Two More Accelerated Criminal Appeals for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced two new grants of review. Both are criminal cases, and the Court accelerated the proceedings in both appeals. Each of them will be set down for oral argument on November 28 or 29. In both cases, any motion for leave to paticipate as amicus must be filed (along with the proposed amicus brief) by noon on October 12, and any response to such a motion (including the proposed responding brief) is due by noon on November 2.

In the first case, State v. Mercedes, the question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Did the trial court commit reversible error in denying the State’s application for pretrial detention?” After the Law Division rendered that ruking, the State sought and was granted leave to appeal to the Appellate Division. That court affirmed the Law Division in an unpublished order.

The second case is State v. Travis. The question presented is “Does a policy of the Pretrial Services Program that authorizes a recommendation of ‘release not recommended’ for certain offenses, impermissibly expand the categories of ‘presumptive detention’ offenses enumerated in the Criminal Justice Reform Act, particularly in light of Rule 3:4A(b)(5), which provides that a ‘court may consider as prima facie evidence sufficient to overcome the presumption of release a recommendation by the Pretrial Services Program’ not to release defendant pretrial?”

In Travis, the Law Division denied defendant release based on the Pretrial Services Program’s recommendation. The Appellate Division affirmed. Now the Supreme Court will review the matter.

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