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Legal Hotline - Legal Newspaper Qualifications


CAUTION: Because the law is constantly evolving, it is important before relying upon any opinion on this website that you check with the hotline counsel to ascertain whether or not there has been any subsequent change or supplementation to the law since the date of the opinion.

Answers provided by NJPA's Legal Counsel.

 

Jan. 8, 2004

Question:
What is the time limit for publication of the notice of adoption of an ordinance and what is the method for counting the time?
Answer:
Under NJSA 40:49-2 notice of the second reading/adoption of an ordinance must be published “at least 1 week prior to the time fixed for further consideration for final passage.” The date of publication is not counted, however the date of the hearing is counted. So, for example, if publication is on a Thursday the time would begin to run on Friday (the first day) and on the 7th day (the following Thursday) the hearing could be held. Gober v. Pemberton Tp., 185 NJ Super 323 (Law Div 1982).

Jan. 7, 2004

Question:
Does a legal notice become public when it is received by the newspaper advertising department? May a reporter who sees the notice base an article upon it?
Answer:
Yes.

Oct. 9, 2003

Question:
Is the newspaper required to redact a social security number from a change of name judgment legal ad?

Answer:
The rules of court which govern how legal matters are to proceed require that the judgment granting a change of name be published. Effective June 20, 2003, the rule was amended to require the social security number be redacted prior to publication. The redaction is the obligation of the person or attorney placing the ad and not the newspaper.

Aug. 25, 2003

Question:
Are notice that attorney are seeking reinstatement to the bar and practice in New Jersey “legal ads”?

Answer:
Yes. The attorney is required to publish such a notice when seeking reinstatement.

Aug. 8, 2003

Question:
If the newspaper prints an insert, in Spanish, on different paper and a different size than the newspaper itself, will that affect the newspaper’s standing as a legal newspaper?

Answer:
The statute governing legal newspapers requires that the newspaper be printed “entirely in the English language.” A special insert, delivered with the newspapers, may well be considered to be a separate publication and not part of the newspaper, provided of course it is a one-time event and not a regularly scheduled addition to the newspaper.

July 22, 2003

Question:
Are unpaid members of a municipal committee, government employees for purposes of filing disclosures under the Local Government Ethics Law?
Answer:
Maybe. The Local Government Ethics Law defines “local government employee” as “any person, whether compensated or not, whether part-time of full-time, employed by or serving on a local government agency who is not a government officer, but shall not mean any employee of a school district.” “Local government agency” includes any committee of a municipality that “performs functions other than a purely advisory nature”. Thus an unpaid member of a committee that has decision making authority is a local government employee for purposes of filing disclosure statements under the Local Government Ethics Law”.

Feb. 21, 2003

Question:
Are sheriff's sales required to be published in two newspapers?

Answer:
Yes. NJSA 2A:61.1 requires that sheriff's sales be published in two newspapers four times, at least once a week during four consecutive weeks in two newspapers.

Jan. 28, 2003

Question:
Is the December 1994 edition of Newspapers Publication Laws of New Jersey a reliable reference? Is it the most recent edition and, if not, what changes have occurred to Title 35.

Answer:
The Newspaper Publication Laws of New Jersey was last updated in December 1995. The statutes governing legal advertisements have not been changed since 1995.

July 18, 2002

Question:
Are there different rates for legal advertisements based on who places the ad - for example, an attorney or a municipality?

Answer:
No. Legal advertisements are those required by law to be published. The law makes no distinction based on who is placing the ad and all legal ads are to be charged the same rate.

April 30, 2001

Question:

Must a school board designate an official newspaper for publication as a municipality must do?
Answer:
No. Different statutes set forth where a school board must place its legal ads. For example for a budget matters the Board must publish "in at least one newspaper published in the district" NJSA 18A:22-11; for an election the board must publish in "at least one newspapers published in at least one newspaper published in each municipality in the district."

Nov. 19, 1999

Question:
What are the general requirements to be a legal newspaper?
Answer:
Generally a newspaper must be printed and published in the English language and must have been published at least once a week for at least one year continuously, it must have a second class mail permit for at least two years under the Postal Regulations, must have an average news content of not less than 35%, and must be printed and published within the State of New Jersey.


The Hotline is operated by NJPA's General Counsel, Tom Cafferty of Gibbons P.C.  Cafferty has served in this capacity for more than 30 years and has extensive First Amendment and communication law expertise. The Hotline is available to all publications that are active members of the New Jersey Press Association.

To reach the Hotline:

Call (973) 596-4863 The regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but callers may leave a recorded message 24 hours per day on a dedicated voice-mail line. The Hotline attorneys will return all calls as soon as possible.
Fax: (973) 639-6267  
Write: NJPA Legal Hotline, c/o Gibbons P.C., One Gateway Center, Newark, NJ 07102-5310

E-mail: tcafferty@gibbonslaw.com

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Serving New Jersey newspapers since 1857

New Jersey Press Association (NJPA) is a non-profit membership association formed to advance the interests of newspapers and to increase awareness in the benefits of newspaper readership. The mission of NJPA is to help newspapers remain editorially strong, financially sound and free of outside influence. We will pursue these goals in every way possible, as a service both to our members and to the people of New Jersey.

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