Asking the Right Questions

Yesterday’s column raised a few questions on the impact of the Governor’s proposal to charge rural communities who are protected by the NJ State Police. So we thought we’d ask the Administrative Office of the Courts for the answers.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Over the last 12 months the state collected $32,767,351 in fines from state police issued tickets, (3/1/07-2/29/08).
  • One hundred percent of the fines go to the state. The local municipality does not receive a share.
  • If a ticket is issued in a local town, even on a state road, the town’s local municipal court provides the due process. For their troubles, the town receives a set fee ($18.50 per case – although it also collects additional special add-ons funds mandated by the state).
  • Exactly how much is collected from the approximate 100 rural towns that are currently patrolled by the State Police is unknown. For the more inquiring minds, a town by town analysis of all municipal court stats can be found at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/quant/index.htm.
  • Overall, the municipal courts generated almost half a billion dollars over the last 12 months – half of that money stayed with the municipalities, generated in part by those towns that have their own police forces. The other half was split between the counties and the state, with the state taking in $177 million from trooper issued tickets, fees or other assessments and the state mandated add-ons collected by the local municipal courts.
Asking the Right Questions