[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Village of Ridgefield Park as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Salaries and compensation — See Ch. 91.
Article I Establishment
Article II Municipal Public Defender
[Adopted 4-25-1972 (Ch. 21, Art. I, of the 1985 Code)]
There is hereby established a municipal court for the Village pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 12 of Title 2B of the Revised Statutes of New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 2B:12-1 et seq.).
The name of the municipal court shall be the "Municipal Court of the Village of Ridgefield Park." The Municipal Court shall have a seal, which shall bear the impress of the name of the Court.
The Municipal Court shall have a Judge, who shall be known as the "Judge of the Municipal Court."
The Judge of the Municipal Court shall be appointed by the Board of Commissioners and shall serve for a term of three years from the date of his appointment and until his successor is appointed and qualified.
The Judge of the Municipal Court shall have the qualifications and be subject to the restrictions set forth in N.J.S.A. 2B:12-7.
The Judge of the Municipal Court shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath in the form and manner required by the laws of the state.
The Judge of the Municipal Court shall receive an annual salary to be fixed by the Board of Commissioners in the manner provided by law.
The Municipal Court and the Judge thereof shall have, possess and exercise all of the functions, powers, duties and jurisdiction conferred by N.J.S.A. 2B:12-1 et seq., or that may be conferred by other laws of the state.
Practice and procedure in the Municipal Court shall be in the form and manner prescribed by the laws of the state and shall be subject to such rules as the Supreme Court shall promulgate and make applicable to municipal courts.
The Board of Commissioners shall provide for the necessary accommodations and supplies for the Municipal Court.
The Board of Commissioners may, by ordinance or resolution, provide for an Administrator and other necessary clerical personnel and other assistants for the Municipal Court and provide for their compensation. The Board of Commissioners may, by ordinance or resolution, designate any officer or employee of the Village to serve as Administrator of the Municipal Court, with or without additional compensation.
[Adopted 3-24-1998 by Ord. No. 98-3 (Ch. 21, Art. II, of the 1985 Code)]
There is hereby created the position of Public Defender, whose term shall be for one year and shall run from January 1 to December 31 of each year. The Public Defender so appointed shall be an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey in good standing. His or her appointment shall be by the Commissioner in charge of the Court and Violations Bureau in accordance with the rules and statutes governing the appointment of public defenders.
The salary of the Public Defender or the compensation which he receives for this position shall be paid by way of voucher or, if the Village so chooses, through an annual amount set forth in the Village Salary Ordinance for all employees.
The Public Defender may represent private clients in the municipality wherein he/she shall act as public defender, subject to Rules of Court Governing the Conduct of Lawyers, Judges and Court Personnel.
A defendant who applies for representation by the Municipal Public Defender shall pay an application fee of up to $200; however, the application fee may be waived, in whole or in part, if the Court determines upon a clear and convincing showing by the applicant that the application fee represents an unreasonable burden upon that person. The funds that are collected pursuant to this section of this article shall be deposited in a dedicated fund by the Chief Financial Officer of the municipality to be used exclusively to meet the costs incurred in providing services of the Municipal Public Defender, including expert and lay investigation and testimony. In the event that the dedicated funds exceed more than 25% of the amount which the municipality has expended funding the prior year to provide the services of the Public Defender, the amount in excess shall be forwarded to the Criminal Disposition and Review Collection Fund administered for victims by the Crime Compensation Board.
The municipality shall have a lien on any and all property which the defendant has or acquires an interest in for the amount equal to the reasonable value of the services rendered to a defendant pursuant to this article and based upon the same rate for such services as charged by the office of the Public Defender.
In order to effectuate a lien, the Municipal Attorney shall file a notice setting forth the services rendered to the defendant and the reasonable value thereof with the Clerk of the Superior Court. The filing of the notice with the Clerk of the Superior Court shall constitute a lien on all property for a period of 10 years from the date of filing unless discharged sooner and shall have the full force and effect of the judgment. Within 10 days of the filing of the notice, the Municipal Attorney shall send by certified mail or serve personally a copy of the notice with a statement of the filing to or upon the defendant at the defendant's last known address. If the Municipal Attorney fails to give this notice, the lien is void.
The Municipal Attorney is authorized to compromise and settle the claim for any services performed pursuant to this act whenever the financial circumstances of the person receiving the services are such that, in the judgment of the Municipal Attorney, the best interest of the state would be served by compromising settlement and subject to the approval of the Board of Commissioners. The Municipal Attorney shall, in the name of the Village of Ridgefield Park, do all things necessary to collect any moneys due the Village of Ridgefield Park by way of reimbursement for services rendered by a Municipal Public Defender. The Municipal Attorney may enter into arrangements with any state or county agency to handle collections on a cost basis. The Municipal Attorney shall have all remedies and proceedings available for collection which are available for or upon the judgment of civil action and shall also be permitted to collect counsel fees and costs from the defendant for such collection and action so that those costs or fees are not borne by the Village of Ridgefield Park.