(TRENTON) – With the goal to modernize the court negotiations process, legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji, Shavonda Sumter and Adam Taliaferro to allow municipal prosecutors to negotiate with defendants charged with certain traffic offenses through email or standard mail was approved Thursday by the full Assembly, 74-0-1.
Under the bill (A-4367), municipal prosecutors would be able to communicate with defendants and their attorneys via email or standard mail to discuss or negotiate pleas or relay a prosecutor’s final determination on their recommendation to the court.
Assemblyman Mukherji (D-Hudson), Assemblywoman Sumter (D-Bergen,Passaic) and Assemblyman Taliaferro (D-Gloucester, Cumberland, Salem) released the following joint statement:
“As New Jersey continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, our court system has largely shifted to conducting business remotely. Though this move was originally put forth to keep all parties safe amid COVID-19, it’s also modernized the way we approach judicial proceedings.
“Our next step should be to allow municipal prosecutors to be able to negotiate with defendants through email and standard mail. Not only will this help protect the health and safety of all involved during the pandemic, but it will improve efficiency and accessibility through our recovery and beyond.”