Failure to Appear in Court in New Jersey (Court Rule 7:8-9)

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Failure to Appear in Court in New Jersey (Court Rule 7:8-9)

New Jersey assigns strict penalties for individuals who do not show up on their court date. Missing a court date can be due to any number of iStock_000014208743_Smallunexpected occurrences. It is a problem that many New Jersey residents might encounter, so an understanding of the court rule is important to ensuring minimal legal trouble in the future. If you have already found yourself in a position where you or someone you know did not appear in court and is now facing legal repercussions, please call me Corey Morano, Esq. right away at 201-598-5019 or send me an email at newjerseylawyernow@gmail.com and I will provide you with a free consultation.

Failure to appear in court can lead to several consequences including the issuing of an arrest warrant and/or an immediate suspension of the defendant’s driver license.  The defendant could end up in custody until bail is posted or the warrant is resolved. The judge may also decide to revoke bail if it had been deposited earlier on the case, which could lead to the bail money being forfeited to the court. The court procedures are listed below.

7:8-9. Procedures on Failure to Appear

(a) Warrant or Notice.

(1) Non-Parking Motor Vehicle Cases. If a defendant in any non-parking case before the court fails to appear or answer a complaint, the court may either issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest in accordance with R. 7:2-2(c) or issue and mail a failure to appear notice to the defendant on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. If a failure to appear notice is mailed to the defendant and the defendant fails to comply with its provisions, a warrant may be issued in accordance with R. 7:2-2(c).

(2) Parking Cases. In all parking cases, an arrest warrant shall only be issued if the defendant has failed to respond to two or more pending parking tickets within the jurisdiction. A warrant shall not issue when the pending tickets have been issued on the same day or otherwise within the same 24-hour period.

 

(b) Driving Privileges; Report to Motor Vehicle Commission.

(1) Non-Parking Motor Vehicle Cases. If the court has not issued an arrest warrant upon the failure of the defendant to comply with the court’s failure to appear notice, the court shall report the failure to appear or answer to the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts within 30 days of the defendant’s failure to appear or answer. The court shall then mark the case as closed on its records, subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule. If the court elects, however, to issue an arrest warrant, it may simultaneously report the failure to appear or answer to the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. If the court does not simultaneously notify the Motor Vehicle Commission and the warrant has not been executed within 30 days, the court shall report the failure to appear or answer to the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. Upon the notification to the Motor Vehicle Commission , the court shall then mark the case as closed on its records subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule.

(2) All Other Cases. In all other cases, whether or not an arrest warrant is issued, the court may order the suspension of the defendant’s driving privileges or of defendant’s nonresident reciprocity privileges or prohibit the person from receiving or obtaining driving privileges until the pending matter is adjudicated or otherwise disposed of. The court shall then mark the case as closed on its records, subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule.

 

(c) Unexecuted Arrest Warrant.

If an arrest warrant is not executed, it shall remain open and active until the court either recalls, withdraws or discharges it. If bail has been posted after the issuance of the arrest warrant and the defendant fails to appear or answer, the court may declare a forfeiture of the bail, report a motor vehicle bail forfeiture to the Motor Vehicle Commission and mark the case as closed on its records subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule. The court may set aside any bail forfeiture in the interest of justice.

 

(d) Parking Cases; Unserved Notice.

In parking cases, no arrest warrant may be issued if the initial failure to appear notice is returned to the court by the Postal Service marked to indicate that the defendant cannot be located. The court then may order a suspension of the registration of the motor vehicle or of the defendant’s driving privileges or defendant’s nonresident reciprocity privileges or prohibit the person from receiving or obtaining driving privileges until the pending matter is adjudicated or otherwise disposed of. The court shall forward the order to suspend to the Motor Vehicle Commission on a form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts. The court shall then mark the case as closed on its records, subject to being reopened pursuant to subparagraph (e) of this rule.

 

(e) Reopening.

A case marked closed shall be reopened upon the request of the defendant, the prosecuting attorney or on the court’s own motion.

 

(f) Dismissal of Parking Tickets.

In any parking case, if the municipal court fails, within three years of the date of the violation, to either issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest or to order a suspension of the registration of the vehicle or the defendant’s driving privileges or the defendant’s non-resident reciprocity privileges or prohibit the person from receiving or obtaining driving privileges, the matter shall be dismissed and shall not be reopened.

 

If you have any questions on this matter, do not hesitate to contact The Morano Law Firm, LLC at 201-598-5019 or email us at newjerseylawyernow@gmail.com and find out how we can assist you.

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