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In The Courts Recent News

AG Grewal & ABC Announce Charges Seeking to Suspend Liquor Licenses of 10 Bars and Restaurants Accused of Numerous Violations of Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order 194

Ramping up enforcement of COVID-19 orders as the virus surges in New Jersey, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) announced on December 11, 2020 they are seeking to suspend the liquor licenses of 10 New Jersey bars and restaurants accused of violating the heightened restrictions placed on eating and drinking establishments by Governor Murphy last month.

The announcement of charges comes amid a statewide ABC enforcement campaign to ensure its licensees are complying with the Governor’s Executive Order No. 194 (2020) (“EO 194”), which, among other things, imposes a cessation of indoor food and beverage services between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and prohibits patrons from being seated at an indoor bar at all times.

The restrictions were imposed by Governor Murphy in an effort to reduce the sustained close contact that results from patrons seated at indoor bar areas.

Since EO 194 took effect on November 12, 2020, teams of investigators from ABC, the Division of Criminal Justice, and local law enforcement agencies have been carrying out inspection sweeps of bars and restaurants statewide to enforce compliance and protect public health. The charges announced today, which carry a minimum 10-day suspension for each licensee, represent the first enforcement actions issued in the statewide compliance campaign. More charges are expected.

“It gives us no pleasure to take these actions, but we’re in the midst of a pandemic and we need everyone in this state to do their part,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Results of our enforcement sweeps thus far demonstrate that the majority of licensees are following the Governor’s orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those who flout curfews, seating restrictions, face covering mandates, and other mitigation measures will face consequences.”

ABC has led investigations resulting in nearly 500 random inspections of bars and restaurants to ensure compliance with the restrictions imposed under EO 194, and with other COVID-19 protocols required under prior Executive Orders.

Nearly 90 percent of the establishments inspected were found to be in compliance.

The COVID-19-related charges announced today stem from violations of Executive Orders requiring establishments to prohibit seating patrons at indoor bars; cease serving food and alcohol indoors at 10 p.m.; limit the number of patrons allowed in indoor areas to 25 percent of the establishment’s indoor capacity; enforce face covering requirements for patrons and employees; prohibit the consumption of food and alcohol by patrons who are not seated at a table; maintain a six-foot minimum distance between dining tables; and enforce social distancing among employees and patrons.

Charges have been issued against the entities holding liquor licenses for the following establishments:

  • Eddy’s Bar & Liquors, Bayonne. Cited for allowing patrons to sit at the bar and for failing to enforce face covering requirements. Penalty sought: 15-day suspension.
  • Wicked Wolf, Hoboken. Cited for allowing patrons to sit at the bar. Penalty sought: 10-day suspension.
  • Reilly’s Bar & Grill, Kearny. Cited for violating 10 p.m. curfew, allowing patrons to consume food/drink while not seated, and exceeding occupancy limits. Penalty sought: 30-day suspension.
  • Graystone Inn, Little Falls. Cited for allowing patrons to sit at the bar, and exceeding occupancy limits on two separate occasions. Penalty sought: 40-day suspension.
  • George Street Ale House, New Brunswick. Cited for allowing patrons to sit at the bar, and failing to enforce social distancing and face covering requirements. Penalty sought: 25-day suspension.
  • Black Betty’s Saloon, Sayreville. Cited for allowing patrons to sit at the bar, and failing to enforce social distancing and face covering requirements. Also cited for allowing lewd activity on premises. Penalty sought: 70-day suspension.
  • 30 StrikesCited for violating 10 p.m. curfew. Penalty sought: 10-day suspension.
  • Jalapenos Bar and Grill, Gloucester City. Cited for allowing patrons to sit at the bar, and failing to enforce face covering requirements (second offense). Penalty sought: 20-day suspension.
  • 814 South Pub & Kitchen, Somerdale. Cited for violating 10 p.m. curfew, failing to maintain a six-foot distance between tables, and failing to enforce face covering requirements. Penalty sought: 25-day suspension.
  • B&B Saloon, Atlantic City. Cited for allowing patrons to sit at the bar, exceeding occupancy limits, and failing to enforce social distancing and face covering requirements. Also cited for allowing alcohol to be consumed beyond the licensed premises, hindering an inspection, employing a criminally disqualified individual, and violating conditions imposed on the license after a shooting left two people dead last month. Penalty sought: 115-day suspension.

“ABC will continue to crisscross the state doing surprise inspections of bars and restaurants to identify and hold accountable those operating in violation of the restrictions in place to protect public health and safety,” said James B. Graziano, Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. “The majority of our licensees are complying with these commonsense measures. We will not allow our law-abiding licensees to be put at an economic disadvantage by a rogue few who think they are above ABC regulations and the laws of our State.”

Since March, ABC has taken enforcement action more than 200 times in response to COVID-19-related violations by licensees. Those actions have delivered warnings, and sought fines, license suspensions, and license revocations.

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In The Courts Recent News

Chesterfield Woman Charged With Stealing More Than $60K From Youth Football & Cheerleading Program

On December 10, 2020, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina and Mansfield Township Police Chief Ronald G. Mulhall Jr. announced that a Chesterfield woman was charged with stealing more than $60,000 from a youth football and cheerleading program while serving as the organization’s treasurer over a five-year period that ended last year.

Stacy Cassidy, 45, of Monmouth Road, was charged with Elements of Computer Theft (Second Degree), Misapplication of Entrusted Property (Third Degree), Theft by Deception (Third Degree), and Forgery by Uttering (Fourth Degree).

She was lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility pending a hearing tomorrow in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

The investigation began earlier this year after members of the Northern Burlington Junior Greyhound Athletic Association contacted law enforcement officials with suspicions that Cassidy had been embezzling funds from the organization and using them for personal expenses while serving as treasurer between January 2015 and December 2019.

The investigation revealed that during that period, Cassidy made 542 unauthorized transactions totaling $60,654.28. She used the money to help pay for her mortgage, cell phone bill, groceries, gas, and home heating oil, among other items.

Included in that activity were 84 unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals totaling more than $21,000 that coincided with family vacations on cruises and to Disney World.

The investigation further revealed that, in an attempt to conceal the scheme, Cassidy restricted access to account statements, fabricated reports misrepresenting the organization’s financial position, and forged documents to falsely indicate that insurance premiums had been paid and coverage was being maintained.

A search warrant was executed this morning at Cassidy’s residence. She was taken into custody with the assistance of the Chesterfield Township Police Department and the New Jersey State Police T.E.A.M.S. Unit.

Cassidy will be prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Remy, supervisor of the BCPO Financial Crimes Unit.

The case was investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Mansfield Township Police Department. The lead investigators are BCPO Detective Nicholas Schieber and Mansfield Township Police Detective Ken Allen.

All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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In The Courts Recent News

New Jersey Judiciary Continues to Expand Its Electronic Filing System


Nearly 200,000 documents have been submitted through the Judiciary’s new electronic filing system since it was first made available this year to accommodate attorneys and self-represented litigants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Monday, 197,947 documents were filed through the Judiciary Electronic Document Submission (JEDS) system. More than half of those documents (113,330) were filed in family division cases. Another 44,398 documents were filed for landlord/tenant matters.

Although the JEDS system was in development before the pandemic, it was made available sooner in light of the courts’ suspension of most in-person proceedings and matters to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In the family part, attorneys and self-represented litigants can electronically submit documents related to divorce, post-divorce motions, child custody/parenting time, and child support applications and modifications. JEDS can also be used to submit complaints, answers, and motions for civil, special civil, the law division, criminal division, tax court, chancery, general equity, and foreclosure.

“Our electronic filing system has allowed us to continue the work of the courts on important matters, from child support to landlord/tenant issues, without bringing people into our courthouses,” said Judge Glenn A. Grant, acting administrative director of the courts. “As COVID-19 continues to change the way our court system must operate, we will continue to look for technological solutions that allow us to conduct court business in an efficient and safe manner.”

To view a tutorial on using the JEDS system, go to njcourts.gov.

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Bright Side In The Courts

Camden Vicinage to Celebrate National Adoption Day Virtually on Nov. 20


The Camden Vicinage will hold a National Adoption Day celebration on Friday, Nov. 20 during virtual proceedings to finalize the adoption of 20 children.

Superior Court Judge Francine Axelrad will begin the proceedings at 10 a.m., and Superior Court Judges Linda Eynon and Michael Joyce will conduct hearings at 1:30 p.m.

Gift bags containing teddy bears, coloring books, pajamas, blankets, and other items will be delivered to each child’s home.

The event is co-hosted by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection & Permanency in collaboration with the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Camden County and Camden County Surrogate Michelle Gentek-Mayer.

National Adoption Day is an annual event in which courts and communities in all 50 states join to finalize thousands of adoptions and to celebrate families who adopt.

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In The Courts Recent News

Bellmawr Man Charged With Possession With Intent to Distribute Powder Crack Cocaine

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County, New Jersey, man made his initial court appearance on November 17, 2020 on charges of possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Joseph C. Long, 30, of Bellmawr, New Jersey, was charged by complaint with two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The defendant was previously arrested by state authorities. He appeared by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joel Schneider and was detained without bail.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

On Jan. 15, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Long’s apartment. Long was seen jumping out of the second-floor bedroom window and was later apprehended. Inside the apartment, officers found powder cocaine, crack cocaine, packaging and distribution related items, and over $3,400 in cash.

Each drug charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. 

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Newark Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer; the Camden County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Gilbert L. “Whip” Wilson; and the Bellmawr Police Department, under the direction of Chief William P. Walsh; with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen M. Harberg in Camden.

The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.