Bill Text: NJ S3424 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Provide that driver's license may not be suspended on grounds of failure to pay child support unless obligor is given opportunity for court hearing.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-07 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S3424 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3424-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3424

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 7, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Provides that driver's license may not be suspended on grounds of failure to pay child support unless obligor is given opportunity for court hearing.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning driver's license suspensions and amending P.L.1996, c.7.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Section 3 of P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.41) is amended to read as follows:

     3.  a.  If the child support arrearage equals or exceeds the amount of child support payable for six months or court-ordered health care coverage for the child is not provided for six months, or the obligor fails to respond to a subpoena relating to a paternity or child support action, or a child support-related warrant exists, and the obligor is found to possess a license in the State and all appropriate enforcement methods to collect the child support arrearage have been exhausted, the Probation Division shall send a written notice to the obligor, by certified and regular mail, return receipt requested, at the obligor's last-known address or place of business or employment, advising the obligor that the obligor's license may be revoked or suspended unless, within 30 days of the postmark date of the notice, the obligor pays the full amount of the child support arrearage, or provides proof that health care coverage for the child has been obtained, or responds to a subpoena, or makes a written request for a court hearing to the Probation Division.  [The obligor's driver's license shall be suspended by operation of law upon the issuance of a child support-related warrant.] If a child support-related warrant for the obligor exists, the professional, occupational, recreational or sporting license revocation or suspension shall be terminated if the obligor pays the full amount of the child support arrearage, provides proof that health care coverage for the child has been obtained as required by the court order, or surrenders to the county sheriff or the Probation Division.

     b.    If the obligor fails to take one of the actions in subsection a. of this section within 30 days of the postmark date of the notice and there is proof that service on the obligor was effective, the Probation Division shall file a certification with the court setting forth the obligor's non-compliance with the support order and the obligor's failure to respond to the written notice of the potential license suspension or revocation.  If, based on the papers filed by the Probation Division, the court is satisfied that service on the obligor was effective as set forth in this section, it shall without need for further due process or hearing, enter a court order suspending or revoking all licenses held by the obligor.  Upon the entry of the order, the Probation Division shall forward a copy to the obligor and all appropriate licensing authorities.

     For the purposes of this section, the court may deem procedural due process requirements for notice and service of process to be met with respect to a party thereto upon delivery of written notice to the most recent residential or employer address filed with the Probation Division for that party.  If a party fails to respond to a notice and no proof is available that the party received the notice, the Probation Division shall document to the court that it has made a diligent effort to locate the party by making inquiries that may include, but are not limited to: the United States Postal Service, the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Transportation, the Division of Taxation in the Department of the Treasury and the Departments of Labor and Corrections.  The Probation Division shall provide an affidavit to the court presenting such documentation of its diligent effort, which certifies its inability to locate the party, before any adverse action is taken based upon the party's failure to respond to the notice.

     c.     If the obligor requests a hearing, the Probation Division shall file a petition for a judicial hearing in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.43).  The hearing shall occur within 45 days of the obligor's request.  If, at or prior to the hearing, the obligor pays the full amount of the child support arrearage or provides health care coverage as ordered, or responds to the subpoena or surrenders to the county sheriff or the Probation Division, the license revocation process shall be terminated.  No license revocation action shall be initiated if the Probation Division has received notice that the obligor has pending a motion to modify the child support order if that motion was filed prior to the date that the notice of the license suspension or revocation was sent by the Probation Division.  The court shall consider the Probation Division's petition to revoke or suspend a license in accordance with section 5 of P.L.1996, c.7 (C.2A:17-56.43).

(cf: P.L.1998, c.1, s.28)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would eliminate a provision in current law requiring the automatic suspension of the driver's licenses of certain delinquent child support obligors.

     Currently, the driver's license or professional license of a delinquent child support obligor may be revoked or suspended under certain circumstances. If the arrearage equals or exceeds the amount of child support payable for six months, if the obligor fails to respond to a subpoena, or if a child support-related warrant exists, and all appropriate enforcement methods to collect the child support arrearage have been exhausted, the Probation Division is required to send a written notice to the obligor advising him that the license may be revoked or suspended unless the obligor pays the full amount of the arrearage within 30 days, or responds to a subpoena, or makes a written request for a court hearing to the Probation Division.

     The statute also specifies that the obligor's driver's license will be suspended by operation of law upon the issuance of a child support-related warrant. This bill would eliminate the provision authorizing suspension of the obligor's driver's license by operation of law. The effect of this bill would be to allow the obligor an opportunity for a court hearing on the issue of whether the obligor's driver's license should be suspended.

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