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    Chapter 9: Forest fire service established

      Section: 13:9-44.10: Penalties; enforcement

           10. If any person violates any of the provisions of this act or any rule, regulation or order promulgated pursuant to provisions of this act, the department may:

(a) Institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive relief to prohibit and prevent such violation and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner. Any person who violates the provisions of this act or any rule, regulation or order promulgated pursuant to this act shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $5,000.00 for each offense, to be collected in a civil action by a summary proceeding under "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.) or in any case before a court of competent jurisdiction wherein injunctive relief has been requested. The Superior Court and municipal courts shall have jurisdiction to enforce "the penalty enforcement law." The Attorney General or the prosecuting attorney of the municipality or county in which the offense was committed may prosecute the case. If the violation is of a continuing nature, each day during which it continues shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct offense. The department is authorized to settle any claim for a penalty under this section in such amount in the discretion of the department as may appear appropriate and equitable under all of the circumstances;

(b) Petition the Attorney General to bring a criminal action against any person who knowingly violates any of the provisions of this act or any rule, regulation or order promulgated pursuant to the provisions of this act and thereby causes a wildfire. Such person shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3 shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100,000.00 for each offense; or

(c) Levy a civil administrative remedy of not more than $5,000.00 for each violation and additional penalties of not more than $500.00 for each day during which such violation continues after receipt of an order from the department. No penalty shall be levied pursuant to this section until the person has been notified by certified mail or personal service. The notice shall include a reference to the section of the statute violated; a concise statement of the facts alleged to constitute a violation; a statement of the person's right to a hearing. The person shall have 20 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, then the notice shall become a final order after the expiration of the 20 day period. Payment is due when the final order is issued or the notice becomes a final order.

L.1981,c.369,s.10; amended 1991,c.91,s.227.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2013-06-10 16:36:30.

Older versions of 13:9-44.10 (if available):

Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.