52:13C-36 Powers of the commission.
19. a. When it shall appear to the commission that a person required to file any statement under this act, as amended and supplemented, has failed to file such required statement, or has filed a statement false, inaccurate or incomplete in any material matter, or has otherwise violated the provisions of this act, as amended and supplemented; or when the commission believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether a person has in fact violated any of the provisions of this act, as amended and supplemented, it may apply to the Superior Court for an order or orders directing:
(1)That any such person or persons make available to the commission's inspection, or to the inspection of any of its authorized deputies or agents, such records as are required to be kept by that person pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1971, c.183 (C.52:13C-24); or
(2)That any such person file a statement or report in writing under oath concerning the facts and circumstances upon which the commission's belief in the necessity of an investigation is based; or
(3)That any person submit to examination under oath by the commission in connection with said circumstances, and produce any and all records, books and other documents which may be specified by order of the court; or
(4)That the commission may impound any record, book or other documents specified by order of the court.
b.Such application by the commission shall set forth all the facts and circumstances upon which its belief in the necessity of an investigation is based. The court may proceed on such application in a summary manner; and if the court determines that from the evidence submitted it appears that a person required to file any statement under this act, as amended and supplemented, has failed to file such statement, or has filed a statement false, inaccurate or incomplete in any material respect, or has otherwise violated any of the provisions of this act, as amended and supplemented, or that it is in the public interest that an investigation be held to determine whether such violation has occurred, the court shall issue such order pursuant to subsection a. of this section as it may deem necessary and proper.
c.The commission shall hold as confidential all statements, books, records, testimony and other information or sources of information coming into its possession or knowledge as a result of an investigation pursuant to this section and shall not disclose or divulge any such materials or information to anyone except the court under whose order such material or information comes into its knowledge or possession, unless the court shall order its disclosure to a grand jury of this State or other appropriate authorities for the purposes of enforcing the provisions of this act, as amended and supplemented, or any other law.
d.If any person shall refuse to testify or produce any book, paper or other document in any proceeding under this section as ordered by the court on the grounds that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, which is required of him may tend to incriminate him, convict him of a crime, or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture, and shall, notwithstanding, be directed to testify or to produce such book, paper or document, he shall comply with such direction. A person who is entitled by law to assert such privilege, and does so assert, and thereafter complies with such direction, shall not thereafter be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture in any criminal proceeding which arises out of and relates to the subject matter of the proceeding. No person so testifying shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for perjury on false swearing committed by him in giving such testimony.
e.In any action brought under this section, the court may award to the State all costs of investigation and trial, including a reasonable attorney's fee to be fixed by the court. If costs are awarded in such an action brought against a governmental affairs agent, the judgment may be awarded against the governmental affairs agent, and the governmental affairs agent's employer or employers joined as defendants, jointly, severally, or both. If the defendant prevails, he shall be awarded all costs of trial, and may be awarded a reasonable attorney's fee to be fixed by the court and paid by the State of New Jersey.
L.1971,c.183,s.19; amended 1977, c.451; 1991, c.244, s.10; 2004, c.27, s.24.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016