Bill Text: NJ S3531 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Prohibits leasing dogs and cats.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-04 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Commerce Committee [S3531 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S3531-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3531

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 4, 2019

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  VIN GOPAL

District 11 (Monmouth)

Senator  KRISTIN M. CORRADO

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits leasing dogs and cats.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act prohibiting the leasing of dogs and cats and supplementing P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.).

 

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

 

     1.    a.     It shall be an unlawful practice and a violation of P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) to enter into a:

     (1)   contract for a cat or dog in which the transfer of ownership of the animal is contingent on the making of payments over a period of time subsequent to the transfer of possession of the animal, unless these payments are on an unsecured loan for the purchase of the animal; or

     (2)   lease agreement that provides for or offers the option of transferring ownership of a cat or dog at the end of the lease term.

     b.    Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1966, c.39 (C.56:8-13) to the contrary, a person who violates this section shall be liable for the following penalties:

     (1)   for a first offense, a penalty of not more than $10,000; and

     (2)   for a second or subsequent offense, a penalty of not more than $30,000.

     c.     In addition to any other remedies provided by P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) or any other applicable law, a consumer taking possession of a cat or dog pursuant to a contract or lease as described in subsection a. of this section shall be deemed the owner of the cat or dog, shall have a civil cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction, and shall be entitled to recover all moneys paid by the consumer, litigation costs, and reasonable attorney's fees.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to any lease, contract, agreement, or transaction entered into on or after the effective date.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill makes leasing dogs and cats a violation of the State consumer fraud law.

     New Jersey residents are sometimes deceived into signing a lease for a pet and end up paying more than they intended. This bill prohibits contracts in which the transfer of ownership of a cat or dog is contingent on the making of payments over a period of time subsequent to the transfer of possession of the cat or dog, unless those payments are on an unsecured loan for the purchase of the animal. It also prohibits lease agreements that provide for or offer the option of transferring ownership of a cat or dog at the end of the lease term.

     Violations of the bill's provisions are punishable by a monetary penalty of up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $30,000 for any subsequent offense. In addition, the bill provides that a consumer who enters into this kind of contract would be deemed the owner of the cat or dog and would be entitled to a full refund, litigation costs, and attorney's fees, to be recovered in a civil court proceeding.

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