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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Roll Call  >  You Might Be Violating This New Law

 

Roll Call

Weekly Law Enforcement
Training and Review


 

You Might Be
Violating This New Law

 




NJLawman.com

Police and Law Enforcement News
Sunday, January 29
,
2013 12:13 .m.

 

As photographic and video cameras have became more prevalent, especially as a function of smart phones, we began seeing footage of accident and crime scenes appear on the Internet.  Some of this footage was taken by first responders. 

No more.

In 2012, a law was enacted that prohibits first responders from making any type of recording of a motor vehicle accident or "emergency situation."  It can be found at 2A:58D-2.

There is, of course, an exception which states, "except in accordance with applicable rules, regulations, or operating procedures of the agency employing the first responder." 

This law is not very well known which makes it a great topic to cover in agency training.

Below is the full text of the law:

 

2A:58D-2 Definitions relative to invasion of privacy relative to first responders; violations, penalties.

1. a. As used in this section:

"Disclose" means to sell, manufacture, give, provide, lend, trade, mail, deliver, transfer, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, advertise, or offer.

"First responder" means a law enforcement officer, paid or volunteer firefighter, paid or volunteer member of a duly incorporated first aid, emergency, ambulance, or rescue squad association, or any other individual who, in the course of his employment, is dispatched to the scene of a motor vehicle accident or other emergency situation for the purpose of providing medical care or other assistance.

b.  A first responder who is dispatched to or is otherwise present at the scene of a motor vehicle accident or other emergency situation, for the purpose of providing medical care or other assistance, shall not photograph, film, videotape, record, or otherwise reproduce in any manner, the image of a person being provided medical care or other assistance, except in accordance with applicable rules, regulations, or operating procedures of the agency employing the first responder.

c.  A first responder shall not disclose any photograph, film, videotape, record, or other reproduction of the image of a person being provided medical care or other assistance at the scene of a motor vehicle accident or other emergency situation without the prior written consent of the person, or the person's next-of-kin if the person cannot provide consent, unless that disclosure was for a legitimate law enforcement, public safety, health care, or insurance purpose or pursuant to a court order.

d.  A person who knowingly violates the provisions of subsection c. of this section shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

e.  In addition to any other right of action or recovery otherwise available under the laws of this State, a first responder who knowingly violates the provisions of subsection b. or c. of this section shall be liable to the person whose image was taken or disclosed, who may bring a civil action in the Superior Court.

The court may award:

(1)  actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages computed at the rate of $1,000 for each violation of this act;

(2)  punitive damages upon proof of willful or reckless disregard of the law;

(3)  reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred; and

(4)  such other preliminary and equitable relief as the court determines to be appropriate.

L.2012, c.28, s.1.

-NJLawman.com

 

 

 

 

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