NJ Courts’ Dismissal of Old Minor Offenses Is An Important Step For Municipal Court Reform

Affiliate: ACLU of New Jersey
July 20, 2018 12:00 pm

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As part of state efforts to reform municipal courts, the Administrative Office of the Courts announced a plan to hold hearings with the aim of dismissing minor offenses more than 15 years old. The New Jersey Courts said that there are 787,764 open warrants from 1986 to 2003 just for failure to appear.

ACLU-NJ Deputy Legal Director Jeanne LoCicero made the following statement:

“This is an important step in the process of reforming our municipal courts. We thank Chief Justice Rabner and the Administrative Office of the Courts for recognizing the crisis playing out in our municipal courts and taking action to begin to address it. Our municipal courts too often prioritize the goal of bringing in revenue over the goal of dispensing justice in a way that best serves the people. We look forward to working with the state and with municipalities to go even further to make sure that municipal courts move away from practices that criminalize people simply for being poor.”

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