2016 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 51 - Standards, Weights, Measures And Containers
Section 51:1-29 - Commodity Package Labeling; Slack Filling

NJ Rev Stat § 51:1-29 (2016) What's This?

51:1-29. Commodity package labeling; slack filling
a. No person shall distribute, expose for sale, sell, or have in his possession with intent to distribute, expose for sale or sell any article or commodity in package form, unless the label bears statements:

(1) Specifying the identity of the commodity in common terms;

(2) Identifying the legal name and principal place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor. The statement shall include the street address, city, state and zip code, except that the street address may be omitted if it is shown in a current city directory or telephone directory. If a person manufactures, packs or distributes a commodity in package form at a place other than his principal place of business, the statement may contain the principal place of business address in lieu of the actual place where the commodity was manufactured, packed or is to be distributed, unless that statement would be misleading. Packages packed on the premises where sold shall not be required to comply with this paragraph; and

(3) Specifying the net quantity of the contents by weight, measure, count or volume, as prescribed by the State superintendent.

b. Reasonable variations, tolerances and exemptions from the requirements of subsection a. shall be permitted. The State superintendent shall by regulation fix the permitted variations, tolerances and exemptions.

c. (1) No container or package in which commodities are packaged shall have a false bottom, false sidewalls, false lid or covering, or be otherwise so constructed or filled, wholly or partially, as to constitute deception. (2) No container shall be so nonfunctionally slack filled as to constitute deception. The State superintendent shall promulgate rules and regulations concerning nonfunctionally slack-filled containers. As used in paragraph (2) of this subsection, "nonfunctionally slack filled" means a container which is filled to substantially less than its capacity for reasons other than (a) protection of the contents of the container or (b) the requirements of machines used for enclosing the contents in the container. As used in paragraph (2) of this subsection, "container" means the immediate receptacle in which the commodity is enclosed.

d. Any person who manufactures, packs, distributes, exposes for sale or sells any commodity in package form in violation of this section shall for the first offense be liable to a civil penalty of not less than $50.00 nor more than $100.00, and for a second offense to a civil penalty of not less than $100.00 nor more than $250.00, and for each subsequent offense to a civil penalty of not less than $250.00 nor more than $500.00.

(1) No person shall be convicted of or assessed a civil penalty for a second or subsequent offense pursuant to this subsection unless the previous conviction:

(a) Occurred no earlier than one year prior to the occurrence of the second or subsequent offense; and

(b) Occurred at the same place of business as the second or subsequent offense. For the purposes of this paragraph, "same place of business" means identical store or outlet.

(2) Nothing in this subsection shall be deemed (a) to authorize or permit the imposition of penalties for second or subsequent offenses in conjunction with an adjudication of guilt based upon multiple counts or complaints arising from the same inspection, or (b) to mandate the imposition of penalties for a second or subsequent offense, if, in the discretion of the court, the imposition of a penalty for a first offense would be just and proper.

e. A shipment, delivery, aggregation or lot of a commodity in package form may be examined for compliance with the required net quantity statement for determining the acceptance or rejection (off-sale action) by means of recognized sampling, statistical principles and methods published by the National Bureau of Standards. Packages having a minus error exceeding the Maximum Allowable Variation (MAV) shall be held in violation and appropriate legal action may be taken with respect to these individual packages according to the provisions of this section.

f. Notwithstanding any provision in Title 51 of the Revised Statutes, when a prosecution has been initiated against a retailer alleging a violation regarding any commodity in package form, the manufacturer or supplier of that package shall be substituted as the party-defendant upon motion, with the consent of all parties and the consent of that manufacturer or supplier, who shall agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the court. If a judgment imposed against a manufacturer or supplier remains unsatisfied, the State superintendent may docket that judgment in the Superior Court, and may enforce that judgment in the same manner as a judgment originating from the Superior Court.

Amended by L. 1969, c. 251, s. 8; 1986, c. 167, s. 4; 1987, c. 207, s. 1.

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