What are New Jersey Governor Murphy’s executive orders currently in place concerning the COVID-19 pandemic?
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Murphy has signed a series of executive orders that affect the operation of the New Jersey State Government. These orders concern several different aspects of government and private life. Many of these orders likely affect your daily life and activities. The following is a partial list of the conditions set by Governor Murphy in his executive orders and how they may impact you.
PLEASE NOTE that this is only a partial list; there have been many orders that affect specific persons and businesses. For a complete list of executive orders please click here.
Executive Order No. 103 – declared a Public Health Emergency and a State of Emergency in New Jersey.
Executive Order No. 107 – instituted a Stay at Home Order. According to the order, all residents shall remain in their homes unless they are 1) obtaining goods or services from essential retail businesses; 2) picking up food; 3) seeking help from medical personnel, essential social services, or law enforcement; 4) visiting family or other close personal relations; 5) going to work; 6) exercising outdoors with family or housemates; 7) leaving home for educational, religious, or political reasons; 8) leaving due to fear for their safety; or 9) leaving at the direction of law enforcement. It also ordered individuals to practice social distancing and remain six feet apart, as well as cancelling all gatherings, including private parties, and ordering individuals to avoid public transportation if possible. It also closed all businesses except essential retail businesses, as well as cancelling in-person school instruction. Please note that this order supersedes No. 104, which was the original social distancing order.
Executive Orders No. 118 and No. 133 – No. 118 initially closed all State Parks and Forests. The second order, No. 133, reopened the State Parks and Forests for a limited number of recreational activities, provided that social distancing measures are followed; however, certain facilities within the parks like picnic areas, playgrounds, pavilions, and restrooms remain closed. Within these parks, all visitors and staff must wear face coverings and practice social distancing, and parking is limited to 50% capacity. Organized sports, contact activities, and picnicking are expressly forbidden. Private golf courses may open but strict social distancing guidelines must be applied. Campgrounds are also closed. Any park that is a county park can be opened, unless the county specifically orders it to be closed.
No. 122 – imposes a long list of requirements for businesses that remain open, including a requirement for limited customers in the store at one time, social distancing measures, and face coverings. The order makes it clear that every person in the State has a duty to cooperate on these requirements, including customers in the store, and that violations of the order are punishable as described below.
No. 128 – offers protection to tenants for the payment of rent. It orders that a tenant may request to apply their security deposit to monies owed for rent, and the landlord MUST comply. Landlords that refuse to do so may be punished as described below. Note that if a landlord applies a security deposit to the rents owed, the tenant will have to repay that security deposit within 60 days of the end of the Public Health Emergency.
What are the penalties for violation of New Jersey Governor Murphy’s executive orders?
Existing New Jersey law makes it a disorderly persons offense to violate the Governor’s executive orders or to otherwise commit an unlawful or unauthorized act during a State of Emergency. A person found guilty of such an offense faces a term of imprncarceration in the county jail of up to six months, a term of probation, and a fine of up to $1,000 plus court costs and other mandatory state assessed financial penalties.
There have been reports of people being cited for violations of executive orders for a wide range of conduct, including entry into a business without a facemask, failure to require employees to wear protective equipment, and, in one instance, even for driving without a license and getting in a car accident.
If you or a loved one has been charged with violating an executive order, contact the Law Office of Matthew V. Portella, LLC to speak with our experienced team. We have 25 years experience defending clients’ rights and will fight aggressively to protect you. You can reach us at (856) 310-9800 or through our confidential email form.