The Appellate Division continued in relevant part: The situation here is obviously different in two respects. First, because the prosecutor may exercise post-conviction discretion under Section 12 to modify the statutory minimum term of a Chapter 35 offense, the period of parole ineligibility is no longer “mandatory” in the truest sense. See State v. Shaw (1993) (“Because the prosecutor can thus waive the parole disqualifier, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7’s sentencing is not mandatory ‘at least in the typical or conventional use of mandatory sentencing.'” In the context of a VOP, N.J.S.A. 2C:35-7’s parole disqualifier is a conditional, not a mandatory, sentence. Once the prosecutor waives the parole disqualifier at the original sentencing, and that sentence has been served, it is no longer mandatory in future proceedings.”) Second, and decidedly more importantly, subsection (b)(3) requires the State’s participation in the application for modification of the sentence.
The more difficult issue is whether a particular joint motion establishes “good cause,” a term left undefined by the Rule, for sentence modification. See Pressler & Verniero, Current N.J. Court Rules, cmt. 2.3 on R. 3:21-10 (2022) (noting the “provision does not undertake to either define or to illustrate ‘good cause’ in this context,” but suggesting an appropriate situation may be a defendant’s cooperation with law enforcement after the time limit in Rule 3:21-10(a), sixty days after conviction, expired) (citing Report of the Committee on Criminal Practice, 98 N.J.L.J. Index Pg. 344 (1975)).
We have construed the phrase “good cause” on several occasions, utilizing similar standards. See, e.g., Ghandi v. Cespedes, (App. Div. 2007) (explaining that “‘good cause’ is an amorphous term, that is, it ‘is difficult of precise delineation. Its application requires the exercise of sound discretion in light of the facts and circumstances of the particular case considered in the context of the purposes of the Court Rule being applied.'”) In Estate of Lagano v. Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office (App. Div. 2018) we applied similar reasoning in deciding whether there was good cause under a statute, section 17(c) of the Wiretap Act, to disclose the contents of intercepted communications. We noted that “a trial court’s determination of ‘good cause’ involves weighing the need for disclosure against the harm disclosure is likely to cause.”
The Lagano case was brought by the survivors of the aggrieved party. The aggrieved was likely an innocent party who was monitored while speaking with a target during a wiretap investigation. Surviving family would then bring the lawsuit on the decedent’s behalf after his or her death.