Section: Division approval of internal controls prior to state of emergency.
13. a. If an officer or firefighter who is required to reimburse his employing agency for pay received during a period of appeal pursuant to section 6 or section 11 of P.L.2009, c.16 (C.40A:14-205 or C.40A:14-210) fails to do so, the employing agency or department shall have a lien on any or all property or income which that officer or firefighter shall have, or in which the officer or firefighter may acquire, an interest, including moneys contributed by the officer or firefighter to the Police and Firemen's Retirement System of New Jersey, established pursuant to P.L.1944, c.255 (C.43:16A-1 et seq.) or any other State retirement system established by law, and all terminal pay, such as compensation for earned sick and vacation leave, to which the officer or firefighter is entitled. When properly filed as hereinafter provided, the lien shall have priority over all unrecorded encumbrances.
b. The lien shall be in a form to be prescribed by the Attorney General and shall contain the name of the affected law enforcement agency, the name and address of the officer or firefighter, the date of the officer's or firefighter's termination, the date the officer or firefighter was ordered to reimburse his employing agency or department, the amount due and payable as reimbursement on the date of the filing of the lien, together with notice of the rate of accumulation, if any, thereafter. The lien shall be signed by the State Treasurer or chief financial officer of the county or municipality, as appropriate, or his duly constituted agent.
c. As an additional remedy, the State Treasurer, or the chief financial officer of the county or municipality, as the case may be, may issue a certificate to the clerk of the Superior Court stating that the person identified in the certificate is indebted under the provisions of P.L.2009, c.16 (C.40A:14-200 et al.) for the amount set forth in the certificate. The certificate shall reference P.L.2009, c.16 (C.40A:14-200 et al.), the statute under which the indebtedness arises. Thereupon the clerk shall immediately enter upon the record of docketed judgments the name of that officer or firefighter as debtor; the State, county, or municipality, as appropriate, as creditor; the address of the officer if shown in the certificate; the amount of the debt so certified; a reference to P.L.2009, c.16 (C.40A:14-200 et al.), the statute under which the debt is assessed; and the date of making such entries. The docketing of the certificate shall have the same force and effect as a civil judgment docketed in the Superior Court and the State, county, or municipality, as the case may be, shall have all the remedies and may take all of the proceedings for the collection thereof which may be had or taken upon the recovery of a judgment in action, but without prejudice to any right to appeal. Upon entry by the clerk of the certificate in the record of docketed judgments in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, interest in the amount specified by court rule for post-judgment interest shall accrue from the date of the docketing of the certificate; provided, however, payment of the interest may be waived by the State Treasurer, or the chief financial officer of the affected county or municipality. In the event that the debt remains unpaid following the issuance of the certificate of debt and either the State Treasurer, or the chief financial officer of the affected county or municipality take any further collections action including referral of the matter to the Attorney General, or his designee, or the appropriate county or municipal official, or his designee, as the case may be, the fee imposed in lieu of the actual cost of collection, may be 20% of the debt or $200, whichever is greater.
d. The clerk of the Superior Court shall provide suitable books in which shall be entered copies of the liens filed pursuant to this section. The entries shall be properly indexed in the name of the officer or firefighter subject to the lien.
All liens and other papers incidental thereto required for the purposes of this section shall be received and recorded by the clerk of the Superior Court, without payment of fees.
e. To discharge any lien or liens filed pursuant to this section, the State Treasurer or the chief financial officer of the affected county or municipality, or his duly constituted agent, shall file with the clerk of the Superior Court, a duly acknowledged certificate setting forth the fact that the State, county or municipality desires to discharge the lien of record.
The State Treasurer or the chief financial officer of the affected county or municipality is authorized to compromise for settlement any lien filed under the provisions of this section. A memorandum of compromise and settlement signed by the State Treasurer or the chief financial officer of the affected county or municipality shall be sufficient authorization for a complete discharge of the lien.
f. Any person desiring to secure immediate discharge of any lien may deposit with the court cash in an amount sufficient to cover the amount of the lien, or post a bond in an amount and with sureties approved by the court. Upon proper notice to the State or the affected county or municipality of such deposit or bond, a satisfaction of the lien shall be filed forthwith with the clerk of the Superior Court.
g. Any person affected in any manner, whether directly or indirectly by any lien filed under the provisions of this section, and desiring to examine the validity of the lien or the facts and circumstances surrounding the entry of the lien, may do so in an action brought in the county where the lien was filed. The action shall be brought against the State, county or municipal law enforcement agency or department claiming the lien, and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner and enter such judgment as it may deem appropriate.
L.2009, c.16, s.13.
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