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

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,

2053 Woodbridge Avenue,

Edison, NJ 08817,

(732) 572-0500

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New law law a bill that prohibits the sending of an unsolicited advertisements via text message

Governor Chris Christie signed into a law a bill that prohibits the sending of an unsolicited advertisements via text message to a resident of New Jersey if it may cause the recipient to incur a telecommunications charge or a usage allocation deduction. S1357 (Van Drew)/A617 (Moriarty) will take effect next year.

Telecommunications companies that sell, or offer to sell, text messaging services, will now have to offer an option allowing customers to block all incoming and outgoing text messages. Telecommunications companies may continue to send customers text messages concerning their existing accounts as long as no charges or deductions will result.

The bill passed both houses last September, but met with a conditional veto by the governor requesting that the bill’s prohibitions be moved from the Consumer Fraud Act, where it was initially proposed, to Title 2A. The governor cited a concern that the bill’s placement of the prohibitions within the Consumer Fraud Act would trigger significant penalties typically reserved for fraudulent, but not aggressive, business practices.

“Although we wish to discourage businesses from sending unsolicited text messages because they place unwarranted burdens on the consumer, it is important to note that such text messages are not automatically fraudulent or deceptive,” the governor said in the veto message.

Under the new law, violators will be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for the first violation and $1000 for each subsequent violation.

Bill Targets Unsolicited Check Scams

Companies that mail unsolicited checks that, once cashed, enroll customers into costly programs will face civil penalties in New Jersey. Christie signed S1477 (Van Drew)/A625 (Moriarty) into law, would fine businesses $500 for the first violation and $1000 for each subsequent violation.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty drafted the legislation when a constituent showed him an unsolicited check for $8.25 the constituent received. Cashing the check would have automatically enrolled the person to whom the check was written into an automotive roadside assistance program for a monthly fee of $15.99.

“These so-called free money offers are at their best deceptive and, at their worst, downright dishonest,” said Moriarty.

Checks exempted from the law’s provisions include checks that are mailed in response to a request or application for a check or account by the individual; substitutes for checks or accounts previously issued to the person; or those related to a consumer credit transaction or consumer loan issued by certain types of financial institutions.

Similar to the law targeting unsolicited text messages, Christie vetoed this bill with a recommendation to remove the prohibitions from the Consumer Fraud Act to Title 2A. Both houses voted unanimously to concur with the governor’s recommendations. The law takes effect next year.
Ken Vercammen is a life member of NJSBA