7:2-2. Issuance of Arrest Warrant or Summons
a) Authorization for Process.
- (1) Citizen Complaint.An arrest warrant or a summons on a complaint charging any offense made by a private citizen may be issued only by a judge or, if authorized by the judge, by a municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator of a court with jurisdiction in the municipality where the offense is alleged to have been committed within the statutory time limitation. The arrest warrant or summons may be issued only if it appears to the judicial officer from the complaint, affidavit, certification or testimony that there is probable cause to believe that an offense was committed, the defendant committed it, and an arrest warrant or summons can be issued. The judicial officers finding of probable cause shall be noted on the face of the summons or warrant and shall be confirmed by the judicial officers signature issuing the arrest warrant or summons. If, however, the municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator finds that no probable cause exists to issue an arrest warrant or summons, or that the applicable statutory time limitation to issue the arrest warrant or summons has expired, that finding shall be reviewed by the judge. A judge finding no probable cause to believe that an offense occurred or that the statutory time limitation to issue an arrest warrant or summons has expired shall dismiss the complaint.
- (2) Complaint by Law Enforcement Officer or Other Statutorily Authorized Person.A summons on a complaint made by a law enforcement officer charging any offense may be issued by a law enforcement officer or by any person authorized to do so by statute without a finding by a judicial officer of probable cause for issuance. A law enforcement officer may personally serve the summons on the defendant without making a custodial arrest.
- (3) Complaint by Code Enforcement Officer.A summons on a complaint made by a Code Enforcement Officer charging any offense within the scope of the Code Enforcement Officers authority and territorial jurisdiction may be issued without a finding by a judicial officer of probable cause for issuance. A Code Enforcement Officer may personally serve the summons on the defendant. Otherwise, service shall be in accordance with these rules. For purposes of this rule, a Code Enforcement Officer is a public employee who is responsible for enforcing the provisions of any state, county or municipal law, ordinance or regulation which the public employee is empowered to enforce.
- (b) Determination Whether to Issue a Summons or Warrant.A summons rather than an arrest warrant shall issue if the defendant is a corporation, partnership or unincorporated association. If the defendant is an individual, a summons rather than an arrest warrant shall issue unless the judge or duly authorized municipal court administrator or deputy court administrator finds that:
- (1)the defendant has failed to respond to a summons; or
- (2)there is reason to believe that the defendant is dangerous to himself or herself, to others, or to property; or
- (3)there is one or more outstanding arrest warrants for the defendant; or
- (4)the address of the defendant is not known, and an arrest warrant is necessary to subject the defendant to the jurisdiction of the court; or
- (5)the defendant cannot be satisfactorily identified; or
- (6)there is reason to believe that the defendant will not appear in response to a summons.
- (c) Failure to Appear After Summons.If a defendant who has been served with a summons fails to appear on the return date, an arrest warrant may issue pursuant to law and Rule 7:8-9 (Procedures on Failure to Appear). If a corporation, partnership or unincorporated association has been served with a summons and has failed to appear on the return date, the court shall proceed as if the corporation had appeared and entered a plea of not guilty.
- (d) Additional Arrest Warrants or Summonses.More than one arrest warrant or summons may issue on the same complaint.
- (e) Identification Procedures.If a summons has been issued or an arrest warrant executed on a complaint charging either the offense of shoplifting or prostitution or on a complaint charging any non-indictable offense where the identity of the person charged is in question, the defendant shall submit to the identification procedures prescribed by N.J.S.A. 53:1-15. Upon the defendants refusal to submit to any required identification procedures, the court may issue an arrest warrant.
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.
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