A Bail Reform Act Case, A “John Doe” Civil Case, and More Criminal Appeals Are Added to the Supreme Court’s Docket

The Supreme Court announced today that it has granted review in three cases.  The first arises under the new Bail Reform Act.  The question presented there, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “At a pretrial detention hearing pursuant to New Jersey’s Bail Reform Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:162- 15 to -126, may the State establish probable cause by proffer, rather than producing live testimony from a witness with first-hand knowledge of the offense?”  The Court accelerated the appeal and limited amicus briefs and responses to 20 pages.

The second case that the Court will review is an appeal from a published opinion of the Appellate Division in Krzykalski v. Tindall, 448 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 2016).  That opinion was discussed here.  The question presented is “In this action alleging that defendant Tindall and a fictitious defendant (John Doe) negligently caused an accident that injured plaintiff, did the trial court err in allowing the jury to apportion liability between defendant and the fictitious defendant?”

Finally, the Court agreed to hear an appeal in State v. Dorn.  There, the question presented is “Did the trial court err in admitting into evidence a map identifying areas within 500 feet of public parks and buildings; and was defendant’s right to a grand jury indictment violated when the trial court permitted the prosecutor to amend the indictment to expose defendant to greater criminal liability?”  The Appellate Division rejected defendant’s arguments and affirmed his conviction on six controlled dangerous substance offenses.

Several days ago, the Court announced that it had granted review in two other criminal cases.  In State v. Jones, the Court will take up the following question: “Was defendant denied his right to allocute and present mitigating information at sentencing, when the trial court denied defendant’s request to re-address the court after the prosecutor began her statement?”  And in State v. Pressley, the question presented is “Was the undercover officer’s identification of defendant impermissibly suggestive, such that defendant was entitled to a Wade hearing, where the officer identified defendant from a single photograph within one hour of the undercover transaction?”  In a per curiam opinion, the Appellate Division found defendant’s argument unavailing and upheld his conviction on multiple drug charges.