Week of February 16, 2011: New Jersey Legal Views

Pressler & Pressler’s Violation of Privacy

With everyone owing money to someone these days, the best way to make money in New Jersey seems to be to become a collections law firm.

But, it seems in New Jersey even that is done with a bit of a ‘corrupt’ flair:

The largest collection law firm in New Jersey is Pressler & Pressler—a fact you might know if you have ever owed money on a student loan. Allegedly, the fine folks at Pressler & Pressler have been in cahoots with a number of sheriff’s officers around the state, asking them to “enter private homes to take inventory of personal property that can be seized to pay judgments”, according to the NJ Law Journal.

What a wacky law firm! You guys should leave such shennnigans to the people in NJ who really know how to be corrupt—elected officials. Pressler is being sued in a federal class-action suit, claiming a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The plaintiffs’ lawyer says “…collection lawyers cannot ask sheriffs to show up at someone’s door and demand to go through their property.”

Duh! That’s a violation of privacy—where do Pressler & Pressler think they are? On Facebook?

[Yawn] Another NJ Official Arrested…

The Open Public Records Act (OPRA) is a good thing—giving ordinary citizens extraordinary access to a wide range of ordinary government records. But just how far does OPRA go? An Atlantic County Superior Court judge just may let us know soon.

The judge has ordered video footage of a town official’s police arrest withheld, until a hearing can be held on whether it falls under an exemption to OPRA under “criminal investigatory records”. It was the Press of Atlantic City that requested the video footage of Hamilton Township Deputy Mayor Charles Cain Jr.’s arrest for drunk driving.

I really don’t know what The Press of Atlantic City is all in a dither about this issue for, anyway. If they really need pronto video footage of an elected official being arrested in NJ, I am sure there is lots of that stuff posted on YouTube.

And public officials are certainly arrested often enough for The Press not to have to wait that long, anyway.  

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