The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Thursday announced a lawsuit against the New Jersey Attorney General’s office over the state’s failure to protect victims of motorcycle and scooter crashes.
The lawsuit, filed in the state Supreme Court, claims that the office failed to provide victims with adequate notice of the scope and nature of the attorney’s fees and costs and failed to file complaints about the actions of the law enforcement agency.
The ACLU says the office did not adequately warn victims of the potential costs of an accident, which the lawsuit claims could be up to $2 million.
“We are committed to providing justice for all New Jersey residents, including those who were injured in crashes involving motorcycles or scooters,” said Amy Roth, the executive director of the ACLU of New Jersey.
“If the AG’s office cannot provide victims and witnesses with adequate protection, the law must.”
The lawsuit seeks to stop the attorney general’s office from enforcing a motorcycle accident statute that allows motorists to ride on the front or back of an unlicensed motorcycle or scooter.
Under the statute, a motorcyclist who commits a “reckless” motor vehicle accident may be held liable for up to two years in jail, a $1,000 fine and up to three years of probation.
A rider’s attorney is not required to file a complaint against the AG.
The ACLU argues that the statute has been interpreted to allow the Attorney General to “pursue a retaliatory prosecution against an individual who has made a complaint about the AG.”
The attorney general is not the only law enforcement officer who is being sued by the ACLU.
The organization filed a similar lawsuit last week against the state Board of Elections, accusing the agency of failing to provide adequate notice to victims of an alleged election fraud scheme.
The New Jersey law enforcement agencies named in the ACLU’s suit include the state Department of Transportation, the state Attorney General, the New York State Assembly, the Office of Public Safety, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Bergen County Prosecutor, the Attorney for Children and Families, the Department of Public Health and the New Brunswick County Attorney’s Office.