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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


     Defendant pled guilty to the domestic violence offense of simple assault and was placed on probation conditioned upon forfeiting his firearms identification card.  Relying on State v. Nunez-Valdez, 200 N.J. 129 (2009), defendant filed a post conviction relief petition, arguing he received ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorney incorrectly informed him that he could regain his firearms identification card after completing the term of probation. 
     Guided by Rule 3:22-5, the PCR court denied defendant's petition without conducting an evidentiary hearing, concluding that it was bound by our earlier opinion affirming defendant's conviction on direct appeal.  Applying the standard articulated by the Court in Nunez-Valdez, we reversed and remanded for the PCR court to conduct an evidentiary hearing. Because N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3(c) rendered defendant permanently ineligible to obtain a firearms identification card, defendant has shown that his trial counsel's performance fell below the standard expected of an attorney licensed to practice law in this State.  Under these circumstances, the PCR court must determine whether there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's errors, defendant would not have pled guilty and would have insisted on going to trial.  02-01-12  

STATE VS. ELLEN HEIN A-5858-09T2/A-1720-10T4

STATE VS. ELLEN HEIN           A-5858-09T2/A-1720-10T4 
     In these consolidated appeals we reverse the Law Division's finding that defendant was guilty of violating a municipal ordinance requiring an inspection of her property.  We do so on the basis of evolved Fourth Amendment jurisprudence viewed under the lens of our State constitution and reach the conclusion that the ordinance, as applied to defendant, is unconstitutional.  We affirm the Law Division's separate finding the defendant was guilty of violating three local provisions of a property maintenance code.  01-31-12  

State v. Kevin Jerome Hudson (066660; A-64-10)

 State v. Kevin Jerome Hudson (066660; A-64-10)           [This is a companion case to State v. Sally A.           McDonald, also decided today.] 
          In this case in which an indictment was severed,           resulting in two trials and two sentencing           proceedings, and the first sentencing court imposed an           extended-term prison sentence, it was error for the           second court also to impose an extend-term sentence.           The time and sequence of the offenses and sentencings           brought the defendant squarely under N.J.S.A. 2C:44-           5(b)(1)’s proscription against multiple extended-term           sentences. 2-6-12   

State v. Sally A. McDonald (066773; A-56-10)

State v. Sally A. McDonald (066773; A-56-10)           [This is a companion case to State v. Kevin Jerome           Hudson, also decided today.] 
          For the reasons expressed in State v. Hudson, also           decided today, the majority of the Court adheres to a           plain-meaning reading of the language of N.J.S.A.           2C:44-5(b)(1), and finds that the sentencing court           erred by imposing an extended-term sentence on           defendant Sally A. McDonald for an offense that she           pled guilty to second in time but that was committed           earlier than the imposition of the extended-term           sentence that she presently is serving. 2-6-12    

State v. Danny Lazo (066199; A-14-10)

State v. Danny Lazo (066199; A-14-10) 
          The officer’s testimony about the photo array had no           independent relevance, merely served to bolster the           victim’s account, and should not have been admitted at           trial in light of the principles outlined in State v.           Branch, 182 N.J. 338 (2005).  2-1-12