[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Blairstown 11-9-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-19. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 17, Joint Municipal Court, adopted 3-14-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-03.
Creation of Court. There has been created a Joint Municipal Court consisting of the following members: the Township of Blairstown, the Township of Liberty and the Township of Hope, all located in Warren County. The Court was created by the Interlocal Services Agreement dated January 1, 2009, between the aforesaid municipalities and is subject to the terms thereof.
Name of Court. The name of the Joint Municipal Court shall be the "Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope."
Effective date. The effective date for the creation of the Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope shall remain January 1, 2009.
Jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the Municipal Court shall be coextensive with the territory of the Township of Blairstown, the Township of Liberty and the Township of Hope.
There shall be a Municipal Judge appointed as provided by law in the case of a joint municipal court. The Municipal Judge shall serve for a term of three years from the date of appointment and until a successor shall be appointed and qualified.
The Municipal Judge shall have and possess the qualifications and shall have, possess and exercise all the functions, duties, powers and jurisdiction conferred by law or ordinance. He/She shall be an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey. Whenever the Municipal Judge is unable to sit as such, he/she may designate any other judge of any municipal court to sit for him/her temporarily and hold the Municipal Court. Any such designation shall be in writing and filed with the Court, and any person so designated, while sitting temporarily, shall possess all of the powers of the Municipal Judge.
The Municipal Judge shall faithfully carry out all of the duties and responsibilities of a Municipal Judge and shall abide by all rules and regulations established for municipal court judges by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
The Municipal Court Judge shall have full management authority of Court operations, excluding the hiring and termination of all Court personnel.
Municipal Prosecutor. There shall be a Municipal Prosecutor of the Municipal Court who shall prosecute cases in the Municipal Court, except each member, at its discretion, may appoint its own prosecutor for municipal or Board of Health ordinance violation cases at the sole cost of that member. The Municipal Prosecutor shall be appointed for a one-year term by the Township of Hope. The compensation of the Municipal Prosecutor shall be determined by the Township of Hope.
Municipal Court Administrator. There shall be an Administrator of the Municipal Court who shall perform the functions and duties prescribed for the Administrator by law, by the rules applicable to Municipal Courts and by the Municipal Judge. The Administrator shall be appointed by the Township of Hope for a term of one year, subject, however, to the tenure provisions as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:8-13.3 and considered an employee of the Township of Hope. The compensation of the Administrator shall be determined by the Township of Hope. The Administrator's duties shall include, but not be limited to:
Carrying out the rules, regulations, policies and procedures relating to the operation of the Court.
Interviewing and speaking to persons wishing to file criminal or quasi-criminal complaints or wishing information in this regard; receiving complaints and dispensing information relating to Court matters.
Maintaining the financial records of the Court, including receiving and accounting for fines and costs.
Attending Court; recording pleas, judgments and dispositions; arranging trial calendars; signing Court documents; preparing and issuing warrants and commitments and other Court-related documents.
Maintaining and classifying records and files of the Court.
Maintaining, forwarding, receiving and reporting such records, reports and files as required by the appropriate agencies.
Carrying out such additional duties as may be required in order to fulfill the duties of Court Administrator.
Public Defender. There shall be a Municipal Public Defender who shall represent those defendants assigned by the Municipal Court Judge. The Municipal Public Defender shall be appointed for a one-year term by the Township of Hope. The compensation of the Public Defender shall be determined by the Township of Hope.
Deputy Municipal Court Administrator. There may be one or more Deputy Administrators of the Municipal Court who shall be appointed by the Township of Hope, provided that funds are provided for such purpose in the Municipal Court budget. Deputy Municipal Court Administrators shall perform the functions assigned to them by the Municipal Judge and the Municipal Court Administrator.
Necessary clerical and other assistance. There may be appointed such other necessary clerical and other assistance for the Municipal Court as is necessary for the efficient operation of the Municipal Court. The Township of Hope shall appoint such clerical and other assistance.
Auditor. The Auditor for the Township of Hope shall act as the Auditor for the Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope. The auditor shall perform a yearly audit of the Municipal Court, which audit shall be prepared generally in accordance with the requirements of the Local Fiscal Affairs Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:5-1 et seq. A copy of the complete audit shall be supplied to each participating municipality by September 1 of each year.
Withdrawal by member. Any member of the Municipal Court may withdraw at the end of the next calendar year; provided, however, that on or before July 1 the member has given the Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope and each member thereof six months' written notice of its intention to withdraw. The withdrawing member shall remain responsible for its share (based upon the formula established in the Interlocal Services Agreement) of all court expenses through the date of the withdrawing member's actual physical departure from the joint court's facility.
Inclusion of members. The members of the Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope may be expanded by the admission of new members. The admission of new members will take place after the Municipal Judge and Municipal Court Administrator interview the municipality seeking admission and present to the then existing members of the Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope their recommendations, along with an audit of the three most recent years of the applying municipality's existing court expenses and revenues and any other information they feel relevant to the admission application. Admission shall be granted upon an affirmative vote of the majority of the then existing members of the Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope. (By way of example: If there are three members of the Municipal Court, two must vote in favor of the admission.) The municipality granted admission to the Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope must adopt a resolution accepting membership and authorizing the execution of the Interlocal Services Agreement. The Interlocal Services Agreement shall be amended as necessary to revise the formula for the allocation of the Court's budget between the members.
[Amended 7-14-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-03]
The Municipal Judge shall prepare or have prepared a budget for the Municipal Court which shall be submitted to the governing body of each member by November 1 of each year. The budget shall set forth, based upon the income and expenses for the prior twelve-month period ending September 30, an estimate of all expenses and revenues for the upcoming calendar year and shall be in a form that is consistent with municipal budgets. The Township of Hope shall establish the final budget for the Municipal Court of North Warren at Hope as part of its municipal budget preparation.
Insurance coverage and/or bonds shall be obtained that protect the Municipal Court and its personnel from claims against them arising out of workers' compensation, bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, or civil rights violations, defalcations by Court personnel and such other coverages as may be necessary. The coverage may be provided through policies issued to the members and/or through separate policies issued to the Municipal Court.
[Amended 7-14-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-03]
The legally permitted municipal share of all fines, assessments, costs or other charges collected by the Court (hereinafter "municipal income") shall be forwarded monthly to Hope Township and credited to the Court account and applied to the expenses of maintaining and operating the Court. The Court administration shall simultaneously submit a monthly summary of all income and disbursements to each municipality.
All other fines, assessments, Court costs and other charges shall be distributed as required by law.
To the extent that the annual expenses necessary to maintain and operate the Court are either greater than or less than the municipal income received, they shall be allocated among the municipalities pursuant to the following formula:
The percentage share of each municipality shall be the total of the fines divided by the amount of fines generated by that municipality. By way of illustration, if the total in fines was $100,000 and Hope generated $25,000 of such total, the share attributed to Hope would be 25%.
Each municipality shall pay monthly to Hope Township its estimated share of any anticipated deficit as established by the budget described in § 17-5.
On or about October 31 of each year, Hope Township shall submit to each municipality a final accounting for the prior fiscal/calendar year with any credit due to be applied to future contributions.
The governing bodies of the Township of Blairstown, the Township of Liberty and the Township of Hope are hereby authorized to enter into a contract with each other incorporating the provisions of this chapter pursuant to the Interlocal Services Act, N.J.S.A. 40:8A-1 et seq. In the event of any discrepancy between this chapter and said Interlocal Services Act, and any amendments thereto, the Act shall take precedence.
Editor's Note: N.J.S.A. 40:8A-1 et seq. was repealed by L. 2007, c. 63, § 35, effective 11-1-2007.