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Article VI. Penalties

§ 54:40A-24. Penalties; jurisdiction; disposition; costs; expenses

  • a. Penalties. Any person who shall engage in any business or activity for which a license is required under the provisions of this act, without first having obtained a license to do so, or who, having had such a license, shall continue to engage in or conduct such business after any such license shall have been revoked, or during a suspension thereof, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $1,000, which penalty shall be sued for, and shall be recoverable in the name of the director; and each day that any such business is so engaged in or conducted shall be deemed a separate offense.
  • b. Jurisdiction of court; proceedings. The Superior Court and every municipal court within their respective jurisdictions, and with respect to offenses occurring within the territorial jurisdiction of the court, shall have jurisdiction over proceedings to enforce and collect the penalty. The proceedings shall be brought by and in the name of the director. They shall be summary and in accordance with the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.). Process shall be either in the nature of a summons or warrant.
  • If judgment be rendered for the plaintiff, the court shall cause any defendant who refuses or fails to pay forthwith the amount of the judgment rendered against him and all the costs and charges incident thereto, to be committed to the county jail for such period as the court shall determine, not exceeding 60 days.
  • c. Penalty for further violations; recovery; proceedings in court. In case a person shall, after conviction of any violation of this act, be again convicted of violating the same provision thereof, he may be liable to a penalty for such further violation, in double the maximum penalty which might have been imposed on the first conviction, to be sued for and recovered in the manner above set forth. In case any defendant against whom judgment has been rendered for a money penalty under this subsection, shall fail or neglect to pay forthwith the amount of said penalty, the court shall commit him to jail for such number of days not exceeding 180 days, as the court shall determine.
  • d. Disposition of penalties. All penalties recovered for violations of this act shall be paid to the director and by him accounted for and paid to the State Treasurer as in the case of State taxes.
  • e. Costs; expenses. The costs recoverable in any such proceeding shall be recovered by the director in the event of judgment in his favor. If the judgment be for the defendant it shall be without costs against the director. All expenses incident to the recovery of any penalty pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be paid for as any other expense incident to the administration of this act.

§ 54:40A-24.1. Penalty for selling cigarettes not of employer’s manufacture

Any manufacturer’s representative, as defined in this act, who sells or exchanges cigarettes other than those of his employer’s manufacture shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $1,000 for each separate offense.

§ 54:40A-25. Possessing cigarettes not bearing required revenue stamps

Any wholesale dealer or retail dealer who violates the provisions of section four hundred six [C.54:40A-16] of this act, and any consumer who fails to report and remit the tax due as provided by section two hundred five [C.54:40A-7] of this act, shall be liable to a penalty of not more than $1,000 for each individual carton of unstamped or illegally stamped cigarettes in the dealer’s possession, which penalty shall be sued for and recovered in the same manner as provided for the penalties imposed by section six hundred one [C.54:40A-24] of this act.

§ 54:40A-26. Refusal or failure to produce records

Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing, purchasing, selling, consigning, shipping, distributing, or transporting cigarettes, who shall refuse or fail to produce, on demand by the director or any designated assistant, invoices of all cigarettes purchased or received by him within three years prior to such demand, unless his inability to do so for reasons beyond his control shall be shown by satisfactory proof, shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense and shall be fined $1,000.

§ 54:40A-27. Interfering with administration of the act

Any person who prevents or hinders the director or any designated assistant from making a cigarette inventory, examination and full inspection of any place where cigarettes are sold or stored, or prevents or hinders the inspection of invoices, books, records, or papers required to be kept, shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense and shall be fined $1,000.

§ 54:40A-28. Sale of cigarettes without required stamp, violations

Any person who sells cigarettes without the stamp or stamps required by this act being affixed thereto or cigarettes stamped in violation of subsection b. of section 405 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-15) shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

§ 54:40A-28.1. Possession of cigarettes without proper stamp, violations

Any person, other than a licensee permitted under this act to possess any unstamped cigarettes, who possesses 2,000 but fewer than 20,000 cigarettes without the stamp or stamps required by this act being affixed thereto or stamped in violation of subsection b. of section 405 shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree; and any such person who possesses 20,000 or more cigarettes without the stamp or stamps required by this act being affixed thereto or stamped in violation of subsection b. of section 405 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-15) shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.

§ 54:40A-29. Forging or counterfeiting revenue stamps

  • a. Any person who falsely or fraudulently makes, forges, alters, or counterfeits, or causes or procures to be falsely or fraudulently made, forged, altered, or counterfeited, any stamps prepared or prescribed by the director under the authority of this act, or who knowingly and willfully utters, publishes, passes, or tenders as true, any such false, altered, forged or counterfeited stamp, or uses any stamp provided for and required by this act, which has already once been used, for the purpose of evading the tax hereby imposed, shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.
  • b. Any person who secures, manufactures, or causes to be secured or manufactured, or has in his possession any stamp or any counterfeit impression device not prescribed or authorized by the director under the authority of this act, shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree and such fact shall be prima facie evidence that such person has counterfeited stamps.
  • c. Any person who has in his possession packages of cigarettes in a quantity equal to or greater than 2,000 cigarettes to which are affixed counterfeit stamps or impressions shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree.
  • Possession of such packages or cigarettes shall be deemed sufficient evidence to authorize conviction, unless the accused shall show to the satisfaction of the court (1) that when he bought the cigarettes he knew or made inquiries sufficient to satisfy a reasonable man, that the seller was in a regular and established business for dealing in cigarettes and was so licensed and (2) that the amount paid by him for the cigarettes represented its fair and reasonable value and that he received an invoice for the same.

§ 54:40A-29.1. Offenses involving counterfeit cigarettes

  • a. Any person who imports into this State, directly or indirectly, or offers for sale, sells, distributes, transports or possesses with intent to sell a counterfeit cigarette, knowing that the cigarette is a counterfeit cigarette, shall be guilty of a crime of the third degree. As used in this section, “counterfeit cigarette” means a cigarette or a pack or other container of cigarettes that bears any reproduction or copy of a trademark, service mark, trade name, label, term, design, or work adopted by or used by a licensed manufacturer to identify its own cigarettes but is not manufactured by the owner or holder of that trademark, service mark, trade name, label, term, design, or work, or by any authorized licensee of that person.
  • b. Notwithstanding N.J.S.2C:1-8 or any other provision of law, a conviction of an offense defined in this section shall not merge with a conviction for any other offense constituting the criminal activity defined in section 1 of the “New Jersey Trademark Counterfeiting Act,” P.L.1997, c.57 (C.2C:21-32), and the sentence imposed upon a conviction of an offense defined in this section shall be ordered to be served consecutively to that imposed for a conviction of any offense under section 1 of P.L.1997, c.57 (C.2C:21-32) constituting the criminal activity involving the counterfeit cigarettes. Nothing in section 1 of P.L.1997, c.57 (C.2C:21-32) shall be construed to preclude or limit a prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-1 et seq.) or any other statute.
  • c.
    • (1) Proof that a person possessed a quantity of 2,000 or more counterfeit cigarettes shall give rise to an inference that the person intended to sell those cigarettes.
    • (2) Proof that a person who sold or distributed 2,000 or more counterfeit cigarettes did not provide or retain an invoice or other business record documenting the transfer of the cigarettes to the recipient shall give rise to an inference that the person knew that the cigarettes were counterfeit cigarettes, and proof that a person who obtained 2,000 or more counterfeit cigarettes did not receive or retain an invoice or other record of the price from the source of the cigarettes shall give rise to an inference that the person knew that the cigarettes were counterfeit cigarettes.
    • (3) Proof that a person who imported or possessed any quantity of counterfeit cigarettes obtained them at a price substantially below their fair and reasonable value shall give rise to an inference that the person knew that the cigarettes were counterfeit cigarettes, and proof that a person who offered for sale, sold or distributed any quantity of counterfeit cigarettes at a price substantially below their fair and reasonable value shall give rise to an inference that the person knew that the cigarettes were counterfeit cigarettes.

§ 54:40A-30. Unstamped cigarettes subject to confiscation

  • a. All cigarettes, subject to the tax imposed by this act, to which stamps have not been affixed, as required by this act, and all cigarettes stamped in violation of subsection b. of section 405 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-15) found in any place in this State are declared to be prima facie contraband goods and may be seized by the director, the director’s agents or employees, or by any peace officer of this State, when directed by the director so to do, without a warrant.
  • b. The director may upon satisfactory proof direct the return of any unstamped confiscated cigarettes when the director shall have reason to believe that the owner thereof has not willfully or intentionally evaded any tax imposed by this act. Any purchaser of such cigarettes shall be required to affix stamps as required by this act.
  • c.
    • (1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the director shall destroy any seized unstamped cigarettes or cigarettes that have been stamped in violation of subsection b. of section 405 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-15). The director may, prior to the destruction of such cigarettes, permit the true holder of the trademark rights in the cigarette brand to inspect the cigarettes, in order to assist the director in any investigation regarding such cigarettes.
    • (2) As an alternative to destruction, the director may resell such cigarettes to the manufacturer of those cigarettes, but such cigarettes shall be resold only for export or destruction.
    • (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, the director may authorize the use for law enforcement purposes of cigarettes forfeited in accordance with this section.
  • d. The seizure and sale of any unstamped or illegally stamped cigarettes or any other contraband cigarettes under the provisions of this section shall not relieve any person from a fine, imprisonment or other penalty for violation of any of the provisions of this act. The director, the director’s agents, employees, and any peace officer of this State, when directed so to do, shall not in any way be responsible in any court for the seizure or the confiscation of any unstamped or illegally stamped packages of cigarettes or any other contraband cigarettes.

§ 54:40A-32. Records; possession and transportation of unstamped cigarettes; seizure and confiscation of vessel or vehicles.

Records; possession and transportation of unstamped cigarettes; seizure and confiscation of vessel or vehicles. Every person who shall transport cigarettes not stamped as required by this act or stamped in violation of subsection b. of section 405 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-15) upon the public highways, waterways, roads or streets of this State shall have in his actual possession invoices or delivery tickets for such cigarettes which shall show the true name and complete and exact address of the consignor or seller, the true name and complete and exact address of the consignee or purchaser, the quantity and brands of the cigarettes transported and in addition shall show separately the true name and complete and exact address of the person who has or shall assume the payment of the New Jersey State tax or the tax, if any, of the State or foreign country at the point of ultimate destination, provided that any common carrier which has issued a bill of lading for a shipment of cigarettes and is without notice to itself or to any of its agents or employees that said cigarettes are not stamped as required by this act shall be deemed to have complied with this act and the vehicle or vessel in which said cigarettes are being transported shall not be subject to confiscation hereunder. In the absence of such invoices, delivery tickets or bills of lading, as the case may be, the cigarettes so transported, the vehicle, or vessel in which the cigarettes are being transported and any paraphernalia or devices used in connection with the unstamped cigarettes or cigarettes stamped in violation of subsection b. of section 405 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-15), are declared to be contraband goods and may be seized by the director, his agents or employees or by any peace officer of the State when directed by the director, his agents or employees so to do, without a warrant. The director shall immediately thereafter institute a proceeding for the confiscation thereof in the Superior Court or the municipal court within the jurisdiction of which the seizure is made. The owner or any person having a security interest in any such vehicle may secure release of the same by depositing with the clerk of the court, in which such proceeding is pending, a bond with good and sufficient sureties in an amount to be fixed by the court, conditioned upon the return of said vehicle to the director upon demand after completion of said proceeding. The court may proceed in a summary manner and may direct confiscation to the director; provided, however, anything to the contrary notwithstanding, that the owner or any person claiming to be the holder of a mortgage, conditional sales contract or other security interest in any vehicle or vessel, the disposition of which is provided for above, may present his petition so alleging and be heard, and in the event it appears to the court that the property was unlawfully used by a person other than the owner or such claimant, and if such owner or claimant acquired ownership or his security interest in good faith and without knowledge that the vehicle or vessel was going to be so used, the court shall either waive forfeiture in favor of such owner or claimant and order the vehicle or vessel returned or delivered to such owner or claimant, or if it is found that the value thereof exceeds the amount of the claim, the court shall order payment of the amount of the claim out of the proceeds of the sale. Every transporter who violates the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, and shall, in addition to such penalties as may be imposed therefor, be liable to a penalty equal to double the amount of tax due on any unstamped cigarettes transported by him, which penalty shall be sued for and recovered in the same manner as provided for the penalties imposed by section 601 of the act to which this act is amendatory (C.54:40A-24).

§ 54:40A-32.1. Cigarette vending machines, certain circumstances, seized, sealed

Any cigarette vending machine not bearing a proper license or identification, or which is found to contain unstamped packages of cigarettes, or cigarettes bearing counterfeit impressions, or cigarettes stamped in violation of subsection b. of section 405 of P.L.1948, c.65 (C.54:40A-15), may be seized or sealed by the director, the director’s agents or employees or by any peace officer of this State, when directed by the director so to do. If the owner or the owner’s agent destroys or removes said seal, that individual may, upon conviction, be subject to a penalty of not more than $1,000. Any vending machine containing unstamped or counterfeit stamped cigarettes may be declared forfeited to the director.

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