The Supreme Court Takes Three More Cases

The Supreme Court announced today that it has granted review in three new cases. One of them is before the Court on leave to appeal, while the other two involve grants of certification

The leave to appeal case is State v. Andrews. The question presented there, as formulated by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is ” Can a criminal defendant be compelled to disclose the passcode to his or her cellular phone?” Both the Law Division and the Appellate Division ruled against defendant. The Appellate Division’s decision, by a three-judge panel, was reported at 457 N.J. Super. 14 (App. Div. 2018).

Kornbleuth v. Westover presents the following question for the Court: “Must plaintiffs prove diminution of the value of their property to recover damages for an alleged trespass that resulted in the destruction of foliage on the property?” In an unpublished decision, a two-judge Appellate Division panel ruled that plaintiffs were required to demonstrate damage based on diminution of value, rather than the cost to restore their property to its prior condition, and that plaintiffs had not offered such proofs. That ruling affirmed a Law Division decision that dismissed plaintiffs’ claims.

Finally, in In re Matter of Registrant H.D., which involves two consolidated cases, the Supreme Court granted certification to review a published opinion of a three-judge Appellate Division. That opinion was reported at 457 N.J .Super. 205 (App. Div. 2018). The question presented in that appeal is ” Does N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(f) prohibit the termination of Megan’s Law registration obligations for registrants who commit an offense during the fifteen-year period following their conviction or release from a correctional facility for the triggering Megan’s Law offense?” Reversing the Law Division in both cases, the Appellate Division ruled in favor of the Megan’s Law defendants. This case will undoubtedly be closely watched as it proceeds to the Supreme Court.