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Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
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Court Rule 3:4-2. First Appearance After Filing Complaint

Court Rule 3:4-2. First Appearance After Filing Complaint Effective January 1, 2017.


(a) Time of First Appearance.
Following the filing of a complaint the defendantshall be brought before a judge for a first appearance as provided in this Rule.

(1) If the defendant remains in custody, the first appearance shall occur within 48 hours of a defendants commitment to the county jail, and shall be before a judge with authority to set conditions of release for the offenses charged. However, if a motion for pretrial detention is filed at or prior to the first appearance for a person charged with homicide, the judge designated to preside over the centralized first appearance may conduct that proceeding in accordance with this Rule, except that conditions of pretrial release shall not be set.

(2) If a defendant is released on a complaint-summons, the first appearance shall be held no more than 60 days after the issuance of the complaint- summons or the defendants arrest.

(b) First Appearance; Where Held. All first appearances for indictable offenses shall occur at a centralized location and before a judge designated by the Chief Justice. If the defendant is unrepresented at the first appearance, the court is authorized to assign the Office of the Public Defender to represent the defendant for purposes of the first appearance.

(c) Procedure in Indictable Offenses. At the defendants first appearance before a judge, if the defendant is charged with an indictable offense, the judge shall:

(1) give the defendant a copy of the complaint, discovery as provided in subsections (A) and (B) below, and inform the defendant of the charge;

(A) if the prosecutor is not seeking pretrial detention, the prosecutor shall provide the defendant with a copy of any available preliminary law enforcement incident report concerning the offense and any material used to establish probable cause;

(B) if the prosecutor is seeking pretrial detention, the prosecutor shall provide the defendant with all statements or reports in its possession relating to the pretrial detention application. All exculpatory evidence must be disclosed.

(2) inform the defendant of the right to remain silent and that any statement may be used against the defendant;

(3) inform the defendant of the right to retain counsel and, if indigent, the right to be represented by the public defender;

(4) ask the defendant specifically whether he or she wants counsel and record the defendants answer on the complaint;

(5) provide the defendant who asserts indigence with an application for public defender services, which the defendant shall complete and submit at that time for

immediate processing by the court, unless the defendant affirmatively and knowingly waives the right to counsel;

(6) inform the defendant that there is a pretrial intervention program and where and how an application to it may be made;

(7) inform the defendant that there is a drug court program and where and how to make an application to that program;

(8) inform the defendant of his or her right to have a hearing as to probable cause and of his or her right to indictment by the grand jury and trial by jury, and if the offense charged may be tried by the court upon waiver of indictment and trial by jury, the court shall so inform the defendant. All such waivers shall be in writing, signed by the defendant, and shall be filed and entered on the docket. If the complaint charges an indictable offense which cannot be tried by the court on waiver, it shall not ask for or accept a plea to the offense; and,

(9) set conditions of pretrial release, when appropriate as provided in Rule 3:26;

(10) schedule a pre-indictment disposition conference to occur no later than 45 days after the date of the first appearance; and

(11) in those cases in which the prosecutor has filed a motion for an order of pretrial detention pursuant to R. 3:4A, set the date and time for the required hearing and inform the defendant of his or her right to seek a continuance of such hearing.

(d) Procedure in Non-Indictable Offenses. At the defendants first appearance before a judge, if the defendant is charged with a non-indictable offense, the judge shall:

(1) give the defendant a copy of the complaint and inform the defendant of the charge;

(2) inform the defendant of the right to remain silent and that any statement may be used against the defendant;

(3) inform the defendant of the right to retain counsel and, if indigent and entitled by law to the appointment of counsel, the right to be represented by a public defender or assigned counsel;

(4) assign counsel, if the defendant is indigent and entitled by law to the appointment of counsel, and does not affirmatively, and with understanding, waive the right to counsel; and

(5) set conditions of pretrial release as provided in Rule 3:26 if the defendant has been committed to the county jail.

(e) Trial of Indictable Offenses in Municipal Court. If a defendant who is charged with an indictable offense that may be tried in Municipal Court is brought before a Municipal Court, that court may try the matter provided that the defendant waives the

 

rights to indictment and trial by jury. The waivers shall be in writing, signed by the defendant, and approved by the county prosecutor, and retained by the Municipal Court.

(f) Waiver of First Appearance By Written Statement. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a defendant who is represented by an attorney and is not incarcerated may waive the first appearance by filing, at or before the time fixed for the first appearance, a written statement in a form prescribed by the Administrative Director of the Courts, signed by the attorney, certifying that the defendant has:

(1) received a copy of the complaint and has read it or the attorney has read it and explained it to the defendant;

(2) understands the substance of the charge;

(3) been informed of the right to remain silent and that any statement may be used against the defendant;

(4) been informed that there is a pretrial intervention program and where and how an application to it may be made; and

(5) been informed of the right to have a hearing as to probable cause, the right to indictment by the grand jury and trial by jury, and if applicable, that the offense charged may be tried by the court upon waiver of indictment and trial by jury, if in writing and signed by the defendant.

At the time the written statement waiving the first appearance is filed with the court, a copy of that written statement shall be provided to the Criminal Division Managers office and to the County Prosecutor or the Attorney General, if the Attorney General is the prosecuting attorney. The court shall also notify counsel of the date of the pre-indictment disposition conference, which shall occur no later than 45 days after the date of the first appearance.

Note: Source R.R. 3:2-3(b), 8:4-2 (second sentence). Amended July 7, 1971 effective September 13, 1971; amended April 1, 1974 effective immediately; text of former Rule 3:4-2 amended and redesignated paragraphs (a) and (b) and text of former Rules 3:27-1 and -2 amended and incorporated into Rule 3:4-2, July 13, 1994 to be effective January 1, 1995; paragraphs (a) and (b) amended June 28, 1996 to be effective September 1, 1996; paragraph (b) amended January 5, 1998 to be effective February 1, 1998; caption amended, paragraphs (a) and (b) deleted, new paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) adopted July 5, 2000 to be effective September 5, 2000; new paragraph (e) adopted July 21, 2011 to be effective September 1, 2011; paragraph (a) amended, new paragraph (b) added, former paragraphs (b), (c), and (e) amended and redesignated as paragraphs (c), (d), and (f), and former paragraph (d) redesignated as paragraph (e) April 12, 2016 to be effective September 1, 2016; paragraphs (a) and (b) amended, subparagraph (c)(1) amended, new subparagraphs (c)(1)(A) and (c)(1)(B) adopted, subparagraphs (c)(9) and (c)(10) amended, new subparagraph (c)(11) adopted, subparagraphs (d)(3) and (d)(4) amended, and new subparagraph (d)(5) adopted August 30, 2016 to be effective January 1, 2017; paragraph (a) amended December 6, 2016 to be effective January 1, 2017.

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Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year
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Since 1985, KENNETH VERCAMMEN has worked as a personal injury attorney, working for injury victims and their families. By taking a hard-hitting, aggressive approach toward the insurance companies, KENNETH VERCAMMEN and our co-counsel have consistently obtained outstanding results for many injured clients over the years I am proud to have worked on cases in various capacities, small and large. While obviously prior results cannot guarantee the outcome of future cases, I can guarantee that you case will receive the same degree of dedication and hard work that went into each of these prior cases.

In direct contrast to the hard-hitting approach we take toward the insurance companies is the soft approach we take toward our clients. I am proud of my compassionate staff as I am of the outstanding financial results they have achieved. For many years, I have watched them treat our clients with patience, dignity and respect. I would have it no other way.

Many years ago, I attended a seminar sponsored by the American Bar Association on Law Practice Management. This was to help insure that each of our clients is always treated like a person -- not a file! We recognize that you are innocent victims and that you have placed your trust in us. Please understand that we understand what you are going through. Feel comforted that we are here to help you.

If you retain KENNETH VERCAMMEN to represent you, we will give you the same advice we give each of our clients -- concentrate on your life, you family and your health. We will take care of everything else. Leave all of the work and worry about your legal rights to us. Trust us. Believe in us. Have faith in us as your attorneys. Understand that we will always to do what we believe is best for you and your case. Helping you is our job. In fact, it is our only job -- guiding injury victims like you through one of the most difficult times of your lives, with care and concern -- while fighting aggressively to the limits of the law to obtain compensation and justice for each of you!

Print our Personal Injury Questionnaire on our Website, Fill it out and Fax back, so we can determine if we can help you obtain an injury settlement. We would welcome an opportunity to prove to you what we have proven to thousands of injured clients -- that you can feel comfortable and secure in the fact that KENNETH VERCAMMEN - Trial Attorney We Fight To Win.

When you have been injured in an accident or collision, you are worried about who is going to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. If you dont protect your rights, you may not be able to make a claim.

Insurance companies have attorneys and adjusters whose goal is to pay you as little as they can. You need a New Jersey personal injury lawyer to fight for you. I am dedicated to helping your recover as much money as possible under the law.

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Without the threat of a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and seek a big jury verdict, why would an insurance company pay you what your claim is really worth? Lawsuits can be expensive, and many people do not have the money to pursue their claim. In every case, I advance all costs associated with pursuing your case and I do not ask you for a penny until we recover from the other side.

I am an experienced aggressive trial lawyer and a 3rd degree Black Belt. I am not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to maximize the amount of money your recover for your personal injury. I offer one-on-one service, and I will not hand your case off to an inexperienced lawyer or a paralegal.

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p.s. For those clients who are afraid or reluctant to go to Court, KENNETH VERCAMMEN also offers a special -- For Settlement Only -- program. This means that if we are unable to settle with the insurance company, we will not go any further -- unless you want us to. You have my personal assurance that there will be absolutely no pressure and no obligation.

We handle personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis.

This means:
YOU DONT OWE ME A LEGAL FEE UNLESS I RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU.

Call our office to schedule a "confidential" appointment 732-572-0500

Kenneth A. Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week on personal injury matters, Criminal /Municipal Court trials, and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on criminal, elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer. He is the Editor in Chief of the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Committee Newsletter.

Admitted In NJ, US Supreme Court and Federal District Court.

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