NJSA 2C:21-7 Deceptive Business Practices
2C:21-7. Deceptive business practices
A person commits an offense if in the course of business he:
a. Uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure, or any other device for falsely determining or recording any quality or quantity;
b. Sells, offers or exposes for sale, or delivers less than the represented quantity of any commodity or service;
c. Takes or attempts to take more than the represented quantity of any commodity or service when as buyer he furnishes the weight or measure;
d. Sells, offers or exposes for sale adulterated or mislabeled commodities;
e. Makes a false or misleading statement in any advertisement addressed to the public or to a substantial segment thereof for the purpose of promoting the purchase or sale of property or services;
f. Deleted by Amendment (P.L.1981, c. 290).
g. Deleted by Amendment (P.L.1981, c. 290).
h. Makes a false or misleading written statement for the purpose of obtaining property or credit; or
i. Makes a false or misleading written statement for the purpose of promoting the sale of securities, or omits information required by law to be disclosed in written documents relating to securities.
The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if subsection h. or i. is violated. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section if the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that his conduct was not knowingly or recklessly deceptive.
"Adulterated" means varying from the standard of composition or quality prescribed by or pursuant to any statute providing criminal penalties for such variance, or set by established commercial usage. "Mislabeled" means varying from the standard of truth or disclosure in labeling prescribed by or pursuant to any statute providing criminal penalties for such variance, or set by established commercial usage.
L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:21-7, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 36A, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; L.1981, c. 290, s. 23A, eff. Sept. 24, 1981.
As used in this act:
a. "Advertise" means engaging in promotional activities including, but not limited to, newspaper, radio and television advertising; the distribution of fliers and circulars; and the display of window and interior signs.
b. "Food," "food product," or "food commodity" means any food, food product or food preparation, whether raw or prepared for human consumption, and whether in a solid or liquid state, including, but not limited to, any meat, meat product or meat preparation; any milk, milk product or milk preparation; and any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage.
c. "Food commodity in package form" means a food commodity put up or packaged in any manner in advance of sale in units suitable for retail sale and which is not intended for consumption at the point of manufacture.
d. "Kosher" means prepared under and maintained in strict compliance with the laws and customs of the Orthodox Jewish religion and includes foods prepared for the festival of Passover and represented to be "kosher for Passover."
L. 1988, c. 154, s. 1.
2C:21-7.3. False representation
a. A false representation prohibited by this act shall include any oral or written statement that directly or indirectly tends to deceive or otherwise lead a reasonable individual to believe that a non-kosher food or food product is kosher.
b. The presence of any non-kosher food or food product in any place of business that advertises or represents itself in any manner as selling, offering for sale, preparing or serving kosher food or food products only, is presumptive evidence that the person in possession offers the same for sale in violation of this act.
c. It shall be a complete defense to a prosecution under this act that the defendant relied in good faith upon the representations of a slaughterhouse, manufacturer, processor, packer or distributor, or any person or organization which certifies or represents any food or food product at issue to be kosher, kosher for Passover, or as having been prepared under or sanctioned by Orthodox Jewish religious requirements.
L. 1988, c. 154, s. 2.
Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law 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. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm
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