Bail Reform: Motion Papers

by | Feb 11, 2017 | Blog, Criminal Law, Law Reform and Amendments

Fred Sisto Brick Lawyer“If a prosecutor files a motion for pretrial detention pursuant to this Directive and the court denies the motion and releases the defendant, the prosecutor shall notify the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice to consider appropriate remedies, including but not limited to an appeal. Notification shall be made in the form and manner as prescribed by the Director. See also Section 15 (ongoing study and evaluation of Bail Reform Law’s effectiveness and impact).

In the event that the defendant thereafter is charged with a new crime while on release or flees and the prosecutor seeks revocation of release pursuant to Section 8 or initial pretrial detention on the new charge pursuant to Section 7, the prosecutor shall provide a copy of the motions papers to the court that had denied the pretrial detention motion even if that court is not the court that will decide the revocation of release or new pretrial detention motion.

N.J.S.A. 2A:162-24 authorizes a court on motion of a prosecutor to revoke a defendant’s release and order the defendant detained pending trial when the defendant has been released from custody on a complaint-warrant pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:162-17 or -22, and the defendant while on release violated a restraining order or condition of release, or upon a finding of probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a new crime while on release. To order revocation of release, the court must find clear and convincing evidence that no condition of release would reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance in court when required, the protection of the safety of any other person or the community, or that the defendant will not obstruct or attempt to obstruct the criminal justice process.”

The requirement that the motion papers be provided to the original court under these circumstances is strange. One would expect this to be the case if the new motion for pretrial detention regarding the new charge were to be heard in a different county. That would presumably enable coordination by each county’s pretrial services programs. As written though, the only imaginable purpose appears to be to send a message to the original court that they should have granted pretrial detention when it was originally requested.