Search This Blog

Monday, August 3, 2015

New Jersey Court Reportedly Bars Woman From Entering All Walmart Stores in Country

The ABA Journal has this story about a court that may have gone too far to protect Walmart from a shoplifter:

A judge in Mount Olive Township, New Jersey, has banned a shoplifter from ever shopping at a Wal-Mart store anywhere in the country. 
The defendant, 64-year-old Johanna Cassimore of Hopatcong, New Jersey, tells the New York Daily News she plans to appeal the sentence. “It was stupid. I disagree and I’m appealing it,” Cassimore said. “The judge can’t say that. He doesn’t own Wal-Mart.” 
The sentence by Judge Brian Levine also requires Cassimore to pay $258 in fines and to complete 10 hours of community service, according to the New York Daily News, and
Other reports on this case can be found here and here. The New York Daily News clarifies that the court involved was the Mount Olive Municipal Court.

Under New Jersey Law (specifically, NJSA 2B: 12-16), a New Jersey Municipal Court's jurisdiction is limited to the territory of the municipality in which the court is located. This means that the Mount Olive Municipal Court would have jurisdiction over the Walmart stores within the boundaries of the Mount Olive Township, but not over stores outside of the township.

I initially suspected that somewhere along the line, the word "county" became misspelled or misheard so that it transformed into "country." While I am not aware of any reports that verify this suspicion, I would not be surprised if it ended up being the case. But even if this alternative is correct and the court meant to bar Cassimore from all Walmart stores in the county, that order would also appear to overstep the boundaries of the court's jurisdiction. While Central Municipal Courts have jurisdiction over matters arising within the boundaries in the county, it does not appear that the Mount Olive Township Municipal Court is such a central municipal court. The jurisdiction of that court appears to be limited to all locations within the boundaries of the township.

The court's stay-away order appears to be reasonably related to the crime that Cassimore committed, and I would not be surprised to see a probation condition requiring Cassimore to stay away from Walmart locations in Mount Olive. But requiring Cassimore to stay away from all Walmart stores in the country would be an overly broad probation condition, and an appeal would likely result in the reduction of the order's scope.

No comments:

Post a Comment