On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County.
Approved for Publication September 24, 1996. As Corrected October 10, 1996.
Before Judges Kleiner and Braithwaite. The opinion of the court was delivered by Braithwaite, J.A.D.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Braithwaite
The opinion of the court was delivered by BRAITHWAITE, J.A.D.
Defendants appeal from their convictions of defiant trespass, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3b. Defendants were convicted in the Atlantic City Municipal Court. On de novo review in the Law Division, defendants' convictions were affirmed. Each was sentenced to a probationary term of one year and assessed a fine of $250, along with the appropriate V.C.C.B. penalty and Assessment for Safe Neighborhood Services. We affirm.
The State's proofs established that both defendants engaged in disruptive behavior while playing blackjack at the Showboat Casino Hotel on several occasions between November 29, 1992 and May 1, 1993. The disruptive behavior included using loud and abusive language directed at casino personnel, interfering with access to the blackjack tables by other patrons, and making derogatory comments to patrons about the bets they placed.
Following an incident on May 1, 1993, a casino official advised both defendants that they would no longer be welcomed to play blackjack. Defendants, however, were not barred from the casino. They were welcomed to come into the casino and participate in other games and activities.
On May 2, 1993, defendants returned to the blackjack table and demanded to play. They sat at the table for a period of forty minutes after being asked to leave and refusing to do so. Thereafter, defendants were charged with defiant trespass.
On this appeal defendants contend:
I. THE DEFENDANTS WERE NEVER GIVEN ACTUAL COMMUNICATION AGAINST TRESPASS AS REQUIRED BY N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(b)(1) .
II. THE CONVICTIONS VIOLATE THE HOLDING OF STATE v. MORSE, 276 N.J. SUPER. 179 (LAW DIV. 1994) *fn1, INTERPRETING N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(b)(1) [SIC].
III. THE CONVICTIONS VIOLATE THE HOLDING OF STATE v. STORM, 141 N.J. 245, 661 A.2d 790 (1995) WHICH STRICTLY LIMITS THE APPEARANCES OF PRIVATE PROSECUTORS IN THIS STATE.
IV. THE CONVICTIONS VIOLATE THE HOLDING OF STATE v. STORM, 141 N.J. 245, 661 A.2d 790 (1995) BECAUSE THE PROSECUTOR ENGAGED IN EXACTLY THE KIND OF QUESTIONABLE BEHAVIOR THE COURT FEARED INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, HAVING A GROUP "PREP" SESSION WITH THE ...