Full Statute Name:  New Jersey Statutes Annotated. Title 56. Trade Names, Trade-Marks and Unfair Trade Practices. Chapter 8. Frauds, Etc., in Sales or Advertisements of Merchandise. 56:8-211. Leasing or contracting for the transfer of ownership of a dog or cat prohibited; conditions; violations; penalty

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Primary Citation:  N. J. S. A. 56:8-211 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  January, 2020 Alternate Citation:  NJ ST 56:8-211 Date Adopted:  2019 Historical: 
Summary: This New Jersey law, enacted in 2019, makes it an unlawful practice to enter into (1) a contract for a cat or dog in which the transfer of ownership of the animal is contingent on the making of payments over a period of time subsequent to the transfer of possession of the animal, unless these payments are on an unsecured loan for the purchase of the animal; or (2) a lease agreement that provides for or offers the option of transferring ownership of a cat or dog at the end of the lease term. A pet dealer who violates this law can be fined up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $30,000 for second or subsequent offenses.

a. It shall be an unlawful practice and a violation of P.L.1960, c. 39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) for a pet dealer, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1999, c. 336 (C.56:8-93), to enter into a:

(1) contract for a cat or dog in which the transfer of ownership of the animal is contingent on the making of payments over a period of time subsequent to the transfer of possession of the animal, unless these payments are on an unsecured loan for the purchase of the animal; or

(2) lease agreement that provides for or offers the option of transferring ownership of a cat or dog at the end of the lease term.

b. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1966, c. 39 (C.56:8-13) to the contrary, a pet dealer who violates this section shall be liable for the following penalties:

(1) for a first offense, a penalty of not more than $10,000; and

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, a penalty of not more than $30,000.

c. In addition to any other remedies provided by P.L.1960, c. 39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) or any other applicable law, a consumer taking possession of a cat or dog pursuant to a contract or lease as described in subsection a. of this section shall be deemed the owner of the cat or dog, shall have a civil cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction, and shall be entitled to recover all moneys paid by the consumer, litigation costs, and reasonable attorney's fees.

d. The provisions of this section shall not apply to, and shall not prohibit the temporary leasing or rental of the following animals, provided the animals are used in accordance with applicable federal, State and local animal protection laws:

(1) A purebred cat or dog which is leased for the express purpose of breeding pursuant to a written lease recorded with a national purebred dog or cat registry, and which lease is for a specific time and has an established end-date; or

(2) An animal trained or utilized to perform tasks, including, but not limited to, guide dogs, security dogs, law enforcement dogs, and other assistance animals.

Credits

L.2019, c. 234, § 1, eff. Aug. 9, 2019.

Editors' Notes
APPLICATION
<For application of L.2019, c. 234 to any leases, contracts, agreements, or transactions entered into on or after Aug. 9, 2019, see § 2 of that act.>

 

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