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Kenneth Vercammen & Associates
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2053 Woodbridge Ave.
Edison NJ 08817

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Princeton Area
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Cranbury, NJ 08512
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Civil Model Jury Charge 3.20 E. ARREST WITHOUT WARR



It is the law of this State that a person--whether a private citizen or a police officer may arrest another person without a warrant if the arrested person has[committed what is called a disorderly persons offense] [violated a municipal ordinance involving a breach of the peace]in the arresting persons presence and if the arrested person is then taken to a judge or court clerk located in the county where the arrest took place without any unnecessary delay.

The offense for which it was alleged that the defendant arrested the plaintiff was[a disorderly persons offense] [a violation of a municipal ordinance involving a breach of peace].This is an offense for which an arrest may be made without a warrant.

So, in deciding whether plaintiff was falsely imprisoned, there are two decisions you have to make.

The first is that plaintiff must prove, by the greater weight of the evidence, that defendant intentionally detained or restrained plaintiff in his/her personal liberty or freedom of movement by arresting him/her.

The second, assuming you find that defendant did intentionally restrain plaintiff by an arrest, involves defendants claim that he/she had a right to make the arrest and that, after the arrest, plaintiff was taken before a judge or court clerk to obtain a warrant without any unnecessary delay.

[Here discuss facts of arrest and detention].

If you find that there was an arrest, then defendant must prove to you by the greater weight of the evidence that the offense, for which the arrest is said to have been made, was committed in defendants presence.Even if you find that the offense was committed in the defendants presence and, because of that, he/she arrested the plaintiff, you still must consider whether he/she restrained the plaintiff only for a reasonable period of time until the defendant could bring him/her to a judge or court clerk or whether he/she confined the plaintiff for a length of time that was unnecessary under the circumstances.A reasonable time for confinement under the circumstances is the time that an ordinarily cautious person would take to bring the plaintiff before a judge or court clerk in the situation that faced the defendant.The reasonableness of this time would be affected by the availability of the judge or court clerk, the location of the arrest, the time of day or night, the problem of confining the plaintiff, available means for reaching the judge or court clerk and any other factors that you might think had bearing on the amount of time.If the defendant imprisoned the plaintiff for an unreasonable time, then even though the original arrest was proper, the unreasonable delay would be false imprisonment.If the arrest was proper and the confinement reasonable according to the rules I have explained, then you must find for the defendant.But if you find that there was a confinement, and you find that either there was no right to make the arrest or that there was an unnecessary delay in bringing plaintiff before a local judge or court clerk, then you must find for the plaintiff.

[go on to Damages (False Imprisonment), Charge 3.14G]


The right of law enforcement officers to arrest without a warrant exists when a felony has been committed in his/her presence or when he/she has a reasonable basis to believe that a felony is being or has been committed, and when he/she has a reasonable basis to believe that the person to be arrested is committing or has committed the felony.State v. Doyle, 40N.J. 320 (1963).See alsoState v. Crawley, 90N.J. 241 (1982).A felony corresponds to a crime for which a person may be incarcerated for more than one year in a State prison as indicatedsupra.

The authority for a law enforcement officers warrantless arrest for offenses of lesser gravity than a crime is the same as for the citizen as prescribed by the statutes quoted above.An officer may make a warrantless arrest for a disorderly persons offensesupra.he/she may also arrest a shoplifter or detain a person whom he/she reasonably believes is willfully concealing unpurchased merchandise.N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11,supra.

A law enforcement officer further has the right to make a warrantless arrest when he/she observes a violation of the motor vehicle laws.N.J.S.A. 39:5-25. And he/she may make reasonable detention pursuant to his/her administration of these laws.SeeAtty. Gen. F.O. 314 (1958);Pine v. Olzewski,supra.

A police officer may not only apprehend an individual for committing a disorderly persons offense but may also apprehend that individual for violating a municipal ordinance involving a breach of the peace offense. An arrest without a warrant for a violation of a municipal ordinance may be made where the offense is committed upon view of the officer and the offender must be either a disorderly person or have committed a breach of the peace.SeeState v. Hurtado, 219N.J.Super. 12 (App. Div. 1987),reversed o.b., 113N.J. 1 (1988).

Even when an arrest is justified, these common law and statutory rights are not licenses to exercise an unlimited detention. A law enforcement officer may not detain a person for an unreasonable time, after arrest, without taking him/her before the nearest magistrate.Cannon v. Krakowitch, 54N.J. Super.93 (App. Div. 1959).

A private citizen has the same duty as a law enforcement officer to take the arrested party before a magistrate within a reasonable time.SeeState v. Ferraro, 81N.J.Super. 214 (Cty. Ct. 1963);Nelson v. Eastern Airlines, Inc., 128N.J.L. 46 (E. & A. 1942);Jackson v. Miller, 84N.J.L. 189 (Sup. Ct. 1913);N.J.S.A. 2A:169-3.

If the arrest by the law enforcement officer is made with a warrant based on proper complaint being made and a hearing held before a magistrate, then an action for false arrest cannot be maintained.Gierman v. Toman, 77N.J.Super. 18 (Law Div. 1962);Baldwin v. Pt. Pleasant Beach and Surf Club, 3N.J.Super. 284 (Law Div. 1949).

It is interesting to note that even if the arrest should prove illegal, a private citizen has no right to use force to resist arrest against one he/she knew or had reason to know was an authorized police officer engaged in the performance of his/her duties.State v. Koonce, 89N.J.Super. 169 (App. Div. 1965).See alsoState v. Lawrence, 142N.J.Super. 208 (App. Div. 1976).In such a situation, a defendant law officer may be able to avail himself/herself of a counterclaim for assault and battery.

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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.

You need an attorney who will work hard to protect your rights, maximize your insurance settlement and minimize the hassles of dealing with the insurance companies. You need an experienced and aggressive New Jersey trial lawyer with PROVEN RESULTS who will fight for you. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer can make the difference between getting what you deserve and getting nothing.

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.

Reduce the stress of making a claim.

Personal injury accidents can turn your life upside down. Making a personal injury claim can be difficult and time consuming. Once I take your case, you can stop worrying about dealing with the insurance companies and focus on recovering from your injuries. I take care of all of the paperwork, phone calls, and negotiations, so you can get on with your life.

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.


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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.

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