Refusal to Provide Personal ID Info Does Not Violate 2C:29-1 – State v. Camillo

The Defendant in State v. Camillo refused to provide a member of the State Police with information related to his identity during a street investigation. The Defendant was arrested and ultimately convicted in municipal court of obstructing the administration of law under NJSA 2C:29-1.

In an opinion released this morning, the Appellate Division reversed the conviction and held that NJSA 2C:29-1 requires proof of a physical act of obstruction or the commission of an independently unlawful act. Mere refusal to cooperate, without more does not constitute a violation of NJSA 2C:29-1.

The Camillo decision provides an excellent review of NJSA 2C:29-1. It is an offense that is frequently charged and prosecuted in municipal court.

Please note that the conclusion reached in this opinion is similar to the one released by the Appellate Division on December 13th in State v. Williams (see muni-mail.com archive entry for 12/13/05 to review the Williams case.) Also, please note that although New Jersey does not have a so-called “stop and identify” statute, the United States Supreme Court has recently upheld the constitutionality of such statutes. See Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court, 542 U.S. 177 (2004).

Download a copy of State v. Camillo

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