Have you heard the news? Governor Murphy has recently made amendments to the Public Movers Act that affects moving companies who advertise or operate without a license issued by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs. The law will become effective within the next 90 days. What exactly are the changes? Read more below!
- A police officer can issue a disorderly persons summons to any unlicensed person advertising or offering moving or storage services.
- A police officer can issue a disorderly persons summons to any unlicensed person operating as a public mover or warehouseman, punishable by a fine up to $1,000 or by imprisonment for up to six months, or by both.
- A police officer can issue a disorderly persons summons to any person that owns or operates a motor vehicle, or directs another person to use it for unlicensed moving or storage services. Any vehicle used can be impounded. The vehicle owner / operator must notify the consumer to return any property on the vehicle at the owner, operator or lessee’s expense, and pay any fines, towing and costs.
- Municipal court fines for disorderly persons are $500 for a 1st, and $1,000 for 2ndor more violation. After a 1stoffence, a judge can order a website shut down, and stop all unlicensed advertising. Penalties for failing to shut down a website is $1,000 for each day the website remains visible.
- Civil fines for 1st offense was raised to $5,000, and not more than $20,000 for 2ndor subsequent offense. Civil cases are remanded to the Superior Court.
- If a consumer has paid all lawfully agreed charges, the mover must release the consumer’s property. Failure to release the property is an unlawful practice violation, but only if all charges were paid in full, and would go to Superior court.
This is exciting news to protect those who happen to unknowingly hire unlicensed moving companies. As of late, there have been unscrupulous illegal companies that offer moving and storage services and then raise the amount owed to withhold customer property. These practices are deplorable and now there is finally legislature to protect those customers.
However, despite this protective legislature, it is important to prevent this ordeal from happening in the first place. Always ensure that any moving company you hire has the proper credentials and legally authorized to move. There are wonderful resources such as https://njmovers.com/ to help you find accredited moving companies.
Or skip the searching process and hire us! Ridgewood Moving Services is ranked as one of the best moving companies according to https://njmovers.com/! We are here to help for all your moving and storage needs! Give us a call for a free quote today: (201) 529-2211!