June 2, 2008
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
ALBERT J. FIELDS, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Salem County, MCA 02-07.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted May 5, 2008
Before Judges Collester and C.S. Fisher.
Defendant was convicted of tailgating, contrary to N.J.S.A. 39:4-89 in the Penns Grove Municipal Court. On appeal de novo to the Law Division, Judge William L. Forester also determined defendant guilty of the motor vehicle violation. Defendant's motion for reconsideration was denied. On appeal he makes the following legal arguments:
POINT I -- THE TRIAL COURT'S MISCONCEPTION OF THE DE MINIMIS STATUTE, N.J.S.A. 2C:2-11, RESULTED IN A MANIFEST DENIAL OF JUSTICE AND AN ABUSE OF DISCRETION.
POINT II -- AS A HEARING DE NOVO IT WAS IMPROPER FOR THE COURT TO EXERCISE APPELLATE JURISDICTION.
A motion to dismiss an offense as de minimis is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:2-11, which requires the application to be made to the assignment judge prior to the proceeding. Here the defendant did not pursue the issue with the assignment judge in a timely fashion and raised it for the first time in the Law Division after the municipal trial. Defendant's remaining argument is without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(2).
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