Senator PATRICK J. DIEGNAN, JR.
District 18 (Middlesex)
Provides that municipal prosecutors are "employees" of the municipality for purposes of the Tort Claims Act.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning municipal prosecutors, amending N.J.S.59:1-3 and supplementing Title 59 of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. N.J.S.59:1-3 is amended to read as follows:
59:1-3. Definitions. As used in this subtitle:
"Employee" includes an officer, employee, or servant, whether or not compensated or part-time, who is authorized to perform any act or service[; provided, however, that the] . The term "employee" does not include an independent contractor except for a municipal prosecutor who is an independent contractor.
"Employment" includes office; position; employment; or service, under the supervision of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, in a volunteer program in that part of the Palisades Interstate Park located in New Jersey, as an emergency management volunteer or as a volunteer doing work for the Division of Parks and Forestry, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, or the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust, as authorized by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or for the New Jersey Historic Trust.
"Enactment" includes a constitutional provision, statute, executive order, ordinance, resolution or regulation.
"Injury" means death, injury to a person, damage to or loss of property or any other injury that a person may suffer that would be actionable if inflicted by a private person.
"Law" includes enactments and also the decisional law applicable within this State as determined and declared from time to time by the courts of this State and of the United States.
"Public employee" means an employee of a public entity, and includes: a person participating, under the supervision of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, in a volunteer program in that part of the Palisades Interstate Park located in New Jersey.
"Public entity" includes the State, and any county, municipality, district, public authority, public agency, and any other political subdivision or public body in the State.
"State" shall mean the State and any office, department, division, bureau, board, commission or agency of the State, but shall not include any such entity which is statutorily authorized to sue and be sued. "State" also means the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, but only with respect to employees, property and activities within the State of New Jersey.
"Statute" means an act adopted by the Legislature of this State or by the Congress of the United States.
(cf: P.L.2005, c.155, s.104)
2. (New section) For the purposes of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., a municipal prosecutor appointed pursuant to P.L.1999, c.349 (C.2B:25-1 et seq.) shall be designated as an employee of a public entity, notwithstanding that the municipal prosecutor may be otherwise classified as an independent contractor.
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would provide that municipal prosecutors are "employees" of the municipality for purposes of the Tort Claims Act. Currently, the Tort Claims Act, which grants public entities and public employees certain immunities from liability, applies only to "employees" of public entities.
However, municipal prosecutors are usually not full-time municipal employees, and may be classified as "independent contractors" by the IRS and the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits. This bill would encompass all municipal prosecutors within the provisions of the Tort Claims Act by specifying that for the purposes of that act, a municipal prosecutor appointed pursuant to P.L.1999, c.349 (C.2B:25-1 et seq.) would be designated as an employee of a public entity, notwithstanding that the municipal prosecutor may be otherwise classified as an independent contractor.