Power of Attorney. [and Will if the Will has not yet been prepared] 2. The client to specifically advise the attorney they want to appoint the specific person to handle their financial affairs. [The attorney cannot rely on a family member saying what the client/ patient wants]

Prior to an individual being unable to manage his or her life as a result of a mental or physical disability, legal planning should be done. If a legally prepared Power of Attorney was signed, a trusted family member, friend or professional can legally act on that person's affairs. If a Power of Attorney was not signed, an attorney may be retained to file a formal complaint and other legal pleadings in the Superior Court to permit the trusted family member, friend or professional to be able to handle financial affairs.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a written document in which a competent adult individual (the "principal") appoints another competent adult individual (the "attorney-in-fact") to act on the principal's behalf. In general, an attorney-in-fact may perform any legal function or task which the principal has a legal right to do for him/herself. Therefore, the doctor often must determine if the recently diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis patient is competent to sign a Power of Attorney.

The term "durable" in reference to a Power of Attorney means that the power remains in force for the lifetime of the principal, even if he/she becomes mentally incapacitated. A principal may cancel a Power of Attorney at any time for any reason. Powers granted on a Power of Attorney document can be very broad or very narrow in accordance with the needs of the principal.

Why is Power of Attorney so important?

Every adult has day-to-day affairs to manage, such as paying the bills. Many people are under the impression that, in the event of catastrophic illness or injury, a spouse or child can automatically act for them. Unfortunately, this is often wrong, even when joint ownership situations exist.

The lack of properly prepared and executed Power of Attorney can cause extreme difficulties when an individual is stricken with severe illness or injury rendering him/her unable to make decisions or manage financial and medical affairs. New Jersey has legal procedures, guardianships or conservatorships, to provide for appointment of a Guardian. These require formal proceedings and are expensive in court. This means requirement of lawyers to prepare and file the necessary papers and doctors to provide medical certifications or testimony regarding the mental incapacity of the subject of the action. The procedures also require the involvement of a temporary guardian to investigate, even intercede, in surrogate proceedings. This can be slow, costly, and very frustrating.

Advance preparation of the Power of Attorney can avoid the inconvenience and expense of legal Guardianship proceedings. This needs to be done while the principal is competent, alert and aware of the consequences of his/her decision. Once a serious problem occurs, it is too late.

Powers of Attorney are generally given by one person to another so that if the grantor of the power becomes ill or incapacitated, the Power of Attorney will permit the holder of it to pay the grantor's bills and to handle the grantor's affairs during the inability of the grantor to do the same.

Without a legal Power of Attorney or court ordered guardianship, even a spouse does not have the legal authority to sign their spouse's signature. If a valid Power of Attorney is not legally prepared, signed and acknowledged in front of an attorney or notary, it is invalid. Without a Power of Attorney, a Guardianship Order and Judgment must be obtained from the Superior Court to permit complete legal decision making.

According to Disability Law, A Legal Primer published by the New Jersey State Bar Association, "A guardian is a person appointed by a court to make financial and personal decisions for a person proven to be a legally incompetent/ incapacitated person." p11

1. When is a guardian needed?

A guardian is needed when an individual can not manage his or her life as a result of a mental or physical disability, alcohol or drug addiction. The person for whom a guardian is appointed is called a "ward". Disability Law at p11

Legislation (P.L. 1997, c 379) changed the designation of "mental incompetent" to "incapacitated person" in all laws, rules, regulations and documents. New Jersey Lawyer March 23, 1998

2. What rights does a incompetent/ incapacitated person lose?

Unless a Court orders otherwise, a ward/ incompetent/ incapacitated person does not have the right to decide where to live, spend money, use property, appear in Court or undergo medical treatment without the approval of his or her guardian. An unmarried incompetent/ incapacitated person also loses the right to marry.

3. How does somebody become the guardian of another?

Guardians are appointed by Courts after the person in need of guardianship is proven incompetent. Guardianship actions can be brought under the general incompetency statute (N.J.S.A. 3B:12-25 et seq.) or under the statute dealing with people who receive services from the State Division of Developmental Disabilities. N.J.S.A.. 30:4-165.4 et seq. Guardians who are married to the incompetent/ incapacitated person or are parents of an unmarried incompetent/ incapacitated person can choose who will become the guardian after the guardians die and include a clause designating their successor in their Wills. Disability Laws p12. Under the general incompetency statute, a Complaint requesting Guardianship must be filed in the Superior Court, plus a detailed Affidavit by the person requesting to be Guardian detailing the assets of the incompetent/ incapacitated person plus reasons why the incompetent/ incapacitated person is no longer able to manage their affairs. Affidavits of two doctors are also needed. The Court will appoint a temporary attorney to interview the incompetent/ incapacitated person and prepare a report to the Court. The court costs and legal fees often exceeds $4,000.

4. Who can be a guardian?

Generally, a close relative or a person with a close relationship to the proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person who will act to protect the incompetent/ incapacitated person's best interests can be guardian. When a close friend or relative is not available, the Court may appoint the Public Guardian (for persons over 60) or an Attorney to serve as guardian.

5. What are the rights of the proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person prior to hearing?

The proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person is entitled to receive advance notice of the guardianship hearing, to be represented by a lawyer and to present a defense at the hearing.

6. Is court approval required to sell real estate if someone is declared incompetent/ incapacitated?

Yes. Your attorney can discuss transferring certain assets to qualify for Medicaid.

Elder law articles are available on the website kennethvercammen.com


Estate Planning for Cancer Patients-New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Planning for Cancer Patients

If someone is suffering from cancer, it is recommended that a Power of Attorney be prepared by an attorney to permit a family member to help the Cancer patient by paying bills and handling finances. Generally, many attorneys will require: 1. a note from the Doctor indicating the person is competent to sign a Power of Attorney [and will if the will has not yet been prepared] 2. the client [Cancer victim, not a family member] to specifically advise the attorney they want to appoint the specific person to handle their financial affairs. [The attorney cannot rely on a family member saying what the client/ patient wants.]

Prior to an individual being unable to manage his or her life as a result of a mental or physical disability, legal planning should be done. If a legally prepared Power of Attorney was signed, a trusted family member, friend, or professional can legally act on that person's affairs. If a Power of Attorney was not signed, we will only prepare a Power of Attorney for a "competent person".

ANNOUNCING HOME & HOSPITAL VISITS IN ELDER LAW CASES

A new service from our office is the availability of Home and Hospital visits. Timely advice and planning is important. Often people cannot travel to our office to sign Wills, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and other legal documents. We can help by traveling to homes, hospitals, senior centers, retirement villages and nursing homes. For people under doctors care, we require a note from the doctor be obtained indicating the person is competent to sign these documents. That way the person's wishes are less likely to be contested in the future. The minimum fee for a hospital or home visit is $500 in Middlesex County.

If the Cancer patient is not competent, an attorney may be retained to file a formal complaint and other legal pleadings in the Superior Court to permit the trusted family member, friend, or professional to be able to handle financial affairs. This is called a Guardianship.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a written document in which a competent adult individual (the "principal") appoints another competent adult individual (the "attorney-in-fact") to act on the principal's behalf. In general, an attorney-in-fact may perform any legal function or task which the principal has a legal right to do for him/herself. Therefore, the doctor often must determine if the Cancer patient is competent to sign a Power of Attorney. The term "durable" in reference to a Power of Attorney means that the power remains in force for the lifetime of the principal, even if he/she becomes mentally incapacitated. A principal may cancel a Power of Attorney at any time for any reason. Powers granted on a Power of Attorney document can be very broad or very narrow in accordance with the needs of the principal.

Why is Power of Attorney so important? Every adult has day-to-day affairs to manage, such as paying the bills. Many people are under the impression that, in the event of catastrophic illness or injury, a spouse or child can automatically act for them. Unfortunately, this is often wrong, even when joint ownership situations exist.

The lack of a properly prepared and executed Power of Attorney can cause extreme difficulties when an individual is stricken with severe illness or injuries rendering him/her unable to make decisions or manage financial and medical affairs. New Jersey has legal procedures, guardianships, or conservatorships, to provide for appointment of a Guardian. These require formal proceedings and are expensive, requiring lawyers to prepare and file the necessary papers and doctors to provide medical certifications or testimony regarding the mental incapacity of the subject of the action. The procedures also require the involvement of a temporary guardian to investigate, even intercede, in surrogate proceedings. This can be slow, costly, and very frustrating. With advanced preparation of the Power of Attorney, the inconvenience and expense of legal Guardianship proceedings can be avoided. This needs to be done while the principal is competent, alert, and aware of the consequences of his/her decision. Once a serious problem occurs, it is too late.

Powers of Attorney are generally given by one person to another so that if the grantor of the power becomes ill or incapacitated, the Power of Attorney will permit the holder of it to pay the grantor's bills and to handle the grantor's affairs during the inability of the grantor to do the same.

Without a legal Power of Attorney or court ordered guardianship, even a spouse does not have the legal authority to sign their spouse's signature. If a valid Power of Attorney is not legally prepared, signed and acknowledged in front of an attorney or notary, it is invalid. Without a Power of Attorney, a Guardianship Order and Judgment must be obtained from the Superior Court to permit complete legal decision making.

According to Disability Law, A Legal Primer published by the New Jersey State Bar Association, "A guardian is a person appointed by a court to make financial and personal decisions for a person proven to be a legally incompetent/ incapacitated person." p11

1. When is a guardian needed? A guardian is needed when an individual cannot manage his or her life as a result of a mental or physical disability or an alcohol or drug addiction. The person for whom a guardian is appointed is called a "ward". Disability Law at p11

Legislation (P.L. 1997, c 379) changed the designation of "mental incompetent" to "incapacitated person" in all laws, rules, regulations and documents. New Jersey Lawyer March 23, 1998

2. What rights does an incompetent/ incapacitated person lose? Unless a Court orders otherwise, a ward/ incompetent/ incapacitated person does not have the right to decide where to live, spend money, use property, appear in Court or undergo medical treatment without the approval of his or her guardian. An unmarried incompetent/ incapacitated person also loses the right to marry.

3. How does somebody become the guardian of another?

Guardians are appointed by Courts after the person in need of guardianship is proven incompetent. Guardianship actions can be brought under the general incompetency statute (N.J.S.A. 3B:12-25 et seq.) or under the statute dealing with people who receive services from the State Division of Developmental Disabilities. N.J.S.A.. 30:4-165.4 et seq. Guardians who are married to the incompetent/ incapacitated person or are parents of an unmarried incompetent/ incapacitated person can choose who will become the guardian after the guardians die and include a clause designating their successor in their Wills. Disability Laws p12. Under the general incompetency statute, a Complaint requesting Guardianship must be filed in the Superior Court, plus a detailed Affidavit by the person requesting to be Guardian detailing the assets of the incompetent/ incapacitated person plus reasons why the incompetent/ incapacitated person is no longer able to manage their affairs. Affidavits of two doctors are also needed. The Court will appoint a temporary attorney to interview the incompetent/ incapacitated person and prepare a report to the Court. The court costs and legal fees often exceeds $4,000.

4. Who can be a guardian?

Generally, a close relative or a person with a close relationship to the proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person who will act to protect the incompetent/ incapacitated person's best interests can be guardian. When a close friend or relative is not available, the Court may appoint the Public Guardian (for persons over 60) or an Attorney to serve as guardian.

5. What are the rights of the proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person prior to hearing?

The proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person is entitled to receive advance notice of the guardianship hearing, to be represented by a lawyer and to present a defense at the hearing.

6. Is court approval required to sell real estate if someone is declared incompetent/ incapacitated?

Yes. Your attorney can discuss transferring certain assets to qualify for Medicaid.

Estate Planning for Alzheimer Patients and Guardianship of Disabled Adults-New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Planning for Alzheimer Patients and Guardianship of Disabled Adults

If a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, it is important to immediately conduct Estate Planning with the assistance of an attorney.

Close to 4 million Americans are thought to have Alzheimer's disease - yet half of them remain undiagnosed.

It's all too easy to mistake many early Alzheimer's disease symptoms for natural signs of aging. Initial symptoms, like forgetfulness, tend to be so subtle that they can easily be dismissed as "just getting old." Symptoms can also vary widely among individuals.

Recognizing and treating Alzheimer's disease early is vital. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is important because that is when the most can be done to slow the progression of symptoms. Early treatment can have a significant effect on maintaining a patient's current level of ability.

Find help for yourself. Many people concerned about Alzheimer's disease discover that they need additional answers. Your doctor is your primary source of information about Alzheimer's disease.

If a person has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, but is still competent, a formal Power of Attorney, Will and Living Will should be prepared immediately. Generally, many attorneys will require: 1. A note from the Doctor indicating the person is competent to sign a Power of Attorney [and Will if the Will has not yet been prepared] 2. The client to specifically advise the attorney they want to appoint the specific person to handle their financial affairs. [The attorney cannot rely on a family member saying what the client/ patient wants.]

Prior to an individual being unable to manage his or her life as a result of a mental or physical disability, legal planning should be done. If a legally prepared Power of Attorney was signed, a trusted family member, friend or professional can legally act on that person's affairs. If a Power of Attorney was not signed, an attorney may be retained to file a formal complaint and other legal pleadings in the Superior Court to permit the trusted family member, friend or professional to be able to handle financial affairs.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a written document in which a competent adult individual (the "principal") appoints another competent adult individual (the "attorney-in-fact") to act on the principal's behalf. In general, an attorney-in-fact may perform any legal function or task which the principal has a legal right to do for him/herself. Therefore, the doctor often must determine if the recently diagnosed Alzheimer patient is competent to sign a Power of Attorney. The term "durable" in reference to a Power of Attorney means that the power remains in force for the lifetime of the principal, even if he/she becomes mentally incapacitated. A principal may cancel a Power of Attorney at any time for any reason. Powers granted on a Power of Attorney document can be very broad or very narrow in accordance with the needs of the principal.

Why is Power of Attorney so important? Every adult has day-to-day affairs to manage, such as paying the bills. Many people are under the impression that, in the event of catastrophic illness or injury, a spouse or child can automatically act for them. Unfortunately, this is often wrong, even when joint ownership situations exist.

The lack of properly prepared and executed Power of Attorney can cause extreme difficulties when an individual is stricken with severe illness or injury rendering him/her unable to make decisions or manage financial and medical affairs. New Jersey has legal procedures, guardianships or conservatorships, to provide for appointment of a Guardian. These require formal proceedings and are expensive in court. This means requirement of lawyers to prepare and file the necessary papers and doctors to provide medical certifications or testimony regarding the mental incapacity of the subject of the action. The procedures also require the involvement of a temporary guardian to investigate, even intercede, in surrogate proceedings. This can be slow, costly, and very frustrating. Advance preparation of the Power of Attorney can avoid the inconvenience and expense of legal Guardianship proceedings. This needs to be done while the principal is competent, alert and aware of the consequences of his/her decision. Once a serious problem occurs, it is too late.

Powers of Attorney are generally given by one person to another so that if the grantor of the power becomes ill or incapacitated, the Power of Attorney will permit the holder of it to pay the grantor's bills and to handle the grantor's affairs during the inability of the grantor to do the same.

Without a legal Power of Attorney or court ordered guardianship, even a spouse does not have the legal authority to sign their spouse's signature. If a valid Power of Attorney is not legally prepared, signed and acknowledged in front of an attorney or notary, it is invalid. Without a Power of Attorney, a Guardianship Order and Judgment must be obtained from the Superior Court to permit complete legal decision making.

According to Disability Law, A Legal Primer published by the New Jersey State Bar Association, "A guardian is a person appointed by a court to make financial and personal decisions for a person proven to be a legally incompetent/ incapacitated person." p11

1. When is a guardian needed? A guardian is needed when an individual can not manage his or her life as a result of a mental or physical disability, alcohol or drug addiction. The person for whom a guardian is appointed is called a "ward". Disability Law at p11

Legislation (P.L. 1997, c 379) changed the designation of "mental incompetent" to "incapacitated person" in all laws, rules, regulations and documents. New Jersey Lawyer March 23, 1998

2. What rights does a incompetent/ incapacitated person lose? Unless a Court orders otherwise, a ward/ incompetent/ incapacitated person does not have the right to decide where to live, spend money, use property, appear in Court or undergo medical treatment without the approval of his or her guardian. An unmarried incompetent/ incapacitated person also loses the right to marry.

3. How does somebody become the guardian of another?

Guardians are appointed by Courts after the person in need of guardianship is proven incompetent. Guardianship actions can be brought under the general incompetency statute (N.J.S.A. 3B:12-25 et seq.) or under the statute dealing with people who receive services from the State Division of Developmental Disabilities. N.J.S.A.. 30:4-165.4 et seq. Guardians who are married to the incompetent/ incapacitated person or are parents of an unmarried incompetent/ incapacitated person can choose who will become the guardian after the guardians die and include a clause designating their successor in their Wills. Disability Laws p12. Under the general incompetency statute, a Complaint requesting Guardianship must be filed in the Superior Court, plus a detailed Affidavit by the person requesting to be Guardian detailing the assets of the incompetent/ incapacitated person plus reasons why the incompetent/ incapacitated person is no longer able to manage their affairs. Affidavits of two doctors are also needed. The Court will appoint a temporary attorney to interview the incompetent/ incapacitated person and prepare a report to the Court. The court costs and legal fees often exceeds $4,000.

4. Who can be a guardian?

Generally, a close relative or a person with a close relationship to the proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person who will act to protect the incompetent/ incapacitated person's best interests can be guardian. When a close friend or relative is not available, the Court may appoint the Public Guardian (for persons over 60) or an Attorney to serve as guardian.

5. What are the rights of the proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person prior to hearing?

The proposed incompetent/ incapacitated person is entitled to receive advance notice of the guardianship hearing, to be represented by a lawyer and to present a defense at the hearing.

6. Is court approval required to sell real estate if someone is declared incompetent/ incapacitated?

Yes. Your attorney can discuss transferring certain assets to qualify for Medicaid. Elder law articles are available on the website kennethvercammen.com

Estate Planning FAQs-New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

Estate Planning FAQs

I) Estate Planning Overview

  • What is Estate Planning?

  • II) An Introduction to Wills

  • What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
  • What a Will Does
  • What a Will Does Not Do
  • How to Execute a Will

    Types of Non-probate Property


  • III) Revocable Trusts

  • What is a Revocable Living Trust

  • IV) Power-of-Attorney

  • Power of Attorney
  • Who Should Be Your Agent
  • How the Agent Should Sign
  • Beyond Signing Checks
  • State Laws Vary

  • State Laws Vary
  • What if I Move?
  • Will My Power of Attorney Expire?

  • V) Living Wills, Health Care Proxies, and Advance Health Care Directives

  • Living Wills, Health Care Proxies, and Advance Health Care Directives
  • LivingWills
  • Health Care Proxy
  • Why Have Health Directives?
  • Obtaining_Living_Wills
  • Organ and Tissue Donation
  • Communication is the Key

  • VI) The Probate Process

  • What is Probate?
  • Should You Avoid Probate?

  • VII) Planning With Retirement Benefits

  • Planning With Retirement Benefits
  • Income Taxation of Qualified Plans and IRAs
  • Distribution of Plan Assets to the Participants
  • Distribution of Plan Assets After Participants Death
  • Estate Tax Considerations
  • Planning Considerations

  • VIII) Guidelines for Individual Executors and Trustees

  • Guidelines for Individual Executors and Trustees
  • Understanding the Will
  • Is Probate Necessary?
  • Managing Estate Assets
  • Handling Debts & Expenses
  • Funding the Bequests
  • Trust Administration
  • Closing the Estate
  • Common Questions

  • IX) The Lawyer's Role


    X) Tax Changes from 2001

    Estate Planning-New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

    Estate Planning

    Please fill out completely and fax or mail back. This form is extremely important. Your accuracy and completeness in responding will help me best represent you.

    ALL THE PAGES AND SECTIONS OF THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO SEEING THE ATTORNEY. WRITE YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AT THE END OF THE LAST PAGE. PLEASE HELP YOURSELF TO THE FREE INFORMATION BROCHURES IN THE RECEPTION AREA.

    PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY
    Your Full Name: [Person Filling out Form]


    ______________________________________________________
    First Last


    Street Address: ________________________________________


    City ____________________ State ____ Zip Code _____________

    Telephone Numbers: Cell: __________________________________


    Day: ____________________ /Night: ________________________


    E-mail address: __________________________________________


    Referred By: ___________________________________________

    Todays Date ___________________________________________

    1. Name of person planning for if other than person filling out this interview sheet:

    ____________________________________________________________

    2. Current address and phone for person whom Estate Planning is sought:

    ____________________________________________________________


    ____________________________________________________________

    3. Relationship of person filling out this interview sheet:

    ____________________________________________________________

    4. Special medical or financial needs of person, spouse and dependents:

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ASSETS

    5. Stocks, bonds and other securities. How Registered. Approximate Amount of Each. (Joint - Survivorship - P.O.D. - Trust - Custodial)


    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    6. Real Estate: Location and General Description - Record Owners -
    How and When Acquired
    Estimated Value - Mortgages, Approximate Amount of Each:

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    7. Insurance policies, pensions, retirement and death benefits:
    (Identification and beneficiary)

    COMPANY AMOUNT OF POLICY BENEFICIARY

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    8. Bank and Savings & Loan Association Accounts: Savings - Time Cert. - Checking - other. How registered (Joint, Survivorship, Trust, Custodial)

    BANK APPROXIMATE AMOUNT BENEFICIARY

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    9. Major Personal Effects: Including Furs, Jewelry, Art, Cash on Hand and other items of Substantial Value and the Approximate Amount of Each:

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________


    10. Other Investments: Nature and in What Names(s) Held and the Approximate Amount of Each:

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    11. Safe Deposit Box: Location and How Registered:

    ____________________________________________________________

    ___________________________________________________________

    12. Liabilities More Than $2,000.00: ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    13. Estimated Gross Estate:

    $_________________________________________________________

    14. A. Is there a Will? _____ Did you bring a photocopy? ____

    B. Is there a Power of Attorney? _____ Did you bring a copy? ____

    C. Do You Have a Copy of the Deed? ________

    D. Did You have/ bring a List of Assets.

    15. PLEASE USE THIS PAGE TO WRITE YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTIONS FOR THE ATTORNEY:

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ____________________________________________________________

    ESTATE PLANNING
    The estate may be subject to Federal Estate Taxation if the total of assets exceeds $200,000. If the assets exceed $2,000,000 and you desire estate planning to avoid or reduce your estate tax or require a Trust to protect a spouse, please advise Mr. Vercammen. A Standard Will is not designed to address estate tax issues. We do not do Tax Planning or Medicaid Planning.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Erica M. Scavone - New articles, ABA newsletters and Community Events

    Erica M. Scavone

    Erica M. Scavone
    Scavoner@shu.edu


    Objective: To acquire an internship in the field of law.


    Education:

    Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
    Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations.
    Expected May 2009


    Relevant Coursework:

    Media Law
    Communication Research
    Media Ethics
    Oral Communications


    Relevant Experience:

    Home News Tribune, East Brunswick, NJ
    Teen Scene Staff Writer, August 2006- October 2007
    - Author articles on relative teen issues
    - Attend monthly staff meetings

    Setonian, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
    Staff Reporter, September 2006 - Present
    - Write weekly articles on hard news occurring at Seton Hall University
    - Frequent researching and on campus interviewing
    - Efficiently can work under pressure and meet deadlines


    Experience:

    Public Relations, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
    Summer Media Relations Temp, June 2007 - August 2007
    - Researching and organizing daily media clips
    - Press Releases and Pitching
    - Creating and maintaining monthly reports

    K. Hovnanian Homes Public Relations, Edison, NJ
    Public Relations Intern, September 2007 – December 2007
    - Press Releases and Pitching
    - Articles for company newsletter the ‘Associate Bulletin’
    - Research and deliver clip reports
    - Occasional event planning


    Skills:

    Proficient PowerPoint
    Word


    Activities:

    Delta Phi Epsilon National Sorority, South Orange, NJ
    Philanthropy Chair, September 2006 - May 2008
    - Organizing fundraising events for Cystic Fibrosis, Delta Phi Epsilon Scholarship, and Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
    - Hosting Annual Pirate King
    - Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders vigil and walk
    Relay For Life Chair, January 2008 - May 2008
    - Organize fundraising events for American Cancer Society in donation of Delta Phi Epsilon
    - Attend monthly meetings leading up to the walk and relay information back to the sorority
    Vice President of Programming, September 2008-Present
    - Organize and supervise all activities performed by sorority inside and outside of campus

    Eric Waage - New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

    Eric Waage


    Eric Waage


    EDUCATION:

    Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, NY Juris Doctor anticipated, May 2009
    Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ Bachelor of Arts, in Political Science, May 2003

    Honors: Dean’s List (2 semesters)
    Activities: Army ROTC, NJ PIRG

    EXPERIENCE:

    Schwartz and Perry, LLP, New York, New York - Intern, May 2008 – July 2008
    Assist in depositions, mediations, arbitrations, appellate practice, motion practice, pleadings preparation, client interviews, legal research and client meetings, including settlement negotiations.

    SafeHorizon Mediation Center, Brooklyn, New York - Intern, February 2008 – Present, Supervisor: Mac Steele
    Assist in administrative and clerical duties for the Brooklyn Mediation Center which specializes in providing a forum for dispute and conflict resolution.

    US Army Reserves Captain, March 2000 – Present
    Lead and train soldiers and foreign nationals.

    Honors: Iraq Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal (Expeditionary), Overseas Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal

    Operation Iraqi Freedom 2004-2005, 2006 - 2007

    LANGUAGE SKILLS: English and Spanish (fluent)

    INTERESTS: Sports, traveling and outdoors activities.


    Erase Criminal Arrests Legally! - New articles, ABA newsletters and Community events

    Erase Criminal Arrests Legally!

    Thousands of citizens in New Jersey over the past 20 years have been arrested for criminal, disorderly, and municipal ordinance offenses. They may include your neighbors, friends and loyal church goers. The police keep a record of all arrests and convictions, even if 20 years old. These secrets of the past will soon be open to anyone in New Jersey including credit agencies. Under a proposal by the New Jersey Attorney General, for a $15.00 fee, anybody could ask the state police for a persons criminal record, even arrests with not guilty findings. Allowing access to a persons old criminal conviction or arrest record could open the door for discrimination against someone who now is a productive, respected, and law abiding citizen.

    Fortunately, if you are a law abiding citizen, you can now have old arrests or convictions erased from public records and police folders. Under NJSA 2C:52-1 et seq. past criminal convictions can be expunged erased under certain instances. For example, if you were convicted or pleaded guilty to a disorderly person offense (misdemeanor type) more than 5 years ago, and have not been convicted of anything since, you can have your attorney petition to the Superior Court for an Expungement (Erase and removal) of your criminal record. If you plead guilty to a town ordinance (ex. - Seaside Heights Drinking in Public) you can petition for an Expungement after waiting two years. A Juvenile delinquent/guilty finding for a minor can also be expunged/erased under similar circumstances. In addition, minor drug arrests which resulted in first offender conditional discharge can be erased if one year has passed since termination of probation or conclusion of court proceedings.

    Most importantly, arrests on frivolous complaints which did not result in a conviction or if charges were dismissed, can be expunged, without waiting. THE EXPUNGEMENT PETITION

    You should contact an attorney experienced with handling expungements in the Superior Court. Your attorney will prepare an expungement petition which under state law must contain substantial background information, including:

    a. Date of Birth and Social Security #

    b. Date of Arrest

    c. Statute Arrested For and Statute Convicted

    d. Original Indictment, Summons, or Complaint Number

    e. Petitioners Date of Conviction or Date of Disposition

    f. Courts Disposition of the Matter and Punishment Adopted, if Any

    In addition, the Expungement Petition must have an affidavit that states that there are no charges pending and that the petitioner never previously received a prior expungement. The Expungement Petition is filed in the county where the offense took place, not where the defendant lives. Once filed, the Superior Court will set a hearing within 35-60 days.

    As required under the statute, the attorney for the applicant must serve a copy of the Petition Order for hearing and supporting documents on the following people:

    1. Superintendent of State Police 2. Attorney General 3. County Prosecutor of the county where the court is located 4. The Chief of Police where the event took place 5. The chief law enforcement officer of any law enforcement agency which participated in the arrest 6. The warden of any institution where the petitioner was confined, and 7. If the disposition was made by a municipal court, upon the municipal court which heard the case.

    If you satisfy all other statutory requirements and there is no objection by the entities notified, the court will usually grant an order directing the clerk of the court and all relevant criminal justice and law enforcement agencies to expunge (remove) records of said disposition including evidence of arrest, detention, conviction, and proceedings.

    There are additional pleadings which the applicants attorney must prepare and file. If you have an old offense, it is important that you have the arrest expunged to keep your name and record clean.

    Expungement statute was reviewed in recent cases

    SUPERIOR COURT - CRIMINAL - FLAT FEE
    AGREEMENT TO PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICE
    Thank you for contacting Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, PC for representation in a criminal expungement Municipal Court matter.

    1. Legal Services to be provided:


    2. Flat fee: $1,200- $2,000
    We will represent you at all stages from the initial interview to the first appearance in court, if needed. You represent that you have no other arrests or convictions other than the matters you wrote down on the interview sheet.

    2. Fees. Fees can be paid by VISA, Master Card, American Express, check, money order or cash. Make checks payable to Kenneth Vercammen PC.

    3. Representation/ What We will do for you. We will review and research necessary statutes and caselaw, contact the prosecutor, prepare defenses and determine mitigating factors. We agree to provide conscientious, competent and diligent services on the charges you provided us at the initial consultation. At all times we will seek to achieve solutions which are just and reasonable for you.

    WHAT WE WILL DO......
    1. Telephone consultation with client;
    2. Office consultation with client;
    3. Offer sound legal advice to client, plus access to our legal info website kennethvercammen.com
    4. Opening of file and client may have free client case folder, Municipal Court brochure, DMV points brochure, and Website brochure;
    5. Review of necessary statutes and case law;
    6. Preparation of VERIFIED PETITION FOR EXPUNGEMENT OF RECORD PURSUANT TO N.J.S.A. 2C:52-6(a)
    7. Preparation of CERTIFICATION to Prosecutor;
    STATEMENT TO ACCOMPANY PETITION
    - Preparation of ORDER FOR HEARING FOR EXPUNGEMENT PURSUANT TO N.J.S.A. 2C:52-6(a)
    - Preparation of ORDER FOR EXPUNGEMENT
    - Prepare Certified Mail Green cards for documents to be served on law enforcement and court.
    - Preparation of statement to provide legal services;
    - Preparation of filing letter to client with proposed Order for hearing and Order for Expungement;
    - Preparation of filing letter to Court Expungement Unit
    Follow up Court Order for hearing (takes approx 30 days)
    - Preparation of letter with Order for hearing and proposed Order for Expungement to NJ Attorney General
    Department of Law & Public Safety
    Expungement Section- PO Box 080
    Trenton, NJ 08625
    - Preparation of letter with Order for hearing and proposed Order for Expungement to NJ Superintendent of State Police
    Expungement Unit
    River Road, PO Box 7068
    West Trenton, NJ 08628
    - Preparation of letter with Order for hearing and proposed Order for Expungement to County Prosecutor;
    - Preparation of letter with Order for hearing and proposed Order for Expungement to Chief of Police;
    - Preparation of letter to client with Order for hearing and proposed Order for Expungement to Municipal Court Administrator;

    Preparation of CERTIFICATION OF SERVICE OF ORDER FOR HEARING
    8. Review documents supplied by client and court;
    9. Travel to Court if required;
    10. Negotiations with the Prosecutor and Representation in case.
    11. Follow up with Prosecutor
    12. Prepare defense and mitigating factors;

    If Expungement granted,
    - Preparation of letter with signed Order for Expungement to
    NJ Attorney General
    Department of Law & Public Safety
    Expungement Section- PO Box 080
    Trenton, NJ 08625
    - Preparation of letter with signed Order for Expungement to
    NJ Superintendent of State Police
    Expungement Unit
    River Road, PO Box 7068
    West Trenton, NJ 08628
    - Preparation of letter with signed Order for Expungement to County Prosecutor;
    - Preparation of letter with signed Order for Expungement to Chief of Police;
    - Preparation of letter with signed Order for Expungement to Municipal Court Administrator;

    13 Preparation of End of Case Letter and client questionnaire.
    14. Free Brochures provided on other legal topics such as Workers Comp, Wills, Personal Injury
    15. Free subscription to monthly e-mail newsletter. Provide your email address.
    16. Follow up telephone advice [If you call, provide the specific questions with the message. You can also fax your questions].
    17. Invitation to client socials/ seminars and Community events via email.
    18. Hold and maintain file for seven years in storage as free client service.
    19. Free Magnet, Pen, T-shirt, soda/beer mug, foam soda can holder and estate planning book. Please ask Ken V or staff upon retaining the office.
    The legal work includes research, correspondence, preparation and drafting of pleadings or other legal documents, conferences in person and by telephone with you and with others, dictating and reviewing letters, negotiations, and any other related work or service to properly represent you in this matter. The Law Firm will provide legal representation through an attorney who is licensed to practice law in New Jersey.

    ERASE/EXPUNGEMENT OF OLD ARRESTS details
    We need:

    c1- client name _____________________

    type of offense x2 ___________________

    x3 Date of Arrest ___________________

    x1 N.J.S.A. 2C: Statute Arrested For [ex 2C: 35-1] __________________

    x4 Original Indictment, Summons, or Complaint Number ______________
    e. Petitioners Date of Conviction or Date of Disposition __________
    f. Courts Disposition of the Matter and Punishment Adopted, if Any

    c4 Town of arrest ______________
    c3 County of arrest _____________

    Other details needed in Petition:
    Petitioner herein who resides at _____________
    2. Petitioners date of birth is _______, Social Security Number is _________
    This matter downgraded... [If matter was not downgraded, delete this line, & replace with: This was reviewed by the __________ Prosecutor]
    6. On ______, the Honorable ___________ found Defendant guilty of the following offense: ________________________.
    c1 was fined _____, costs of ______ and ______.
    Once filed, the Superior Court will set a hearing within 35-60 days.

    As required under the statute, the attorney for the applicant must serve a copy of the Petition Order for hearing and supporting documents on the following people, Att: Expungement Unit:
    1.) Superintendent of State Police
    2.) Attorney General
    3.) County Prosecutor of the county where the court is located
    4.) The Chief of Police where the event took place
    5.) The chief law enforcement officer of any law enforcement agency which participated in the arrest
    6.) The warden of any institution where the petitioner was confined and
    7.) If the disposition was made by a municipal court, upon the municipal court which heard the case.

    Our Computer Prints:
    1. Verified Petition for Expungement
    2. Statement to Accompany Petition
    3. Order for Hearing - Court will fill in date
    4. Letter to Expungement Unit - w/ Petition, Order for Hearing and Prop. Order for Expungement
    5. Letter to Law Enforcement Groups - w/ Petition, Order for Hearing and Proposed Order for Expungement
    6. Cert. of Service
    7. Mailing Cert. of Service
    8. Order for Expungement
    9. Letter to Law Enforcement w/ signed Order for Expungement

    We call Superior Court and confirm address for Expungement Unit.
    Using Letter 4., We Mail to Expungement Unit-
    Orig. and one Petition
    Statement to Accompany Petition
    Order for Hearing
    Prop. Order for Expungement
    Check for $52.50
    2 self-addressed stamped envelopes

    Court will sign Order and mail back stamped filed 1, 2 & 3.
    Using Letter 5 to Law Enforcement.-
    We need to prepare copies and envelopes to Law Enforcement.
    Prepare 4 address labels each for
    1. State Police [no name of person needed]
    2. Attorney General [no name of person needed]
    3. County Prosecutor [no name of person needed]
    4. Town Chief of Police [no name of person needed] ex. Edison Police Chief- Put name of town first
    5. Town Municipal Court Administrator [no name of person needed] ex. Metuchen Court Administrator
    6. Probation Department but only if person was on Probation, PTI, or conditional discharge.
    7. Any other entity the court tells us to notify.

    New Jersey Attorney General Division of State Police
    Department of Law & Public Safety P.O. Box 7068
    P.O. Box 080 West Trenton, NJ 08628
    Trenton, NJ 08625
    We need to make extra copies of labels because after Order for Expungement is signed we need to mail to all law enforcement.
    We set up letters with enclosures and mail. With a pen we handwrite under address label on non window envelope, “Expungement Unit.”
    We hand write the date mailed and send to these Law Enforcement the following -Petition and Verification.
    -Order for Hearing
    -Proposed Order

    When all the green cert. mail cards come in we put date mailed to Law Enforcement. on form 6 (Cert.) and mail to Court .
    We make copies of cert. mail green cards and letter before mailing out original green cards to court.
    We call Expungement Unit in 7 days to confirm they received green cards and no need to appear on hearing date.
    Court will mail signed Order for Expungement to us.
    We need to send Form 9. to all Law Enforcement. Regular mail, Att: Expungement
    Unit:. cc: w/o Order to Expungement Unit
    cc: w/ copy to client

    4. Other Legal Services. We provide representation only on the charges/tickets/offenses you provided to us at the initial consultation. The Law Firm does not guarantee Kenneth Vercammen will be the hearing attorney. You and the Law Firm may make additional agreements to provide for legal services not covered by the Agreement. Without such agreements, the Law Firm is not required to do any additional work or any of the following:
    (a) Provide any legal services after appearance at the trial court;
    (b) File any Motions or Briefs not set forth on page 1

    We recommend after the Order for Expungement is signed by the Judge that you to send a copy of the Order for Expungement to the police by Certified Mail.
    (c) Appeal any decisions of the trial court or make additional appearances after appearing in Court;
    (d) provide other legal services or advice not listed on page 1-3; or
    (e) Represent you in any other court or Tribunal

    5. Costs. In addition to legal fees, you must pay the following costs and expenses if needed: costs for discovery and police reports, court costs, subpoena fees, and any other necessary expenses in this matter.

    6. Your Responsibility- Please read carefully and follow instructions to help us help you.

    You must fully cooperate with the Law Firm and provide all information relevant to the issues involved in this matter. You must fill out the Interview Sheet accurately.
    We highly recommend if the court grants your expungement to send a copy of the signed order to the attorney general, court and police department yourself by certified mail and request they send to you verification the records were erased/ expunged.
    4. You must notify the Law Office and the court immediately if your address or phone numbers change.
    5. Under the NJ Rules of Professional Conduct and Court Rules, we cannot send a letter of representation to the court until the Retainer is paid in full. All fees and requirements under this written retainer agreement and any other written documents must be complied with. You must also pay all bills as required by this Agreement. If you do not comply with these requirements, the Law Firm will not represent you. Failure to comply with all requirements shall permit the law office to withdraw its offer of representation. We always charge a fee of between $50 - $100 for bad checks.

    7. No Guarantee. The Law Firm agrees to provide conscientious, competent and diligent services and at all times will seek to achieve solutions which are just and reasonable for you. However, because of the uncertainty of legal proceedings, the interpretation and changes in the law and many unknown factors, attorneys cannot and do not warrant, predict or guarantee results or the final outcome of any case. Your payment of the legal fee indicates you have read and agree to this Agreement. This is a non-refundable retainer/representation fee, pursuant to Superior Court decisions and New Jersey RPC.

    2C:52-1. Definition of expungement a. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, expungement shall mean the extraction and isolation of all records on file within any court, detention or correctional facility, law enforcement or criminal justice agency concerning a persons detection, apprehension, arrest, detention, trial or disposition of an offense within the criminal justice system.

    b. Expunged records shall include complaints, warrants, arrests, commitments, processing records, fingerprints, photographs, index cards, rap sheets and judicial docket records.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 108, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-2. Indictable offenses 2C:52-2. Indictable Offenses.

    a. In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been convicted of a crime under the laws of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions may, after the expiration of a period of 10 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or parole, or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was entered praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

    Although subsequent convictions for no more than two disorderly or petty disorderly offenses shall not be an absolute bar to relief, the nature of those conviction or convictions and the circumstances surrounding them shall be considered by the court and may be a basis for denial of relief if they or either of them constitute a continuation of the type of unlawful activity embodied in the criminal conviction for which expungement is sought.

    b. Records of conviction pursuant to statutes repealed by this Code for the crimes of murder, manslaughter, treason, anarchy, kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, perjury, false swearing, robbery, embracery, or a conspiracy or any attempt to commit any of the foregoing, or aiding, assisting or concealing persons accused of the foregoing crimes, shall not be expunged.

    Records of conviction for the following crimes specified in the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice shall not be subject to expungement: Section 2C:11-1 et seq. (Criminal Homicide), except death by auto as specified in section 2C:11-5; section 2C:13-1 (Kidnapping); section 2C:13-6 (Luring or Enticing); section 2C:14-2 (Aggravated Sexual Assault); section 2C:14-3a (Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor, section 2C:14-3b (Criminal Sexual Contact); if the victim is a minor and the offender is not the parent of the victim, section 2C:13-2 (Criminal Restraint) or section 2C:13-3 (False Imprisonment); section 2C:15-1 (Robbery); section 2C:17-1 (Arson and Related Offenses); section 2C:24-4a. (Endangering the welfare of a child by engaging in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child); section 2C:24-4b(4) (Endangering the welfare of a child); section 2C:28-1 (Perjury); section 2C:28-2 (False Swearing) and conspiracies or attempts to commit such crimes.

    Records of conviction for any crime committed by a person holding any public office, position or employment, elective or appointive, under the government of this State or any agency or political subdivision thereof and any conspiracy or attempt to commit such a crime shall not be subject to expungement if the crime involved or touched such office, position or employment.

    c. In the case of conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession thereof with intent to sell, expungement shall be denied except where the crimes relate to:

    (1) Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less, or

    (2) Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was five grams or less.

    d. In the case of a State licensed physician or podiatrist convicted of an offense involving drugs or alcohol or pursuant to section 14 or 15 of P.L.1989, c.300 (C.2C:21-20 or 2C:21-4.1), the court shall notify the State Board of Medical Examiners upon receipt of a petition for expungement of the conviction and records and information pertaining thereto.

    Amended 1989,c.300,s.23; 1993,c.301; 1994,c.133,s.6.

    2C:52-3. Disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses Any person convicted of a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense under the laws of this State who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, or of another three disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses, may, after the expiration of a period of 5 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 hereof to the Superior Court in the county in which the conviction was entered praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 110, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1981, c. 290, s. 43, eff. Sept. 24, 1981.

    2C:52-4. Ordinances In all cases wherein a person has been found guilty of violating a municipal ordinance of any governmental entity of this State and who has not been convicted of any prior or subsequent crime, whether within this State or any other jurisdiction, and who has not been adjudged a disorderly person or petty disorderly person on more than two occasions, may, after the expiration of a period of 2 years from the date of his conviction, payment of fine, satisfactory completion of probation or release from incarceration, whichever is later, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 herein to the Superior Court in the county in which the violation occurred praying that such conviction and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 111, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-4.1. Juvenile delinquent; expungement of adjudications and charges a. Any person adjudged a juvenile delinquent may have such adjudication expunged as follows:

    (1) Pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:52-2, if the act committed by the juvenile would have constituted a crime if committed by an adult;

    (2) Pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:52-3, if the act committed by the juvenile would have constituted a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense if committed by an adult; or

    (3) Pursuant to N.J.S. 2C:52-4, if the act committed by the juvenile would have constituted an ordinance violation if committed by an adult.

    For purposes of expungement, any act which resulted in a juvenile being adjudged a delinquent shall be classified as if that act had been committed by an adult.

    b. Additionally, any person who has been adjudged a juvenile delinquent may have his entire record of delinquency adjudications expunged if:

    (1) Five years have elapsed since the final discharge of the person from legal custody or supervision or 5 years have elapsed after the entry of any other court order not involving custody or supervision;

    (2) He has not been convicted of a crime, or a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense, or adjudged a delinquent, or in need of supervision, during the 5 years prior to the filing the petition, and no proceeding or complaint is pending seeking such a conviction or adjudication;

    (3) He was never adjudged a juvenile delinquent on the basis of an act which if committed by an adult would constitute a crime not subject to expungement under N.J.S. 2C:52-2;

    (4) He has never had an adult conviction expunged; and

    (5) He has never had adult criminal charges dismissed following completion of a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.

    c. Any person who has been charged with an act of delinquency and against whom proceedings were dismissed may have the filing of those charges expunged pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:52-6.

    L.1980, c. 163, s. 1. Amended by L.1981, c. 290, s. 44, eff. Sept. 24, 1981.

    2C:52-5. Expungement of records of young drug offenders Expungement of Records of Young Drug Offenders. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 2C:52-2 and 2C:52-3, after a period of not less than one year following conviction, termination of probation or parole or discharge from custody, whichever is later, any person convicted of an offense under chapters 35 or 36 of this title for the possession or use of a controlled dangerous substance, convicted of violating P.L. 1955, c. 277, s. 3 (C. 2A:170-77.5), or convicted of violating P.L. 1962, c. 113, s. 1 (C. 2A:170-77.8), and who at the time of the offense was 21 years of age or younger, may apply to the Superior Court in the county wherein the matter was disposed of for the expungement of such persons conviction and all records pertaining thereto. The relief of expungement under this section shall be granted only if said person has not, prior to the time of hearing, violated any of the conditions of his probation or parole, albeit subsequent to discharge from probation or parole, has not been convicted of any previous or subsequent criminal act or any subsequent or previous violation of chapters 35 or 36 of this title or of P.L. 1955, c. 277, s. 3 (C. 2A:170-77.5) or of P.L. 1962, c. 113, s. 1 (C. 2A:170-77.8), or who has not had a prior or subsequent criminal matter dismissed because of acceptance into a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.

    This section shall not apply to any person who has been convicted of the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession with the intent to sell any controlled dangerous substance except:

    (1) Marihuana, where the total sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 25 grams or less, or

    (2) Hashish, where the total amount sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was 5 grams or less.

    L. 1979, c. 178, s. 111; amended by L. 1987, c. 106, s. 16. 2C:52-6. Arrests not resulting in conviction a. In all cases, except as herein provided, wherein a person has been arrested or held to answer for a crime, disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense or municipal ordinance violation under the laws of this State or of any governmental entity thereof and against whom proceedings were dismissed, or who was acquitted, or who was discharged without a conviction or finding of guilt, may at any time following the disposition of proceedings, present a duly verified petition as provided in section 2C:52-7 to the Superior Court in the county in which the disposition occurred praying that records of such arrest and all records and information pertaining thereto be expunged.

    b. Any person who has had charges dismissed against him pursuant to P.L.1970, c. 226, s. 27 (C. 24:21-27) or pursuant to a program of supervisory treatment, shall be barred from the relief provided in this section until 6 months after the entry of the order of dismissal.

    c. Any person who has been arrested or held to answer for a crime shall be barred from the relief provided in this section where the dismissal, discharge, or acquittal resulted from a determination that the person was insane or lacked the mental capacity to commit the crime charged.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 113, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-7. Petition for expungement Every petition for expungement filed pursuant to this chapter shall be verified and include:

    a. Petitioners date of birth.

    b. Petitioners date of arrest.

    c. The statute or statutes and offense or offenses for which petitioner was arrested and of which petitioner was convicted.

    d. The original indictment, summons or complaint number.

    e. Petitioners date of conviction, or date of disposition of the matter if no conviction resulted.

    f. The courts disposition of the matter and the punishment imposed, if any.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 114, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-8. Statements to accompany petition There shall be attached to a petition for expungement:

    a. A statement with the affidavit or verification that there are no disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons or criminal charges pending against the petitioner at the time of filing of the petition for expungement.

    b. In those instances where the petitioner is seeking the expungement of a criminal conviction, a statement with affidavit or verification that he has never been granted expungement, sealing or similar relief regarding a criminal conviction by any court in this State or other state or by any Federal court. Sealing refers to the relief previously granted pursuant to P.L.1973, c. 191 (C. 2A:85-15 et seq.).

    c. In those instances where a person has received a dismissal of a criminal charge because of acceptance into a supervisory treatment or any other diversion program, a statement with affidavit or verification setting forth the nature of the original charge, the court of disposition and date of disposition.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 115, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-9. Order fixing time for hearing Upon the filing of a petition for relief pursuant to this chapter, the court shall, by order, fix a time not less than 35 nor more than 60 days thereafter for hearing of the matter.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 116, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-10. Service of petition and documents A copy of each petition, together with a copy of all supporting documents, shall be served pursuant to the rules of court upon the Superintendent of State Police; the Attorney General; the county prosecutor of the county wherein the court is located; the chief of police or other executive head of the police department of the municipality wherein the offense was committed; the chief law enforcement officer of any other law enforcement agency of this State which participated in the arrest of the individual; the superintendent or warden of any institution in which the petitioner was confined; and, if a disposition was made by a municipal court, upon the magistrate of that court. Service shall be made within 5 days from the date of the order setting the date for the hearing upon the matter.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 117, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-11. Order expungement where no objection prior to hearing If, prior to the hearing, there is no objection from those law enforcement agencies notified or from those offices or agencies which are required to be served under 2C:52-10, and no reason, as provided in section 2C:52-14, appears to the contrary, the court may, without a hearing, grant an order directing the clerk of the court and all relevant criminal justice and law enforcement agencies to expunge records of said disposition including evidence of arrest, detention, conviction and proceedings related thereto.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 118, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-12. Denial of relief although no objection entered In the event that none of the persons or agencies required to be noticed under 2C:52-10 has entered any objection to the relief being sought, the court may nevertheless deny the relief sought if it concludes that petitioner is not entitled to relief for the reasons provided in section 2C:52-14.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 119, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-13. When hearing on petition for expungement shall not be held No petition for relief made pursuant to this section shall be heard by any court if the petitioner, at the time of filing or date of hearing, has a charge or charges pending against him which allege the commission of a crime, disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense. Such petition shall not be heard until such times as all pending criminal and or disorderly persons charges are adjudicated to finality.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 120, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-14. Grounds for denial of relief A petition for expungement filed pursuant to this chapter shall be denied when:

    a. Any statutory prerequisite, including any provision of this chapter, is not fulfilled or there is any other statutory basis for denying relief.

    b. The need for the availability of the records outweighs the desirability of having a person freed from any disabilities as otherwise provided in this chapter. An application may be denied under this subsection only following objection of a party given notice pursuant to 2C:52-10 and the burden of asserting such grounds shall be on the objector.

    c. In connection with a petition under section 2C:52-6, the acquittal, discharge or dismissal of charges resulted from a plea bargaining agreement involving the conviction of other charges. This bar, however, shall not apply once the conviction is itself expunged.

    d. The arrest or conviction sought to be expunged is, at the time of hearing, the subject matter of civil litigation between the petitioner or his legal representative and the State, any governmental entity thereof or any State agency and the representatives or employees of any such body.

    e. A person has had a previous criminal conviction expunged regardless of the lapse of time between the prior expungement, or sealing under prior law, and the present petition. This provision shall not apply:

    (1) When the person is seeking the expungement of a municipal ordinance violation or,

    (2) When the person is seeking the expungement of records pursuant to section 2C:52-6.

    f. The person seeking the relief of expungement of a conviction for a disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons, or criminal offense has prior to or subsequent to said conviction been granted the dismissal of criminal charges following completion of a supervisory treatment or other diversion program.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 121, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-15. Records to be removed; control If an order of expungement of records of arrest or conviction under this chapter is granted by the court, all the records specified in said order shall be removed from the files of the agencies which have been noticed of the pendency of petitioners motion and which are, by the provisions of this chapter, entitled to notice, and shall be placed in the control of a person who has been designated by the head of each such agency which, at the time of the hearing, possesses said records. That designated person shall, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, insure that such records or the information contained therein are not released for any reason and are not utilized or referred to for any purpose. In response to requests for information or records of the person who was arrested or convicted, all noticed officers, departments and agencies shall reply, with respect to the arrest, conviction or related proceedings which are the subject of the order, that there is no record information.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 122, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-16. Expunged record including names of persons other than petitioner Any record or file which is maintained by a judicial or law enforcement agency, or agency in the criminal justice system, which is the subject of an order of expungement which includes the name or names of persons other than that of the petitioner need not be isolated from the general files of the agency retaining same if the other persons named in said record or file have not been granted an order of expungement of said record, provided that a copy of the record shall be given to the person designated in 2C:52-15 and the original shall remain in the agencys general files with the petitioners name and other personal identifiers obliterated and deleted.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 123, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-17. Use of expunged records by agencies on pending petition for expungement Expunged records may be used by the agencies that possess same to ascertain whether a person has had prior conviction expunged, or sealed under prior law, when the agency possessing the record is noticed of a pending petition for the expungement of a conviction. Any such agency may supply information to the court wherein the motion is pending and to the other parties who are entitled to notice pursuant to 2C:52-10.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 124, eff. Sept. 1, 1979 2C:52-18. Supplying information to violent crimes compensation board Information contained in expunged records may be supplied to the Violent Crimes Compensation Board, in conjunction with any claim which has been filed with said board.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 125, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-19. Order of superior court permitting inspection of records or release of information; limitations Inspection of the files and records, or release of the information contained therein, which are the subject of an order of expungement, or sealing under prior law, may be permitted by the Superior Court upon motion for good cause shown and compelling need based on specific facts. The motion or any order granted pursuant thereto shall specify the person or persons to whom the records and information are to be shown and the purpose for which they are to be utilized. Leave to inspect shall be granted by the court only in those instances where the subject matter of the records of arrest or conviction is the object of litigation or judicial proceedings. Such records may not be inspected or utilized in any subsequent civil or criminal proceeding for the purposes of impeachment or otherwise but may be used for purposes of sentencing on a subsequent offense after guilt has been established.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 126, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-20. Use of expunged records in conjunction with supervisory treatment or diversion programs Expunged records may be used by any judge in determining whether to grant or deny the persons application for acceptance into a supervisory treatment or diversion program for subsequent charges. Any expunged records which are possessed by any law enforcement agency may be supplied to the Attorney General, any county prosecutor or judge of this State when same are requested and are to be used for the purpose of determining whether or not to accept a person into a supervisory treatment or diversion program for subsequent charges.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 127, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. 2C:52-21. Use of expunged records in conjunction with setting bail, presentence report or sentencing Expunged records, or sealed records under prior law, of prior arrests or convictions shall be provided to any judge, county prosecutor, probation department or the Attorney General when same are requested for use in conjunction with a bail hearing or for the preparation of a persistence report or for purpose of sentencing.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 128, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-22. Use of expunged records by parole board Expunged records, or sealed records under prior law, of prior disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons and criminal convictions shall be provided to the Parole Board when same are requested for the purpose of evaluating the granting of parole to the person who is the subject of said records. Such sealed or expunged records may be used by the Parole Board in the same manner and given the same weight in its considerations as if the records had not been expunged or sealed.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 129, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-23. Use of expunged records by department of corrections Expunged records, and records sealed under prior law, shall be provided to the Department of Corrections for its use solely in the classification, evaluation and assignment to correctional and penal institutions of persons placed in its custody.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 130, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. 2C:52-24. County prosecutors obligation to ascertain propriety of petition Notwithstanding the notice requirements provided herein, it shall be the obligation of the county prosecutor of the county wherein any petition for expungement is filed to verify the accuracy of the allegations contained in the petition for expungement and to bring to the courts attention any facts which may be a bar to, or which may make inappropriate the granting of, such relief. If no disabling, adverse or relevant information is ascertained other than that as included in the petitioners affidavit, such facts shall be communicated by the prosecutor to the hearing judge.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 131, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-25. Retroactive application This chapter shall apply to arrests and convictions which occurred prior to, and which occur subsequent to, the effective date of this act.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 132, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-26. Vacating of orders of sealing; time; basis If, within 5 years of the entry of an expungement order, any party to whom notice is required to be given pursuant to section 2C:52-10 notifies the court which issued the order that at the time of the petition or hearing there were criminal, disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons charges pending against the person to whom the court granted such order, which charges were not revealed to the court at the time of hearing of the original motion or that there was some other statutory disqualification, said court shall vacate the expungement order in question and reconsider the original motion in conjunction with the previously undisclosed information.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 133, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. 2C:52-27. Effect of expungement Unless otherwise provided by law, if an order of expungement is granted, the arrest, conviction and any proceedings related thereto shall be deemed not to have occurred, and the petitioner may answer any questions relating to their occurrence accordingly, except as follows:

    a. The fact of an expungement, sealing or similar relief shall be disclosed as provided in section 2C:52-8b.

    b. The fact of an expungement of prior charges which were dismissed because of the persons acceptance into and successful completion of a supervisory treatment or other diversion program shall be disclosed by said person to any judge who is determining the propriety of accepting said person into a supervisory treatment or other diversion program for subsequent criminal charges; and

    c. Information divulged on expunged records shall be revealed by a petitioner seeking employment within the judicial branch or with a law enforcement or corrections agency and such information shall continue to provide a disability as otherwise provided by law.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 134, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1981, c. 290, s. 45, eff. Sept. 24, 1981.

    2C:52-27.1 Petition to rescind order of debarment for health care claims fraud.

    5. a. If an order of expungement of records of conviction under the provisions of chapter 52 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes is granted by the court to a person convicted of health care claims fraud in which the court had ordered the offenders professional license be forfeited and the person be forever barred from the practice of the profession pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of section 4 of P.L.1997, c.353 (C.2C:51-5), the person may petition the court for an order to rescind the courts order of debarment if the person can demonstrate that the person is sufficiently rehabilitated.

    b.If an order to rescind the courts order of debarment is granted, the person granted the order may apply to be licensed to practice the profession from which the offender was barred.

    L.1997,c.353,s.5.

    2C:52-28. Motor vehicle offenses Nothing contained in this chapter shall apply to arrests or conviction for motor vehicle offenses contained in Title 39.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 135, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-29. Fee Any person who files an application pursuant to this chapter shall pay to the State Treasurer a fee of $30.00 to defer administrative costs in processing an application hereunder.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 136, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-30. Disclosure of expungement order Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, any person who reveals to another the existence of an arrest, conviction or related legal proceeding with knowledge that the records and information pertaining thereto have been expunged or sealed is a disorderly person. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2C:43-3, the maximum fine which can be imposed for violation of this section is $200.00.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 137, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-31. Limitation Nothing provided in this chapter shall be interpreted to permit the expungement of records contained in the Controlled Dangerous Substances Registry created pursuant to P.L.1970, c. 227 (C. 26:2G-17 et seq.), or the registry created by the Administrative Office of the Courts pursuant to section 2C:43-21.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 138, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

    2C:52-32. Construction This chapter shall be construed with the primary objective of providing relief to the one-time offender who has led a life of rectitude and disassociated himself with unlawful activity, but not to create a system whereby periodic violators of the law or those who associate themselves with criminal activity have a regular means of expunging their police and criminal records.

    L.1979, c. 178, s. 139, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.