17:16S-1. Definitions relative to complying with discovery or production of documents; costs; reimbursement
21. a. For the purposes of this section:
"Financial institution" means an entity chartered or licensed by the United States of America or by any state to accept deposits of funds or make loans.
"Governmental unit" means the United States of America, the State of New Jersey and all its counties, municipalities and school districts, and any authority or other entity established by any of those governmental units to fulfill a governmental function.
b. A person, other than a governmental unit, who is a party to an action and is seeking discovery or production of evidence as permitted by and pursuant to the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey or other State authority or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requiring or requesting access to financial records pertaining to a customer of the financial institution shall pay to the financial institution that assembles or provides the financial records a fee for reimbursement of reasonably necessary costs, directly incurred, as follows:
(1) Reimbursement of search and processing costs, including the total amount of personnel direct time incurred in locating and retrieving, reproducing, packaging and preparing financial records for shipment, costs for analysis of material or for managerial or legal advise, expertise, research, or time spent for any of these activities. Search and processing costs may include the actual cost of extracting information stored by computer in the format in which it is normally produced, based on computer time and necessary supplies.
(2) Reimbursement for reproduction costs incurred in making copies of documents required or requested. The rate for reproduction costs for making copies of required or requested documents shall be the institution's usual rate charged to its customers for reproducing copies, including copies produced by reader-printer reproduction processes. Photographs, films, and other materials shall be reimbursed at actual cost.
(3) Reimbursement of transportation costs, including transport of personnel to locate and retrieve the information or material required or requested and including all other reasonably necessary costs to convey the information or material to the place of examination.
c. Payment for reasonably necessary, directly incurred costs to financial institutions shall be limited to material required or requested.
d. Payment shall be made only for costs that are both directly incurred and reasonably necessary, and search and processing, reproduction, and transportation costs shall be considered separately.
e. A financial institution may require an advance payment, based on the institution's good faith estimate or the charges permitted by this act. Any payment in excess of the actual charge shall be promptly refunded by the financial institution.
f. If a party to a lawsuit making the request for materials or information withdraws the legal process or formal written request, or if the customer revokes the authorization for release of materials or information, or if the legal process or request has been successfully challenged by the customer, the party shall promptly notify the financial institution of these facts. The party shall be responsible only for the costs directly incurred prior to the time that the financial institution receives this notice.
g. A financial institution is not entitled to reimbursement under this section for costs incurred in assembling or providing financial records provided as an incident to perfecting a security interest, proving a claim in bankruptcy, or otherwise collecting on a debt owing to the financial institution itself or to the institution in its role as a fiduciary.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016