2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 23 - FISH AND GAME, WILD BIRDS AND ANIMALS
Section 23:2A-10 - Violations; penalties; enforcement.


NJ Rev Stat § 23:2A-10 (2013) What's This?

23:2A-10 Violations; penalties; enforcement.

10. a. Whenever, on the basis of available information, the commissioner finds that a person is in violation of the provisions of P.L.1973, c.309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, the commissioner may:

(1)Issue an order in accordance with subsection b. of this section requiring the person to comply;

(2)Bring a civil action in accordance with subsection c. of this section;

(3)Levy a civil administrative penalty in accordance with subsection d. of this section;

(4)Bring an action for a civil penalty in accordance with subsection e. of this section; or

(5)Petition the Attorney General to bring a criminal action in accordance with subsection f. of this section.

The exercise of any of the remedies provided in this section shall not preclude recourse to any other remedy so provided.

b.Whenever, on the basis of available information, the commissioner finds that a person is in violation of any provision of P.L.1973, c.309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, the commissioner may issue an order: (1) specifying the provision or provisions of P.L.1973, c.309, or the rule or regulation, or order or permit issued pursuant thereto, of which the person is in violation; (2) citing the action that constituted the violation; (3) requiring compliance with the provision of P.L.1973, c.309, the rule or regulation, or order or permit issued pursuant thereto, of which the person is in violation; (4) requiring the restoration to address any adverse effects resulting from the violation; and (5) giving notice to the person of a right to a hearing on the matters contained in the order.

c.The commissioner is hereby authorized and empowered to commence a civil action in Superior Court for appropriate relief from a violation of the provisions of P.L.1973, c.309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or any permit or order issued pursuant thereto. This relief may include, singly or in combination:

(1)A temporary or permanent injunction;

(2)Recovery of reasonable costs of any investigation, inspection, sampling or monitoring survey that led to the discovery of the violation, and for the reasonable costs of preparing and bringing a civil action commenced under this subsection;

(3)Recovery of reasonable costs incurred by the State in removing, correcting, or terminating the adverse effects resulting from any violation of P.L.1973, c.309 for which a civil action has been commenced and brought under this subsection;

(4)Recovery of compensatory damages for any loss or destruction of natural resources, including but not limited to, wildlife, fish, aquatic life, habitat, plants, or historic or archeological resources, and for any other actual damages caused by any violation for which a civil action has been commenced and brought under this subsection. Assessments under this subsection shall be paid to the "Endangered and Nongame Species of Wildlife Conservation Fund," established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1981, c.170 (C.54A:9-25.2), except that compensatory damages to privately held resources shall be paid by specific order of the court to any persons who have been aggrieved by the unauthorized regulated activity;

(5)An order requiring the violator restore the site of the violation to the maximum extent practicable and feasible or, in the event that restoration of the site of the violation is not practicable or feasible, provide for off-site restoration alternatives as approved by the department.

d.The commissioner is authorized to assess a civil administrative penalty of not more than $25,000 for each violation of the provisions of P.L.1973, c.309, and each day during which each violation continues shall constitute an additional, separate, and distinct offense. Any amount assessed under this subsection shall fall within a range established by regulation by the commissioner for violations of similar type, seriousness, duration, and conduct; provided, however, that prior to the adoption of the regulation, the commissioner may, on a case-by-case basis, assess civil administrative penalties up to a maximum of $25,000 per day for each violation, utilizing the criteria set forth herein. In addition to any administrative penalty to be assessed under this subsection, and notwithstanding the $25,000 maximum penalty set forth above, the commissioner may assess any economic benefits from the violation gained by the violator. Prior to assessment of a penalty under this subsection, the property owner or person committing the violation shall be notified by certified mail or personal service that the penalty is being assessed. The notice shall include a reference to the section of the statute, regulation, or order or permit condition violated; recite the facts alleged to constitute a violation; state the basis for the amount of the civil penalties to be assessed; and affirm the rights of the alleged violator to a hearing. The ordered party shall have 35 calendar days from receipt of the notice within which to deliver to the commissioner a written request for a hearing. After the hearing and upon finding that a violation has occurred, the commissioner may issue a final order after assessing the amount of the fine specified in the notice. If no hearing is requested, the notice shall become a final order after the expiration of the 35-day period. Payment of the assessment is due when a final order is issued or the notice becomes a final order. The authority to levy an administrative order is in addition to all other enforcement provisions in P.L.1973, c.309, and the payment of any assessment shall not be deemed to affect the availability of any other enforcement provisions in connection with the violation for which the assessment is levied. The department may compromise any civil administrative penalty assessed under this section in an amount and with conditions the department determines appropriate. A civil administrative penalty assessed, including a portion thereof required to be paid pursuant to a payment schedule approved by the department, which is not paid within 90 days of the date that payment of the penalty is due, shall be subject to an interest charge on the amount of the penalty, or portion thereof, which shall accrue as of the date payment is due. If the penalty is contested, no additional interest charge shall accrue on the amount of the penalty until after the date on which a final order is issued. Interest charges assessed and collectible pursuant to this subsection shall be based on the rate of interest on judgments provided in the New Jersey Rules of Court.

e.Any person who violates any provision of P.L.1973, c.309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, or an order issued pursuant to subsection b. of this section, or a court order issued pursuant to subsection c. of this section, or who fails to pay in full a civil administrative penalty levied pursuant to subsection d. of this section, or who fails to make a payment pursuant to a penalty payment schedule entered into with the department, or who knowingly makes any false or misleading statement on any application, record, report, or other document required to be submitted to the department, shall be subject, upon order of a court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000 for each day during which the violation continues. Any civil penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection may be collected with costs in a summary proceeding pursuant to the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999," P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.). In addition to any penalties, costs or interest charges, the court may assess against the violator the amount of economic benefit accruing to the violator from the violation. The Superior Court and municipal courts shall have jurisdiction to enforce the "Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999."

f.A person who purposely, knowingly or recklessly violates any provision of P.L.1973, c.309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a crime of the third degree and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $50,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment, or both. A person who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly makes a false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, or other document filed or required to be maintained under any provision of P.L.1973, c.309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, or who falsifies, tampers with or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly renders inaccurate, any monitoring device or method required to be maintained pursuant to P.L.1973, c.309, or any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a crime of the third degree and shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, be subject to a fine of not more than $50,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment, or both.

g.All penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the "Endangered and Nongame Species of Wildlife Conservation Fund," established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1981, c.170 (C.54A:9-25.2), and kept separate from other receipts deposited therein, and appropriated to the department for the purposes outlined in that fund.

h.Each applicant or permittee, upon the request of the department, shall provide any information the department or the commissioner requires to determine compliance with any provision of P.L.1973, c.309, or of any rule or regulation adopted, or permit or order issued pursuant thereto.

L.1973, c.309, s.10; amended 1979, c.385, s.1; 1991, c.91, s.278; 1995, c.411; 2007, c.246, s.7.


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