40:48-2.59 Municipal powers to abate graffiti.
2. a. The governing body of every municipality may make, amend, repeal, and enforce ordinances to prohibit acts of graffiti on buildings, structures and other exposed surfaces located within the municipality and to require the owner of a building, structure or other exposed surface located in the municipality to remove graffiti.
b.For the purposes of this section, "graffiti" means any drawing, painting or making of any mark or inscription on public or private real or personal property without the prior written permission of the owner of the property.
c. (1) An ordinance requiring an owner to remove graffiti shall provide that the owner of record of the property shall be entitled to written notice of the order to remove graffiti and that the notice shall be delivered to the owner by certified and regular mail. The order shall afford the owner the opportunity to remove the graffiti within 90 days from the date that the notice is sent, however, the Department of Transportation shall be afforded 120 days from the date a notice is sent to remove graffiti from property owned by the department.
(2)The notice to remove graffiti shall contain a form to be utilized by a property owner to inform the municipality that the graffiti has been removed. The form shall contain a provision stating that by affixing a signature to the form, indicating that graffiti has been removed, the owner is certifying that the facts set forth therein are true and that the certification shall be considered as if made under oath and subject to the same penalties as provided by law for perjury.
(3)An owner who has been ordered to remove graffiti shall respond to the municipality by personal delivery or by certified mail:
(a)of any objection to the order, within 30 days of the date of the order, or
(b)of notice that the graffiti has been removed, within 90 days of the date of the order, or in the case of the Department of Transportation, within 120 days of the date of the order.
d.An owner who objects to an order to remove graffiti, pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection c. of this section, may institute an action challenging the order before a court of competent jurisdiction within 60 days of the date of the order.
e.If a property owner does not undertake the removal of graffiti within 90 days of the date of the order, or in the case of the Department of Transportation, within 120 days of the date of the order, unless an action challenging the order to remove graffiti is still pending pursuant to subsection d. of this section, the municipality may remove the graffiti from that property and present the property owner with a detailed itemization of the costs incurred by the municipality, by certified and regular mail, for reimbursement from the property owner.
f.Whenever a municipality undertakes the removal of graffiti from any building, structure or other exposed surface, the governing body of the municipality, in addition to assessing the cost of removal as a municipal lien against the premises, may enforce the payment of such assessment, together with interest, as a debt of the owner of the property and may authorize the institution of an action at law for the collection thereof. The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of any such action.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016