Two Accelerated Appeals, and Two Others, for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted certification in four new cases. In two of them, the Court set accelerated schedules.

The first of those, which involves five consolidated cases, is In re Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive Nos. 2020-5 and 2020-6. The question presented there, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s office, is “Among other challenges to the adoption of these directives, does the Attorney General have the authority to require of the names of police officers assessed ‘major discipline’?” In a published decision (which has not yet been assigned an N.J. Super. citation), discussed here, a three-judge panel of the Appellate Division upheld the Attorney General’s authority to issue the Directives. Under the peremptory schedule, motions for leave to participate as amicus curiae must be filed and served, with a copy of the proposed amicus brief, by December 15.

The other accelerated appeal is State v. Chavies. That case presents this question: “Did defendant satisfy the medical predicates for relief under Rule 3:21-10(b)(2), and is defendant barred from relief under Rule 3:21-10(b)(2) while serving a mandatory period of parole ineligibility?” The Law Division denied defendant’s application for release or for a judicial furlough, and a two-judge Appellate Division panel, in an unpublished per curiam opinion, affirmed on the basis of the Law Division’s opinion. The deadline for amicus submissions under the peremptory schedule entered in this case is December 21.

In re Registrant J.D.-F. presents a pure legal issue of statutory interpretation: “Does N.J.S.A. 2C:7-2(g) apply to a defendant who committed an offense before the statute’s enactment but was sentenced afterward?” In an unpublished per curiam opinion, a two-judge panel of the Appellate Division affirmed the ruling of the Law Division against defendant’s position, substantially for the reasons given by the Law Division.

The final new appeal is Rios v. Meda Pharmaceutical, Inc., an employment case. The question presented there is “In this action in which plaintiff asserted that his supervisor’s use of racial slurs on two occasions created a hostile work environment in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, were there material issues of fact that precluded the grant of summary judgment to defendants?” The Appellate Division, in an unpublished opinion by a three-judge panel, found no such issues and affirmed the grant of summary judgment.