[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Hanover as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-13-2003 by Ord. No. 25-2003 ]
A Municipal Court for the Township of Hanover is hereby established as of January 1, 1949, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 8A of Title 2 of the revised Statutes of New Jersey, as amended and supplemented by N.J.S.A. 2B:12-1 et seq. The Court shall exercise all the functions, powers, duties and jurisdiction conferred by law upon municipal courts.
To assist the Municipal Court in the performance of the functions and duties of the Court, as prescribed by law and the rules and regulations mandated by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts, the Assignment Judge of the Morris/Sussex Vicinage and the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, there is hereby established a Violations Bureau.
The Violations Bureau shall accept all complaints filed by any person, prepare the Municipal Court calendar, collect, receive and account for all fines, costs and bail money which may be paid into or deposited with the Court and shall discharge all those duties, functions and responsibilities prescribed by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts in the orderly administration and operation of the Municipal Court.
The Violations Bureau shall be a Bureau under the supervision of the Department of Administration. With the exception of those duties, responsibilities and functions related to the conduct of business before the Municipal Court, the Certified Municipal Court Administrator and staff shall report to the Business Administrator/Township Clerk with respect to all administrative, personnel, clerical and budgetary matters related to the operations of the Violations Bureau.
The name of the Municipal Court shall be "Municipal Court of the Township of Hanover." The Municipal Court shall have a seal bearing the impress of the name of the Court. The Court shall convene in the Main Meeting Room of the Municipal Building or such other place as the Township Committee designates from time to time.
There shall be a Judge of the Municipal Court, who shall be appointed by the Township Committee and who shall serve for a term of three years from the date of his/her appointment and until his/her successor is appointed and qualified. The Judge need not be a resident of the Township but shall be an attorney at law in good standing of the State of New Jersey. Any appointment to fill a vacancy caused other than by expiration of term shall be made for the unexpired term only.
The Municipal Judge shall have and possess and exercise all the functions, duties, powers and jurisdiction conferred by law or ordinance.
The compensation of the Municipal Judge and other personnel as may be required to administer the functions of the Municipal Court shall be such sums as may be established by the Township Committee in the annual Salary Ordinance pertaining to the salaries and rates of compensation of all Township officials and employees. Said compensation shall be in lieu of any and all other fees.
The Township Committee may, by appropriate ordinance or resolution, at such time as the need may arise, provide for a full-time Certified Municipal Court Administrator, full-time or part-time Deputy Court Administrators and part-time Violations Clerks as may be necessary for the efficient administration and operation of the Municipal Court and Violations Bureau. The total number of full-time and/or part-time Violations Bureau personnel shall be at the discretion of the governing body.
In order to qualify as a Certified Municipal Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrator and/or Violations Clerk, said individuals shall be trained, educated and certified in accordance with the educational standards and requirements promulgated by the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts and the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey.
The Certified Municipal Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrators and Violations Clerks shall be appointed annually during the Township Committee's Reorganization Meeting for a term of one year from the date of their appointment until the expiration of the calendar year in which they are appointed or until such time as their successors are appointed and qualified.
The Certified Municipal Court Administrator shall be responsible in managing the Violations Bureau office and supervising, instructing and training Violations Bureau personnel in the performance of day-to-day activities.
Before exercising the duties of their offices, the Certified Municipal Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrators and Violations Clerks shall take and subscribe the oath and affirmation of office usually taken by public officials.
To the extent it is not inconsistent with the requirements of the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts, the Certified Municipal Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrators and Violations Clerks shall be subject to the Township's personnel policies and procedures pursuant to Chapter 61 of the Code of the Township entitled "Salaries and Compensation" as well as any and all personnel policy decisions and directives established by the Township Committee and/or Business Administrator/Township Clerk.
Before exercising the duties of their offices, the Municipal Judge, Certified Municipal Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrators and Violations Clerk shall enter into a bond as required by law.
Working under the general supervision of the Municipal Court Judge with regard to Court matters, the staff of the Violations Bureau (i.e., the Certified Municipal Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrator(s) and Violations Clerk) shall perform a variety of duties, tasks and activities, including but not limited to the following:
Assists the Municipal Court Judge during courtroom proceedings, including recordkeeping and the collection, receipt and accounting of fines, Court costs and bail moneys which may be paid into or deposited with the Court; maintains all courtroom transcriptions of proceedings.
Prepares the Court calendar and schedule of cases.
Receives and replies to correspondence; maintains all Court records and processes requests for copies of documents.
Prepares statistical and financial reports, monthly and annually as required by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Processes all traffic and criminal complaints.
Performs telephone and counter information services, answering inquiries, issuing Court forms, explaining procedures and forms to parties in cases and mailing notices and/or warrants to litigants.
Coordinates with law enforcement personnel and the Municipal Prosecutor in the scheduling and disposition of cases, including the preparation of cases to be forwarded to the County Prosecutor and cases to be appealed.
Prepares and processes complaints on-call after business hours and on weekends.
Issues summons books to police officers.
Perform such other duties and services pertinent to the Municipal Court as may be required by the Municipal Court Judge, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Supreme Court of New Jersey and the laws of the state.
The Certified Municipal Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrator(s) and Violations Clerk shall not engage in any political activity, nor shall they make any financial contributions to any local political campaign.
[Adopted 1-22-1998 by Ord. No. 1-98]
There is hereby created the position of Public Defender for the Township of Hanover. The person selected to serve as Municipal Public Defender shall be an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey in good standing. It shall be the duty of the Municipal Public Defender to represent, except in the case of temporary unavailability or conflict of interest, any defendant charged with an offense in Municipal Court who is an indigent municipal defendant entitled to representation. All necessary services and facilities of representation, including both expert and lay investigation and testimony, as well as other preparation, shall be provided in every case. The municipality shall be responsible for the payment of these services; and, the final determination as to the necessity for services required shall be made by the Court; except, however, that the Township is not responsible for the payment of expert and lay investigations until March 22, 1999, one year after the effective date of P.L. 1997, c. 256 (March 22, 1998).
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 2B:24-1 et seq.
The Municipal Public Defender shall be responsible for handling all phases of the defense, including but not limited to discovery, pretrial and posttrial hearings, motions, removals to Federal District Court and other collateral functions reasonably related to the defense. However, posttrial hearings shall not include de novo appeals in Superior Court.
The Municipal Public Defender shall represent an indigent defendant charged in Municipal Court with a crime as specified in N.J.S.A. 2B:12-18 or if, in the opinion of the Municipal Court, there is a likelihood that the defendant, if convicted of any other offense, will be subject to imprisonment or other consequences of magnitude, the Municipal Public Defender shall represent an indigent defendant.
The Township Committee shall appoint the Municipal Public Defender. Upon enactment of this article, the initial appointment shall be for the balance of the calendar year and ending on December 31. Thereafter, the term of office shall be for a one-year period commencing January 1 of the calendar year and concluding December 31 of that same year.
In order to obtain the services of the Municipal Public Defender, an application must be filed with the Municipal Court on a form to be provided by the Court. Eligibility for services of the Municipal Public Defender shall be determined by the Municipal Court on the basis of the need of the defendant. Need shall be measured in accordance with Section 14 of P.L. 1967, c. 43 (N.J.S.A. 2A:158A-14) and guidelines promulgated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
In the event that a determination of eligibility cannot be made before the time when the first services are to be rendered, or if an initial determination is found to be erroneous, the Municipal Court Judge shall refer the defendant to the Municipal Public Defender provisionally, and if subsequently it is determined that the defendant is ineligible, the Municipal Court shall inform the defendant, and the defendant shall be obliged to engage his own counsel and to reimburse the Township for the cost of the services rendered to that time.
The Municipal Court Judge shall require any person applying for representation by the Municipal Public Defender or Court-approved counsel to pay an application fee of $200, but only in an amount necessary to pay the costs of Municipal Public Defender services. In accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Supreme Court, the Municipal Court may waive the application fee, in whole or in part, only if the Court determines, in its discretion, upon clear and convincing proof by the applicant, that the application fee represents an unreasonable burden on the person seeking representation. In addition, if a defendant has or reasonably expects to have means to meet some part, though not all, of the cost of the services rendered, the defendant shall be required to reimburse the Township, either by a single payment or in installments, in such amount as he/she can reasonably be expected to pay, but no default in failure in making payment shall reduce the rendering of services. The Municipal Court may permit a person to pay the application fee over a specific period of time but not to exceed four months.
Funds collected in accordance with provisions of § 17-9 shall be deposited in a dedicated fund administered by the Township's Chief Municipal Finance Officer. Such funds shall be used exclusively to meet the costs incurred in providing the services of the Municipal Public Defender, including, when required, expert and lay investigation and testimony.