Bill Text: NJ S3477 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Requires plaintiff to obtain affidavit of merit in malpractice suit against enrolled agent.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-14 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S3477 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3477-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3477

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 14, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires plaintiff to obtain affidavit of merit in malpractice suit against enrolled agent.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act requiring an affidavit of merit in certain lawsuits and amending P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-26 et seq.).

 

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

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-26) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    As used in this act, "licensed person" means any person who is licensed as:

     a.     an accountant pursuant to  P.L.1997, c.259 (C.45:2B-42 et seq.);

     b.    an architect pursuant to R.S.45:3-1 et seq.;

     c.     an attorney admitted to practice law in New Jersey;

     d.    a dentist pursuant to R.S.45:6-1 et seq.;

     e.     an engineer pursuant to P.L.1938, c.342 (C.45:8-27 et seq.);

     f.     a physician in the practice of medicine or surgery pursuant to R.S.45:9-1 et seq.;

     g.    a podiatrist pursuant to R.S.45:5-1 et seq.;

     h.    a chiropractor pursuant to P.L.1989, c.153 (C.45:9-41.17 et seq.);

     i.     a registered professional nurse pursuant to P.L.1947, c.262 (C.45:11-23 et seq.);

     j.     a health care facility as defined in section 2 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-2);

     k.    a physical therapist pursuant to P.L.1983, c.296 (C.45:9-37.11 et seq.);

     l.     a land surveyor pursuant to P.L.1938, c.342 (C.45:8-27 et seq.);

     m.   a registered pharmacist pursuant to  P.L.2003, c.280 (C.45:14-40 et seq.);

     n.    a veterinarian pursuant to R.S.45:16-1 et seq.;

     o.    an insurance producer pursuant to  P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-26 et seq.); and

     p.    a certified midwife, certified professional midwife, or certified nurse midwife  pursuant to R.S.45:10-1 et seq.

     As used in P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-26 et seq.), "licensed person" shall also mean a person designated as an enrolled agent by the federal Internal Revenue Service.

(cf:  P.L.2010, c.88, s.1)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the 30th day next following enactment  and apply to  causes of action  filed on or after that date.

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would require a plaintiff to obtain an affidavit of merit in a malpractice suit against an enrolled agent, by adding enrolled agents to the list of professionals covered under P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-26 et seq.). 

     An enrolled agent is the highest credential the IRS awards, and gives a person the ability to represent taxpayers before the IRS.  Enrolled agents are required to have previous experience within the IRS, or pass a three-part test, which covers both individual and business tax returns.  Additionally, the IRS requires enrolled agents to complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years, and to comply with IRS ethical standards.

     Affidavits of merit ensure that people providing professional services are insulated from frivolous malpractice lawsuits.  An affidavit of merit provides that another professional in that field has certified that there is a reasonable probability that the actions of the defending professional fell outside the bounds of the acceptable standards in that field.  New Jersey law presently requires that an affidavit of merit be submitted within 60 days after the complaint is filed or the lawsuit will be dismissed.  In New Jersey, attorneys, accountants, architects, and a host of other professionals are already given this protection, and this bill would extend the same to enrolled agents of the federal Internal Revenue Service.

feedback