Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
2053 Woodbridge Avenue - Edison, NJ 08817
(732) 572-0500
Kenneth Vercammen was included in the “Super Lawyers” list published by Thomson Reuters

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Based on speculation that defendant and a passenger in his vehicle were involved in illegal drug activity, police officers attempted to follow but lost sight of the vehicle in or near Newark and waited in Woodbridge for its return. Once the vehicle returned, the officers stopped it, ostensibly because the passenger was not wearing his seatbelt. On approaching, an officer, who did not testify, observed defendant reach under his seat. Both driver and passenger were then ordered out of the vehicle; after the passenger exited, an officer was able to observe in plain view materials that suggested drug usage. Based on that observation, a warrantless search of the vehicle ensued, and illegal drugs were found.
Because defendant's mere entry into and departure from Newark did not permit a reasonable suspicion of illegal drug activity and because the State had failed to present facts "that would create in a police officer a heightened awareness of danger" if the passenger were allowed to remain in the vehicle, State v. Smith, 134 N.J. 599, 618 (1994), the court found no sufficient ground for the ordering of the passenger out of the vehicle and reversed the denial of the suppression motion.
Judge Nugent filed a dissenting opinion regarding this determination.
In addition, the court noted that only hearsay testimony supported the assertion that the driver reached underneath his seat. Despite the understanding that N.J.R.E. 101(a)(2)(E) permits the admission of hearsay at a suppression hearing, the court suggested there may be circumstances where the consequences resulting from the suppression hearing are of such magnitude that the admission of hearsay may create a Confrontation Clause deprivation. The court, however, did not further consider this point because it had not been raised by defendant. 


In this appeal, the court considered whether the objection by Fairfield to a private helistop through the denial of a use variance by the Board of Adjustment should have precluded the DOT from issuing a "Special Use License." The court held in accord with the Supreme Court's decision in Garden State Farms, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is tasked with the ultimate authority as to the placement of aeronautical facilities and, after consultation with Fairfield, the DOT gave appropriate consideration to its objections, problems and suggestions prior to issuance of the license. The court
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concluded the decision was not arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable.
     Judge Fisher filed a concurring opinion.


Despite the Legislature's clear and unambiguous direction that the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) promulgate regulations defining when affordable housing trust funds are committed, and despite previously expressing its intention to comply with that command, COAH failed and refused to adopt regulations, leaving municipalities in a morass of uncertainty while facing the prospect of an arbitrary seizure of affordable housing trust funds. In light of both COAH's inaction and the Supreme Court's recent determination that "there no longer exists a legitimate basis to block access to the courts" in affordable housing matters, In re Adoption of N.J.A.C. 5:96 and 5:97, __ N.J. __ (2015) (slip op. at 4), and absent some change in these circumstances, the court enjoined the seizure of any trust funds by COAH or the executive branch and directed that the future disposition of trust funds must come from the courts on a case-by-case basis. 

O.P. VS. L.G-P. A-0835-13T4

O.P. VS. L.G-P.
In Part I of this decision reversing the motion court's enforcement of certain parts of the divorce property settlement agreement (PSA), the details of the child support provisions of the PSA and related motions between the parties is provided. This history is given not only to resolve this case, but also to illustrate how untenable constantly-changing child support payments may become, particularly after the entry of a final restraining order (FRO). In Part II, an explanation is provided for why the provisions of the preexisting PSA requiring mediation and parental communication should not be enforced after an FRO prohibiting contact between the parties is entered. 


As a matter of first impression, we hold that the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) is not required to represent an "indigent" corporation charged with an indictable offense, because construing the Public Defender Act (PDA), N.J.S.A. 2A:158A-1 to -25, to require OPD's representation of indigent defendants who are not natural persons is repugnant to the subject and context of the PDA, and contrary to the Legislature's intent.
We also hold, however, that, when charged with a crime or when facing a "consequence of magnitude," an "indigent" corporation has a right to appointed counsel under our state Constitution and prior precedent. 3/30/15  

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Spring 2015 Municipal Court Law Review

1. Driver is not subject to criminal driving while suspended if DWI suspension period expired prior to driving
State v Perry  __ NJ Super. ___ (App. Div. 2015) Docket  A-1767 -13T2
N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26(a) and (b) make driving while suspended under specified circumstances a fourth-degree crime, punishable by a mandatory minimum jail term of 180 days, where the underlying suspension arose from driving while intoxicated (DWI), N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, and/or refusal to submit to chemical testing, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.4(a). The court concluded in these appeals that prosecutions under the statute can be brought only if the act of driving while suspended occurs during the court-imposed term of suspension.
     Note- Ken V successfully represented four of the winning parties before the Law Division. The Appellate Division affirmed the well-reasoned opinion of Hon. Douglas Wolfson JSC.

2. Court permits police to ignore guidelines requiring Alcohol influence report be given to DWI suspects
State v Sorensen  __ NJ Super. __ (App. Div. 2015) A-3797-13T4
      After the Law Division suppressed defendant's blood alcohol content (BAC) results, it sentenced her on her guilty plea to driving under the influence. Nonetheless, the State's appeal of the suppression was not barred by double jeopardy because defendant had entered a conditional plea to, and been sentenced for, the per se violation in Municipal Court.
The Law Division suppressed the BAC results because the Alcotest operator did not give a copy of the Alcohol Influence Report (AIR) to the arrestee in the police station. Although State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54, 82 (2008), said the operator "must" do so, that comment about recommended Alcotest procedure did not override the statutory standard only requiring the police to give a copy of the breath test results upon request. N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.2(b). In any event, the timing of copy delivery does not affect the validity of the test results. Moreover, police must advise arrestees of their ability to request a copy and to get an independent test. Therefore, suppression is not warranted in the absence of prejudice. Furthermore, a suppression remedy should not be imposed retroactively.
Judge Sabatino concurs in the result. Given the time-sensitive dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream, he believes Chun sensibly requires the operator to provide a copy of the AIR contemporaneously, consistent with the policies of the Attorney General and the State Police, and that the statute does not foreclose affording such added procedural protection to tested drivers. He agrees that suppression in this case and retroactive relief are not warranted.

3. No home release or wristlet if mandatory 180 jail
State v Harris 439 NJ Super. 150 (App. Div. 2015)   
          Following the recent opinion in State v. French, 437 N.J. Super. 333 (App. Div. 2014), the court hold that a defendant convicted of violating either N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26a or N.J.S.A. 2C:40-26b must be sentenced to at least 180 days in jail without parole. French held that a sentence to an in-patient drug rehabilitation program in lieu of jail was an illegal sentence under section 26b. The court conclude that, under section 26a or 26b, a sentence to any other non-custodial alternative program, such as a home detention program (HEDS) or a community service program (CSLS), is likewise illegal. 

4. Private prosecutor not permitted unless municipal prosecutor unable to prosecute State v Myerowitz __ NJ Super. __ (App. Div. 2015) A-6032-12T2
Defendant appealed from the judgment of the Law Division finding him guilty of harassment after conducting a de novo review of the trial record developed in the municipal court. The Court reversed and held defendant's conviction in the municipal court was void ab initio because he was prosecuted by a private attorney who did not comply with the requirements in State v. Storm, 141 N.J. 245 (1995) and codified in Rule 7:8-7(b). Without cross-complaints from complaining witnesses there are no legal grounds to permit a private attorney to represent the State. Public policy favors prosecutions conducted by independent prosecutors. A municipal court judge should obtain an on-the-record statement confirming the prosecutor's recusal in the case. However, if the municipal prosecutor insists on proceeding with the prosecution, the prosecutor's decision should be final. Use of the form approved by the Administrative Director of the Courts is not discretionary. The questions contained therein, including the precise phraseology used, constitutes the expressed method adopted by the Supreme Court to accommodate the public policy concerns expressed in Storm.

5. Court Says Pot Odor, Gun Reports Did Not Justify Search State v. Samuell App. Div. unreported 11-07-0710 decided February 25, 2015  
Defendant, indicted on multiple counts charging the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and firearms offenses, appealed his conviction by guilty plea to fourth degree possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana entered after the trial court denied his motion to suppress. The panel reversed, finding that under the circumstances, the police officer contravened constitutional prohibitions when he jumped over the fence surrounding the backyard of a private residence and came up on the back porch to detain an occupant of the house who had come out on the back porch because the officer did not have probable cause to believe that that person was committing a firearms offense or an indictable marijuana offense and the officer's reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity did not authorize the police to enter private property to further their investigation and the state made no showing of an exception to the warrant requirement when the officer jumped the fence. The panel concluded that because the police observation of additional evidence in plain view and the evidence seized pursuant to the search warrant were the fruits of the initial unlawful entry, the evidence should have been suppressed.  Source DailyBriefing  New Jersey Law Journal February 26, 2015

6. ALJ can reduce suspension proposed by MVC   Bamfo v. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission App. Div. unreported  docket A-1110-13T2  decided  Jan. 8, 2015
 Bamfo appealed from a final decision of the Motor Vehicle Commission suspending his driver's license for 30 days because he was convicted of a moving violation while his license was on probationary status as a result of prior violations. Affirming, the panel found that the MVC had applied the applicable statutes and regulations in determining that a suspension was required because of Bamfo's record of moving violations and that the period of suspension, which had been reduced from 90 days, was an appropriate accommodation of his hardship request (that his job required that he drive and he might lose the job), and that Bamfo had provided no ground for the court to disagree with the MVC's decision.   Daily Briefing is a member benefit of the NJ State Bar Association. More benefits can be found at

7. Lawyer Had No Duty to Disclose Client's possible Indictable Offense  State v. Kane App. Div. docket 12-07-0449  unreported  decided February 17, 2015  
A lawyer whose client pleaded guilty in municipal court to the traffic offense of driving with a suspended license was not obligated to inform the judge and prosecutor that the client was subject to indictment and harsher penalties because her license had been suspended for drunken driving, a New Jersey appeals court has held. The court, however, faulted the lawyer, Steven Kaplan, for having his client, Davi Kane, later withdraw the guilty plea without explaining to her that she would lose her protection against double jeopardy and be exposed to prosecution for a fourth-degree crime carrying a minimum half-year in jail, which is what eventually occurred. Source New Jersey Law Journal  February 25, 2015

 8.   Ken V now Certified Municipal Court Law Attorney
Kenneth Vercammen passed the test to be designated as a “Certified Municipal Court Law Attorney” by the NJ Supreme Court. He is part of the first group of attorneys ever been found qualified by the Board, and authorized to designate themselves as Municipal Court Law Attorneys before the public, the bar, and the courts of this State in accordance with the Rules of this Court during their good behavior for a term of five years from the date of this Order, as announced by Stuart Rabner Court Justice.
Metuchen Municipal Court help: Ken also was sworn in again as Metuchen Public Defender. Court typically sits Wednesday Night. If an attorney needs coverage Metuchen fax our office 732-572-0030 and we will try to help.

9 Next legal events
April  20 Nuts and Bolts of Elder Law ICLE NJ Law Center

May 6, 2015 Expungement Criminal Arrests and conviction Seminar at Ken Vercammen’s Law office for person previously charged with offenses and their family who are concerned about the old criminal charges of their children.
May 10-16 National Police Week free Wills for Heroes prepared in May

10. July 17  Summer Blast Happy Hour at Bar Anticipation
You are invited….
Kenneth Vercammen Law Office
30th Anniversary Party
"Celebrating 30 years of providing excellent service to clients and the community"
Happy Hour, Client & Community Appreciation. Open to the public 
Food, Refreshments, T- shirts and special gifts
at Bar Anticipation
703 16th Avenue Lake Como/ Belmar, NJ 07719
        Free !
5:30-7:30PM Hot & Cold Buffet
    The reduced price Happy Hour is 6-7PM with $1.50 House Drink, Bud/BudLt draft & House Wine Special
       Please bring a canned food donation for a community food bank, continuing to provide food and help to individuals in need.
      Email Ken Vercammen's Law Office so we can put your name on the VIP list for wristbands.
        During the past 30 years I have stayed in touch with the many persons I've had the pleasure of meeting at community activities, running races, Bar Association events and educational seminars. You are invited to our 30th Anniversary Party.

11. Free Office Space for New Attorney and go to Court & Mentor program- Edison, NJ available March 1
               Kenneth Vercammen’s Law Office has a space sharing opportunity for new lawyer or recent Transitional attorney to get experience and go to court and learn NJ Law office procedures and handle Public Defender cases. This is a mentoring experience where you can learn NJ Law Office Procedure.
               Attorney will be provided with use of desk on main floor, plus if needed private office space in furnished basement to start their practice, rent-free. They can see clients in first floor office rooms. In return they will handle municipal court appearances, Telephone communications with courts, prosecutors, clients, etc, Will signings and other legal work and criminal law website updates in lieu of rent for maximum 5 hours per week. 
                Go to court and get court experience. Excellent opportunity to jump-start your career. You will get to represent people in Municipal Courts in Middlesex, Union and Monmouth County and meet the top Prosecutors and Judges. Must be admitted in NJ and have a car.
                Learn to interview potential Municipal Court/Criminal clients. Also learn to draft Wills and work on Litigation files. Attorney may also help provide legal assistance to members of prepaid legal plans and public defender clients. Follow up contact calls with clients, courts, prosecutors and bar associations.
   Excellent mentoring position for the right attorney. Are you hardworking and aggressive?  Visit our website: to learn about our office.

   The following is included with office use:
Desk space
Reception room for clients and use as Bona Fide Office
You can copy and use our Complaints, Motions, Form Letters and Pleadings.
 Use our marketing books, marketing CDs, Criminal, Municipal Court and Elder law audiotapes and video library now located in basement
 Use of our computer forms Motions, Complaints, and Form letters
Ability to use a file cabinet in basement to store your old files
Lighting/ Utilities
Bathroom Supplies
Landscaping / Snow Removal
Valuable advice
Hot water, municipal water/sewer charge paid

If interested, fax, email or mail a resume and cover letter.
2053 Woodbridge Ave. Edison, NJ 08817(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030

12. N.J. Municipal Court  Law Review SUBSCRIPTION INFO

       Please forward a check or voucher for $20.00 to receive the NJ Municipal Court Law Review.  This quarterly newsletter reports changes in New Jersey Court decisions, selected revised motor vehicle and criminal laws, cases, seminars, and information on Municipal Court practice.
       Vouchers accepted. Please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope for their return.  Multiple subscriptions encouraged.
       Please must send a $20.00 check payable to Vercammen & Associates, PC.
If the law firm or municipality no longer wishes to subscribe, please fax or mail us. 

Name:      ______________________________________
(or staple business card here)
Address:   ______________________________________
We also need your email address ________________________
Return to:  

Kenneth A. Vercammen, Esq.,   
                    Editor- NJ Municipal Court Law Review   
                    2053 Woodbridge Ave.
                    Edison, NJ 08817
                   Tax ID # available

  1. Driver is not subject to criminal driving while suspended if DWI suspension period expired prior to driving
State v Perry 
2. Court permits police to ignore guidelines requiring Alcohol influence report be given to DWI suspects
State v Sorensen 
3. No home release or wristlet if mandatory 180 jail
State v Harris
4. Private prosecutor not permitted unless municipal prosecutor unable to prosecute State v Myerowitz
5. Court Says Pot Odor, Gun Reports Did Not Justify Search State v. Samuell
6. ALJ can reduce suspension proposed by MVC   Bamfo v. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
7. Lawyer Had No Duty to Disclose Client's possible Indictable Offense  State v. Kane   
8.   Ken V now Certified Municipal Court Law Attorney
9 Next legal events
10. July 17  Summer Blast Happy Hour at Bar Anticipation
11. Free Office Space for New Attorney and go to Court & Mentor program- Edison, NJ available March 1
12. N.J. Municipal Court  Law Review SUBSCRIPTION INFO

Kenneth Vercammen is an Edison, Middlesex County, NJ trial attorney where he  handles Criminal, Municipal Court, Probate, Civil Litigation and Estate Administration matters. Ken is author of the American Bar Association's new book “Criminal Law Forms” and often lectures to trial lawyers of the American Bar Association, NJ State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association.  As the Past Chair of  the Municipal Court Section he has served on its board for 10 years. 
Awarded the Municipal Court Attorney of the Year by both the NJSBA and Middlesex County Bar Association, he also received the NJSBA- YLD Service to the Bar Award and the General Practitioner Attorney of the Year, now Solo Attorney of the Year.
Ken Vercammen is a highly regarded lecturer on both Municipal Court/ DWI and Estate/ Probate Law issues for the NJICLE- New Jersey State Bar Association, American Bar Association, and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published by NJ Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, YLD Dictum, GP Gazette and New Jersey Lawyer magazine.  He was a speaker at the 2013 ABA Annual meeting program “Handling the Criminal Misdemeanor and Traffic Case” and serves as is the Editor in Chief of the NJ Municipal Court Law Review.
            For nine years he served as the Cranbury Township Prosecutor and also was a Special Acting Prosecutor in nine different towns. Ken has successfully handled over one thousand Municipal Court and Superior Court matters in the past 27 years.
His private practice has devoted a substantial portion of professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. Appearing in Courts throughout New Jersey several times each week on Criminal and Municipal Court trials, civil and contested Probate hearings.  Ken also serves as the Editor of the popular legal website and related blogs. In Law School he was a member of the Law Review, winner of the ATLA trial competition and top ten in class.
            Throughout his career he has served the NJSBA in many leadership and volunteer positions. Ken has testified for the NJSBA before the Senate Judiciary Committee to support changes in the DWI law to permit restricted use driver license and interlock legislation. Ken also testified before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in favor of the first-time criminal offender “Conditional Dismissal” legislation which permits dismissal of some criminal charges. He is the voice of the Solo and Small firm attorneys who juggle active court practice with bar and community activities. Recently, the ABA Solo Division has selected Ken to write its new book on “Marketing for the New and Small Firm Attorney”. In his private life he has been a member of the NJ State champion Raritan Valley Road Runners master’s team and is a 4th degree black belt. 

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500

Saturday, March 28, 2015


A-5783-12T4 In this appeal of a contempt conviction, the court considered whether defendant violated the "no contact or communication" provision of an amended domestic violence final restraining order by sitting near and briefly filming the victim at their child's soccer game. Although the court held that such conduct falls within the restraining order's prohibition on "communication," the court concluded that defendant could not have fairly anticipated this interpretation; therefore, in applying the doctrine of lenity, the court reversed defendant's conviction. 


State of New Jersey v. Michael Sumulikoski

State of New Jersey v. Michael Sumulikoski 
State of New Jersey v. Artur Sopel (A-3/4-13; 072957) 

Under existing statutory law, a basis for territorial jurisdiction is established when “conduct” that is an element of an offense occurs in New Jersey. In this case, there is no basis for territorial jurisdiction in New Jersey because the elements of the charged crimes that related to defendants’ conduct occurred entirely overseas. 3-18-15 

State v. Pomianek, A-32/33-13

 State v.   Pomianek,    A-32/33-13

Subsection (a)(3) of the bias-intimidation statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:16-1, fails to give adequate notice of conduct that it proscribes, is unconstitutionally vague, and violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Violation of Probation

More info at
Filing a VOP Upon Continued Non-Compliance
2C:45-4. Notice and hearing on revocation or modification of conditions of suspension or probation The court shall not revoke a suspension of sentence or probation or delete, add or modify conditions of probation except after a hearing upon written notice to the defendant of the grounds on which such action is proposed. The defendant shall have the right to hear and controvert the evidence against him, to offer evidence in his defense, and to be represented by counsel.
If the probationer fails to comply with the terms of the sentence or the standard or special conditions of probation despite the probation officer’s efforts to secure compliance through progressive intervention strategies, the matter must be placed before the court for judicial determination. A violation of probation (VOP) is the vehicle by which the probation officer brings the probationer before the court for non-compliance. The commencement of a VOP puts both the court and the probationer on notice that the probationer is on track for revocation. In the VOP Statement of Charges and the VOP Summary the probation officer documents the probationer’s response to supervision, describing the probationer’s overall adjustment, documenting those conditions which the probationer is alleged to have violated and new arrests if they have occurred. Prosecutors are responsible for the prosecution of defendants charged with violating terms of their probation. The probation officer serves as a witness presenting documentation of the violation(s), describing efforts made to assist the probationer in complying with the terms and conditions of probation, and making recommendations regarding revocation and resentence.

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817
(Phone) 732-572-0500
(Fax) 732-572-0030

Defense to criminal charges committed while someone intoxicated

More info at
26:2B-7 Public policy under ATRA    It is the policy of the State of New Jersey that alcoholics and intoxicated  persons may not be subjected to criminal prosecution because of their  consumption of alcoholic beverages, but rather should be afforded a continuum  of treatment in order that they may lead normal lives as productive members of  society.
Consequences of a Criminal conviction
1 You will have a criminal record
2 You may go to Jail or Prison.
3. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.
4. When you are on Probation or Parole, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.
5. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3
6. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years.
7 You could be put on Probation for up to five years.
8.. You may be required to do Community Service.
9 You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-10 You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.
11. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty and may be barred from any future city, state, federal or school employment
12. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be removed/deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.
13. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s) in front of a crowded room of people and the records are open to the public.

       The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal, drug offenses, and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. Our office helps people with traffic/ municipal court tickets including drivers charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal and Driving While Suspended.

Kenneth Vercammen was the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year and past president of the Middlesex County Municipal Prosecutors Association.

Criminal and Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court or receive points on your drivers license. An accumulation of too many points, or certain moving violations may require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. DMV [Division of Motor Vehicles] or have your license suspended. Don't give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal motor vehicle violations.When your job or drivers license is in jeopardy or you are facing thousands of dollars in fines, DMV surcharges and car insurance increases, you need excellent legal representation. The least expensive attorney is not always the answer. Schedule an appointment if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter.

Our website provides information on traffic offenses we can be retained to represent people. Our website also provides details on jail terms for traffic violations and car insurance eligibility points. Car insurance companies increase rates or drop customers based on moving violations.
Contact the Law Office of
Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C.
at 732-572-0500
for an appointment.

2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison, NJ 08817